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Ashbury, Berkshire

Historical Description

Ashbury, a village and a parish in Berkshire. The village stands near the Ridgeway or Icknield Street, at the W end of Whitehorse Vale, 3 miles SSE of Shrivenham station on the G.W.R., and 7½ S of Farringdon, and it has a post office under Shrivenham, which is the telegraph office; money order office, Bishopstone. The parish includes also the tithings of Idstone and Odstone, and the hamlet of Kingstone-Winslow. Acreage, 5609; population, 706. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Oxford; net yearly value, £240, in the gift of Magdalen College, Oxford. The church is partly Norman, partly Decorated English. There are Primitive Methodist and Baptist chapels. Ashdown Park is the seat of the Countess of Craven.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyBerkshire 
Ecclesiastical parishAshbury St. Mary 
Poor Law unionFarringdon 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The register dates from 1653, and there is an old parish book with entries from 1602.


Church of England

St. Mary (parish church)

The church of St. Mary is an ancient cruciform structure in the Early English and Decorated styles, consisting of chancel, nave of four bays, aisles, transepts, north porch and a massive embattled western tower, with pinnacles, containing 6 bells: the late Norman doorway in the south aisle, re-opened in 1873, is a fine example of the style, with the usual zigzag mouldings: the chancel is principally Early English, and retains a piscina; the aisles and north porch are Perpendicular; the latter has a good groined and traceried roof, over which is a parvise: a few of the windows have also Decorated tracery: in the south transept is a trefoiled piscina and a large cinque-foiled arch, now enclosing an ancient stone coffin, previously lying in the churchyard; between the walls of this transept and the arch of the south aisle is a remarkable hagioscope filled with open tracery: the north aisle retains a singular open fireplace of some antiquity: in the chancel are brasses with effigies to William Skelton LL.B. prepositus of Wells Cathedral, formerly rector of this parish and of St. Vedast's, Foster lane, London, ob. March 27, 1448; another to John de Walden esq. with demi-effigy, c. 1360, and a third to Thomas de Bushbury, canon of Hertford and rector here, ob. March 29, 1409, with mutilated effigy: a stained window was erected in the south transept in 1873 to the Rev. William Chambers B.D. 36 years vicar, who died in 1860, and the stained east window to the Rev. Henry Miller, vicar, 1860-92; the carved oak brackets on the pulpit and in the chancel were executed by Mr. Heber Humfrey, of Kingstone farm: the church was restored in 1873-8, at a cost of £1,450, and in 1898 a carved oak chancel screen and choir stalls were erected by the Rev. C. J. F. Yule M.A., rector 1892-1900. In 1906 the tower was underpinned and its north-west buttress rebuilt. The ancient name of the benefice was Ashbury St. Mary-cum-Chapelwick, and there was formerly a chapel, of which nothing now remains, at the northern boundary of the parish.

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Ashbury was in Faringdon Registration District from 1837 to 1937 and Wantage Registration District from 1937 to 1974

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Ashbury from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Berkshire is available to browse.


Online maps of Ashbury are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Berkshire papers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitations of Berkshire 1532, 1566, and 1665-6 is available online.

DistrictVale of White Horse
RegionSouth East
Postal districtSN6
Post TownSwindon