Friday, December 13, 2013

History in the Mist

It was a very misty morning when we stopped to take photos in the village of Ashover in Derbyshire.  We were on our way to Chesterfield and Paul wanted a photo of the church for his one-name study website.  He is trying to take photos of the parish churches in each of the towns and villages where he has found records of his family name. 


The village is a very attractive one full of lovely old houses in the centre.  The church of All Saints stands at the top of a hill in the centre of the village and there seem to be two distinct areas either side of it.


The church has features from the 13th and 14th centuries but most of it was built in the 15th century.  The tower and spire were built by the Babbington family of nearby Dethick.  An early member of this family fought, alongside men from Ashover, at the battle of Agincourt and a later one was executed after being involved in a plot against Elizabeth I

The church building is fascinating and there are also some interesting tombstones like the one below.

The tomb stone of Samuel Lee who had been Officer of Excise for the village of Ashover who died in 1784 aged 71.  According to records the village was until the mid 18th century a very self-contained community as roads in and out of the village were just pack horse trails.  Industry in the area was varied including lead and coal mines, lime kilns and smelting works.  There were also lace makers, shoe makers, nail makers, basket makers, frame work knitters and a rope works as well as a flour mill.


Close by the church is the Crispin Inn, presumably named after St Crispin as the Battle of Agincourt was fought on St Crispin's Day.

The return of Thomas Babbington and the men of 'Asher' from the battle is commemorated on a large board over the door of the smaller part of the building which was probably once a separate house.

The board also tells the tale of landlord Job Wall who, in 1646 during the civil wars,  tried to hold back the King's troops from the inn but they turfed him out and drank the place dry.


Whilst looking up details of the church I found a reference to a letter written by the then rector Immanuel Bourne.  In it he described how the parliamentarian troops after attacking nearby Wingfield Manor entered the village and marched to the church.  The Rector apparently followed the troops at a distance and found Scout-Master Smedley in the pulpit.  

The Rector wrote  "but Lord, what stuff and nonsense he did talke, and if he could have murdered the Kyng as easily as he did the Kyng's English, the war would long have been over"


In the church is an alabaster tomb to another Thomas Babbington d. 1518 and his wife Edith d. 1511


The  church and village  suffered attacks from both sides during the civil war and all the stained glass in the church was destroyed in 1646.

The east window, above, was donated by Rector Joseph Nodder and his wife to give thanks for being saved from burglers who in 1857 broke into the rectory.

The community centre, opposite the Crispin Inn, is known as the Bassett Rooms and named after two sisters who lived in the village who were part of the Bassett family famous for creating Liquorice Allsorts.  It is said the first mix of liquorice was made in a small cottage in the village.

24 comments:

  1. It sounds and looks like a very fascinating village.
    And speaking of mist, there's a heavy one since 2 days out of my window :(
    Have a lovely weekend!
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope your mist has cleared now. You too have a lovely weekend:)

      Delete
  2. This is such a lovely post Rosie full of history and right up my street so to speak. Beautiful photos. A bit of mist always gives a very ethereal look to old buildings and the church is particularly so. Have a good weekend.
    Patricia x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed the post, Patricia, that mist did give the photos and the feel of the village as we were walking around a feeling of mystery and other wordliness:)

      Delete
  3. I love our wonderful old churches - such a wealth of history. Gorgeous, atmospheric photos, too. I have family who are from Derbyshire too and hope to come up and visit next year

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Marianne - I hope you get to visit Derbyshire next year, it is such a beautiful county:)

      Delete
  4. I love what the rector wrote! x

    ReplyDelete
  5. Bassett Liquorice Allsorts, we live and learn! I liked what the rector said also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't know about Bassetts until I read some information about the village. The rector was quite witty wasn't he?:)

      Delete
  6. Crispin was the patron saint of shoemakers - so they might have named the pub (since there were shoemakers)

    Years ago I went on a school field trip to Derbyshire and visited Ashover. We got into the habit of saying 'bless you' every time the teacher mentioned the name. I don't seem to have recovered. As soon as I read Ashover in your post I thought 'bless you'!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, yes it could have originally been named after the shoemakers or cordwainers, perhaps. I love the 'bless you' story, those things do stay with you don't they?:)

      Delete
  7. This is fascinating! What an interesting place to visit. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was interesting, Amy - I'd like to go back and explore further perhaps when it is warmer:)

      Delete
  8. Some wonderful historical stories, Rosie. Was the plot against Elizabeth the one involving Mary Queen of Scots? I recognise the name. And it's amazing that these stories have been recorded and remembered - like poor old Job Wall trying to keep out the King's troops.
    I love your misty photos - they give the historical stories such atmosphere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it was called the Babbington plot and involved Mary Queen of Scots. The Babbington involved was Anthony Babbington:)

      Delete
  9. Very interesting history and I love the photos, they're very atmospheric with the mist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Louise - the village was very atmospheric in the mist which was just lifting when we were there as we drove into Chesterfield it was bathed in sunlight:)

      Delete
    2. I agree Louise, some very interesting history. Thanks Rosie for another great post.

      Delete
    3. You're welcome, Amanda. Glad you enjoyed it:)

      Delete
  10. really enjoyed this post - full of interesting facts and beautiful churches

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Elaine! Glad you enjoyed it:)

      Delete
  11. A very enjoyable post about Ashover's rich history. It sounds like another one of those places that must have been isolated at one time yet where many significant incidents took place and were recorded. Your husband's project to photograph the parish churches where he has found a record of the family name must be an interesting one and a great way to visit some beautiful villages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it does seem to have been quite independent of other areas and also to have been involved in national as well as local events. We have seen some lovely churches so far with still many to go especially in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire. The ones in Sussex may take some time:)

      Delete