History of Ashwell
times to Present Day
to Medieval Times
is known about the history of the area between the Roman period and the
later Anglo-Saxon period. That
people lived here is evident from graves that have been excavated and
from place names.
||The creation of present-day
Ashwell was probably in the early tenth century.
By 1086, when Domesday Book was compiled, it was the most
important settlement, being a borough, a market town, in the area.
The market place would have dominated the town and brought the
wealth that is reflected in the number of quality medieval buildings,
including St Mary’s Church, that still exist today.
would seem that the status of Ashwell did not last for long.
Documents suggest that the sort of people one would expect in a
thriving market town did not live here by the end of the thirteenth
By that time many other market
towns had come into existence in the area, and would have taken trade
from Ashwell, which was not ideally placed, not being on any main roads.
This does not mean that Ashwell had become a backwater.
building of the greater part of St Mary’s Church during the fourteenth
century points to the wealth of those who could afford to pay for it.
It was during this building that the Black Death devastated
England and left scratched on a wall of the tower the cry of those who
survived this tragedy.
Black Death Graffiti in St. Mary's Church, Ashwell