Welcome to Ashbourne: The Ultimate Destination
One of Derbyshire’s finest old market towns, combining a medieval street pattern and historic buildings with a wealth of high quality shops. The cobbled market place, hidden alleys and yards are a delight to explore, and the wide and elegant Church Street is considered to be the finest street of Georgian buildings in Derbyshire.
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A perfect day out and more!
Lying in a lovely green valley on the southern edge of the Peak District, the town attracts many visitors who come to enjoy a scene which has changed little in appearance since the 18th century, but offers today’s visitors everything they need with an excellent range of independent and national shops, plus if you are looking for somewhere to eat in Ashbourne, you certainly will not be disappointed. Our town hosts a wide range of restaurants, tearooms and family friendly pubs and there is something for every budget and taste. Plus if you fancy a takeaway or create a picnic to have in the town’s park the options are just as wide…all making a perfect day out and more.
Many important and famous people have coloured the history of Ashbourne including Dr. Samuel Johnson, James Boswell, Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie), Izaak Walton, Thomas Moore and George Eliot. Princess Victoria (later to be Queen Victoria) passed through the town in 1832 and took a ‘comfort break’ at the Green Man.
Ashbourne is home to the famous annual Shrovetide football game which has received Royal recognition by two Princes of Wales. The ball was ‘turned up’ by Prince Edward in 1928 and by Prince Charles in 2003.
Ashbourne became a busy and fashionable social centre for the wealthy during the Georgian period, with six coaching roads meeting here, including the route from London to Carlisle. The legacy of over 200 listed buildings, fine coaching inns and mellow town houses combine to create a unique atmosphere.
Derbyshire Well Dressing
The true origins of Well Dressing are lost in the mists of time. According to many sources, it developed from a pagan custom of making sacrifice to the gods of wells and springs to ensure a continued supply of fresh water. Like many folk traditions, it was later adopted by the Christian Church as a way of giving thanks to God for His gift to us of water.
In the early days, the dressing of wells would have taken the form of simple arrangements of flowers and other natural materials. In this form it takes place today in many parts of the world. The unique Derbyshire tradition of elaborate pictures made for the most part of individual flower petals pressed onto clay covered boards seems to date from Victorian times, when there were many movements afoot to revive and enhance old folk traditions. The earliest recorded examples are in Tissington, but the tradition quickly spread to other villages. Sometimes, as in Youlgrave, the Dressings appeared at the village taps (pumps or fountains) to celebrate the arrival of piped water; hence the reason why they are sometimes known as Tap Dressings.
For 2015 dates and locations please visit www.visitpeakdistrict.com/events/Well_Dressing.aspx