Kelly's directory 1886

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Ashwell Entry

Typed by Jackie Embury

Kelly’s Directory 1886


Ashwell is a parish and large village in the Northern division of the county, Odsey petty sessional division and hundred, Royston union and county court district, rural deanery of Baldock and archdeaconry and diocese of St Albans, and is situated among the chalk hills in the valley of the Rhee, a tributary of the Cam, on the Cambridgeshire boarder of the county.  The village is 41 miles from London, 2.1/2 north-west from the Ashwell station on the Cambridge and Hitchin line, 4.1/2 north-east from Baldock and 7 south-west from Royston;  that this locality was a British settlement there can be no doubt and the existence about a mild south-west of the entrenched camp called “Arbury Banks” sufficiently proves its British origin;  it is supposed also to have been a Roman town or station under the name of Mayrovidum and Roman and British coins have been found here;  at the time of the Norman survey it was a market town and had several annual fairs;  it now consists of several small streets of scattered houses irregularly placed, with outlying farms;  there are two breweries which give employment to a considerable portion of the population, the remainder being engaged in agriculture.  Ashwell Fields, a large tract of common land, has been brought into cultivation.  The thirty springs of the Cam rise in the village and form the head of the river Cam or Granta.  On both sides of the river large beds of coprolites have been discovered. 

The church of St Mary the Virgin, a building chiefly of clunch, and for the most part of Early English date, consists of chancel, clerestorial nave, aisles, north and south porches, the latter with a parvise and a lofty western tower, surmounted by a finely-tapering spire, rising to a height of 176 feet and containing 6 bells, dated respectively 1792, 1694, 1817, 1787, 1808 and 1789, the tenor weighs 18 cwt:  on the walls of the tower are various inscriptions rudely carved with knives, of these the greater number are illegible, save here and there a word, but one remains which seems to read:  “Quot gratiae fonte, tot Dolores domini monte:”  the north wall of the tower is nearly covered with rude carvings, some of very early date:  there were also Latin inscriptions on nearly all the columns, especially on the north side, but these are no longer legible, one singular and interesting inscription, though but fragmentary, seems to refer to the great pestilence of 1349 and runs as nearly as can be read as follows, “Pestilentia maesta cruenta miseranda ferox molesta… super est plebs pessima testis.  In fine venit vantus validus in hoc anno Maurus in orbe tonat, MCCCLXI:”  the pulput, of oak, is dated 1627:  at the end of the south aisle, formerly the Lady Chapel, are the remains of a reredos, a piscine, and a spacious aumbry:  In the north aisle is a large alter tomb, without inscription:  in the south aisle is a memorial window to May Susan Tinling:  the church was restored and reseated with open seats in the year 1868;  and an organ erected at a cost of £400, subscribed by the parishioners:  there are 460 sittings, 160 being free.  The register of baptisms and marriages dates from 1686;  burials from 1678.  The living is a rectory, yearly value from tithe rent charge £669, with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of St. Albans and held since 1851 by the Rev. Henry William Hodgeson M.A. of Balliol College, Oxford.  There are charities amounting to £39 yearly, left at various dates from 1582 to 1701 by Lawrence Williams, the Rev. Thomas Chapman, Thomas Plomer, Richard Morley and wife and Edward Cumberland Waller.  There are Congregational, Particular Baptist, Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels.  The Ecclesiastical Commissions are lords of the manor.  The principal landowners are Joseph Trueman Mills, Esq. J.P. of Clermount, Watton, Norfolk,  E.K. Fordham, Esq. J.P., D.L. and Mr Thomas Chapman.  The soil is chalky and very favourable for the growth of barley.  The area is 4,107 acres of hilly land;  rateable value, £7289;  the population in 1881 as 1,568.  Highley Hill is 2 miles south-west.

Parish Clerk , George Norman

Post, Money Order and Telegraph Office and Savings Bank   -  Abraham Hart Christy, postmaster.  Letters arrive from Baldock at 7.10 & 11.40 a.m.;  dispatched at 8.10 a.m. & 6 p.m.;  Sundays 10.a.m.

Insurance Agents:-
London Assurance, C Walkden
Norwich Union Fire, J.H. Skelton, High Street
Royal Farmers, J. & A. Christy

Merchant Taylors’ Company’s Endowed, founded by a bequest in 1665 of £1,000 by Henry Colborn or Colbron, of Westbury Nernewtes, in this parish, who left the above sum in trust to the Merchant Taylors’ Company for the erection of a school here, giving also £100 to the master & wardens for their pains:  £150 per annum is paid to the master, who is appointed by the Company, and the residue, £17.7s.6d. carried to the school fund. The school & master’s house were built in 1681 & enlarged in 1876, at a cost of £1,000 & will hold 150 boys;  average attendance 100;  there are now (1886) 130;  Albert William Chote, master;  H.W. Clark & H. Bracy, assistant masters.

