The History of Ashbourne

Little has changed in Ashbourne since the 18th Century and it is 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.

Notable Visitors
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. 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.

For more information visit the Ashbourne Heritage website.