Ashbourne

There are parts of this pleasant market town which would still be familiar to Dr. Johnson and James Boswell were they to retum from the dead for a day. The place lies at the southern end of the Peak District and is the gateway to Dovedale and the Izaak Walton country.

At one end of the main street stands the church of St. Oswald, described by George Eliot as 'the finest mere parish church in the kingdom'. It is a magnificent cruciform building with a 212 foot-high spire. Mostly of the early English style, the greater part was built in 1241. The chancel, built about 1220, is the Oldest portion of the fabric and contains twelve lances windows and the canopied tomb of Robert de Kniveton (d. 1471). Over the altar is a window by Kempe showing the arms of Normandy and England and France and England. Fine examples of stained glass can be seen throughout the church. The Boothby Chapel contains monuments of great interest, the most charming being the one in Carrara marble by Thomas Banks of Penelope Boothby who died in 1791 when only five years old. In St. Oswald's Chapel are three cannon balls which are said to have been fired at the church by Parliamentary troops.

The old Tudor building which stands near to the church was once the home of the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School. It was founded in 1585 by Sir Thomas Cockayne whose arms formed the school badge. Beside and opposite are two handsome houses designed by Joseph Pickford of Derby: the Grey House and The Mansion. The school is now comprehensive and was transferred some time ago to a more modem building on the north-east side of town.

Open: All Year


VIEW MAP | RETURN TO PLACES