Ashwell Museum

Ashwell Museum

The Ashwell Village museum was founded in 1930 but its origins stretch back to the 1920’s when several pupils of the Ashwell Merchant Taylors School had their interest in the past encouraged by the headmaster and stimulated by the chance discovery of some domestic bygones. These relics – some coins, clay pipes and a beer mug – were displayed in a garden shed. In 1928 the collection accumulated by the boys was shown at a church fete. This was a great success for it bought to a wider audience their splendid work. After this event a committee was formed to find a permanent home for the collection.

Find out more on the Ashwell Museum Website.

Ashwell Village Hall

The facilities at Ashwell Village Hall are ideal for weddings, parties, celebrations, theatrical performances, music recitals and club meetings. There is ample off-street parking, stages, tables, chairs, kitchen facilities and china and cutlery - all available to hire.

Find out more on the Ashwell Village Hall Website.

Village Hall

Arbury Banks

Arbury Banks

Arbury Banks is one of six Iron Age hillforts on the Hertfordshire chalk scape from Hexton to Royston that also includes Wilbury Hill Camp at Letchworth. Arbury means "earthen fortification". It was probably built during the late Bronze Age. The site probably contained houses, stockades for animals, or pits to store grain. It is not known if the site was defensive or just an enclosure for animals, to store food or for rituals. The site is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
The monument includes an Iron Age hillfort situated on high ground near the Newnham Way, 1km south west of Ashwell parish church. The monument measures 290m north east-south west by a maximum of 245m north west-south east. The defences consisted of a ditch with an internal bank. The ditch, although no longer visible as an earthwork survives as a buried feature and is visible on aerial photographs and as a soilmark. It measures an average of 5m in width and is infilled along its entire length. The internal bank survives only intermittently and measures a maximum of 2.5m in width at its top and survives to 1.2m in height at the south western end of the site. Two causeways give access to the monument, one to the NNW measures 20m in width, the other to the SSE is about 40m in width. The interior of the monument contains features which are visible as cropmarks and on aerial photographs. These marks represent rectangular, square and curvilinear enclosures, hut circles and pits which survive as buried features.

An excavation of the defences by J Bedlam in the 1850's found that the external ditch around the hillfort measures 6m in width and 4.5m in depth. The fence is excluded from the scheduling though the ground beneath it is included.

Clunch Wall

The Clunch Wall is designated as a Grade 2 listed building. It’s located on the West side of Gardiners Lane. It is approximately 80 metres long, and about 3 metres high. canted on plan, returning for 6 metres on the South end. The plinth is mostly 19th Century white brick. The main body is white clunch, topped with thatched coping.

The wall was probably built in the 18th Century. It was restored in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

Clunch Wall

The Lock Up Gaol


The lock up is one of four remaining in Hertfordshire. It was built in 1800 using materials gained from the demolition of a chapel in the North East corner of the chancel of St Mary’s Church Ashwell. It is a small square building with a slate pyramid roof, and with its original studded plank door in an oak frame, and a barred iron grille above.

The lock up was used by the village Constable to lock up people making a nuisance of themselves. After spending the night in the lock up they were taken to the Magistrates in Royston the following day.

The lock up fell out of use, largely due to the activities of one Amos Pammenter who, after being locked up and given ale from his friends through the grille by straw, managed to tunnel out under the door and went home to bed. The authorities decided that the lock up was no longer fit for purpose. It was used as a lock-up until the early years of the 20th century, and thereafter housed the parish fire engine, a two-wheeled cart, until 1939.

The Springs

Ashwell Springs is a 0.3 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The site consists of a series of freshwater springs, which form a source for the River Cam. Due to the low temperatures of the spring pools, they provide a habitat for cold water, invertebrate animals, some of which are rare. The site is particularly important for flatworms, including Crenobia alpina and the Polycelis felina. The pools are surrounded by grassland which provide shade for the water.

There is access from the High Street and by a footpath from Hodwell.

Image courtesy of Paul Shreeve.

Springs

Footpaths

Footpaths

The paths and byways of Ashwell offer many opportunities to relax while exploring the landscape and history of the Parish. Books describing Ashwell walks are available from the Post Office. 

Remember that other people hope to enjoy the footpaths and wildlife. Please clean up after your dog, and do not allow dogs to defecate in grazed fields. In spring and early summer, please keep dogs under control to avoid disturbing birds nesting on or near the ground in fields and hedgerows. Please take your litter home!

If you have questions about the path network or wish to report a problem, please contact the Ashwell Parish Clerk.

To read more about Ashwell Landscape and Rights of Way and view a map of Ashwell footpaths, please read the attached Booklet