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home > Towns & Villages > About Wantage > About Ashbury

About Ashbury

This village of thatched roof cottages sits on the western edge of Southern Oxfordshire at the foot of the Lambourn Downs. Located about seven miles east of Swindon in neighbouring Wiltshire, prior to 1974's political boundary changes Ashbury was part of Berkshire.

There is evidence of a settlement from around the 9th century and the first church was built for the Abbot of Glastonbury around 947 AD. Ashbury is mentioned in the Domesday Book.

The Ridgeway National Trail, and Britain's oldest road, crosses at the top of Ashbury Hill, so the landscape is familiar to walkers and ramblers. Wayland Smithy, a megalithic chambered tomb built about 3400 BC, is sited here on The Ridgeway.

St Mary The Virgin Parish Church has 13th and 14th century features and the North Chancel is dedicated to St Hubert, the patron saint of hunting. A group of sarsen stones on the west side of the churchyard is believed to be the remains of a stone circle surrounding the village. Ashbury village holds the distinction of holding the very first Sunday school gathering.

Ashbury Manor was built as a monastic refuge for the Somerset monks of Glastonbury Abbey. It is now a private residence set back from the village, remarkable for the relative lack of alteration from the 1488 original dwelling.

Claim to Fame:

Merlin the Magician is said to have passed by Ashbury one day and turned a whole field of sheep to stone.


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