A School Board of 5 members was formed in 1875;  T. Shall, Royston, is clerk to the board;  J. Warren, Ashwell attendance officer.

Board School , opened in 1877, for 120 girls & 150 infants;  Miss Johanna Davidson, mistress;  (infants),  Miss Agnes Oswald Davidson, mistress.

Dover & Pepper, to Hitchin Tues;  to Royston, Wed. & Sat.   

Railway Station , Charles Moss, station master.

Edwards William Pack, The Adelonge
Flitton Allen
Fordham Edward King J.P., D.L., Ashwellbury
Fordham Edward Snow F.S.S., J.P., LL.M. Elbrook House
Hodgson Rev. Hy. Wm. M.A. Rectory
Lees Mrs. Jassamine farm.Millsom Rev. James Buckley (Congregational)
Page Joshua, Westbury House
Swinson George Newton
Walkden Charles
Westrope Mrs.

Angel David, butcher & farmer
Atkins Geo. Carpenter & shopkeeper
Bacon William Edward, saddler & rope & twine maker
Bailey Frederick, bricklayer
Barritt William, beer retailer & grocer
Bean William blacksmith
Beard William, butcher
Bennett James, market gardener
Bonfield John George, Three Tuns P.H.
Bonnett John, grocer & Tailor
Brown James, farmer
Bryant & Worboys, wheelwrights
Chapman Thomas, farmer & landowner
Christy Jn. & Abrham. Grocers & drapers
Christy Abraham Hart, assistant overseer & highway surveyor
Christy Henry Abraham, farmer
Clarke John, Bushel & Strike P.H.
Clarke William, beer retailer & baker
Clements David, job master
Covington Benjamin, beer retailer
Day Leopold, baker
Edwards Richard, Rose & Crown P.H., & Blacksmith
Evans William, beer retailer, Odsey La
Flitton Thomas Allen, miller (steam & water) & farmer
Flitton John George, farmer
Fordham Edward King & Herbert, brewers & maltsters
Fordham Herbert, coal merchant
Fordham R. Oswald, mineral water manufacturer
Garrett Julia (Miss), shopkeeper
Gilbert Thoms. H. inland revenue officer
Gray John, beer retailer
Hall John, farmer, Redlands farm
Hoye Wilfred, plumber &c
Humphrey Moses, Hard & Hounds P.H.
Kirbyshire Elizabeth (Mrs), baker
Kitchener Edward, farmer
Lee Walter, sheep dresser & tailor
Pack Ann (Mrs), farmer & lime burner
Pack James, blacksmith
Pack William, farmer
Page Joshua Richmond, brewer & maltster, Westbury brewery
Peters William, farmer, Mobb’s hole
Pickett George, beer retailer
Pickett James, farm bailiff to E.K. Fordham Esq.
Picking Susannah (Mrs), Six Bells P.H.
Picking William, carpenter
Sale John, farmer
Skelton Jn. Hardy, chemist & druggist
Smith Daniel, beer retailer & fruiterer
Smith Elijah, horse slaughterer
Smith William, beer retailer
Smith Zarah, shoe maker
Strickland William (Mrs), baker
Summerfield Chas. Butcher & beer retailer
Swinson George Newton, surgeon & medical officer & public
vaccinator for No. 3 district of the Royston union
Thorne Samuel, tailor
Thorne Thomas, wheelwright
Waldock John, shopkeeper & shoe maker
Walker George, beer retailer, Chalkman’s knowle
Warren David, farmer
Warren Edwin, plumber & painter
Warren Jeremiah, Cuckoo P.H.
Watts Thomas, farrier
Webb Charles, beer retailer
Webb George James, watcher maker
Westrope Charles, farmer
Westrope Thomas William, grocer & draper, & agent for W. & A.
Gilbey, wine & spirit merchants.
Williams James, jun, corn & cake mar
Willmott Jeremiah, beer rtlr. & bricklyr
Winter Alfred, shoe maker
Winter Robert, shoe maker
Wood Samuel, wheelwright
Worboys James, Bull’s Head P.H.
Worboys Julius, watch maker
Worland Abbiss, veterinary surgeon
Wright Charles, farmer.






































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