A planned Anglo-Saxon town, Ashwell has a range of vernacular buildings which are dominated by the impressive 14th century St Mary’s Church. A market town at the time of the Domesday Survey of 1086 the street pattern still indicates where the market place was. During the medieval period the village stagnated and is one of the reasons for the wealth of timber-framed buildings to be found when walking down the High Street.

Today the village is home to about 1,800 people and is a hub of activity. The shops and services cater for most daily needs and include a general store, a butcher, a baker, a chemist, a garage for petrol, repairs and MOTs, two hairdressers, two beauticians and an outreach post office on three days a week. There is also an estate agent, a jeweller,and an art gallery and picture framer. There is a doctor’s surgery and a dental surgery. Spiritual needs are catered for by a church, two chapels and there are three pubs.

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Ashwell Village Museum is a place to see artefacts, photographs and documents relating to the history of the settlement.

Cultural life is active and the annual Ashwell Festival caters for music with other concerts during the year, Ashwell Primary School enrols children from the village and the neighbouring area. Ashwell Playgroup and Ashwell Toddler Groups cater for those too young for school. Besides these there are a number of active societies which flourish: the Women’s Institute, Ashwell Theatre Club, Ashwell Horticultural Society, St. Mary’s Church Choir, Cub Scouts, Girl Guides and Brownies, etc.

For those interested in sport there are cricket, football, and tennis clubs.

Ashwell Show, held on August Bank holiday, provides pleasure for thousands with profits distributed to local causes. Ashwell at Home, on a Sunday in mid-May, raises money for the museum, school and church restoration fund. On this is a day gardens, shops and businesses are open to the public for a small charge.

The Ashwell Yearbook is published annually in March and includes reports from local clubs, societies and organisations as well as events and life in the village.

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