History of Ashwell
times to Present Day
Anglo-Saxon to Medieval times
Prehistoric to Roman Times
times to the Present Day
1350 to the early part of the nineteenth century it would seem that
It was during this period that the flourishing market declined,
so that by 1799 there was no longer an official market, although the
last reference that can be found to a market existing is in 1862.
It was during this period that Ashwell must have come to rely on
agriculture as a source of income.
Even so it was still near enough to London for those who could
afford it to move into the country and yet be near enough to town when
nineteenth century saw some changes, with the growth of three
industries, brewing, coprolite digging and straw plaiting.
As in most of England the population of the village grew during
this period, reaching a high of 1,576 people in 1871, a size which was
not overtaken until 1981 when 1,612 were recorded in the annual census.
After 1871 the population held steady for two decades but
declined between 1891 and 1901, when they stopped digging coprolites and
the straw plait was not needed as much in Luton.
In the twentieth century the two breweries closed - Pages in 1919
and Fordhams in 1966.
In the latter part of the twentieth century changes in transport
have brought a different life into the community.
The motor car and rail travel mean that people can live in
Ashwell but work elsewhere.
These changes also bring traffic speeding through the village and
parked cars fill the roads.
But the village is a thriving, active community, where often it
is difficult to find a night to hold a meeting or activity as there is
likely to be something else already taking place.
history and illustrations of the village of Ashwell is from Snippets of Ashwell’s History by David Short, illustrated by Phil
Collins and published by Ashwell Education Services.