History of Ashdon >> White's Directory 1848
ASHDON, a pleasant village near the source of a rivulet, 4 miles North East of Saffron Walden, has in its parish 948 souls, and 4045 acres of land, exclusive of L1TTLE BARTLOW, or Bartlow-End hamlet, which is a separate township, and has 216 souls and 841 acres, adjoining Great Bartlow, in Cambridgeshire, to which parish it pays church-rates.
Ashdon is in three manors, called Ashdon Hall, Newnham, and Mortisfaux, of which Viscount Maynard is lord. He also owns most of the soil, and the rest belongs to several smaller owners. The soil is mostly freehold, and the copyholds are subject to arbitrary fines.
Walton Hall, a large brick house in a small park, now unoccupied, was built by Sir William Maynard, and was for some time occupied by a branch of his family. Little Bartlow is in the same manors, and is some times called Steventon End, or Stanton End.
An estate called Thickhoe was anciently held of the Earls of Oxford by a family of its own name.
On the north side of the parish are several Roman Barrows, called Bartlow-Hills. They consist of a line of four great barrows, with three smaller ones in front. They are on a gentle acclivity, and the country rises gently around them like an extended amphitheater. They are supposed to cover the remains of Romans who died at an adjacent station in Cambridgeshire.
The three smaller barrows were opened in 1832, and the remains found were purely Roman. In one of the sepulchers were found a number of glass and other vessels. A large cylindrical glass urn, open at the mouth, was nearly two-thirds full of a clear pale yellow liquor, covering a deposit of burnt human bones, on the top or which lay a signet ring, and a brass coin of the emperor Adrian. In the same year an urn, full of Roman coins, was found in a field near Linton.
Ashdon Church (All Saints,) is a large ancient structure, with a leaded nave and aisles, a tiled chancel, and a square tower, containing six bells, and crowned by a spire.
The rectory valued in K.B. at £28.3s.4d., and in 1831 at £727, is in the patronage of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and incumbency, of the Rev. B. Chapman, D.D., who has a good residence, a manorial jurisdiction. and about 100 acres of glebe. The tithes were commuted in 1847 for £800 per annum.
Here is a Baptist Chapel, built in 1835, by a congregation formed in 1809.
There are two National School Rooms in the village, one built in 1833, and the other in 1846.
An estate called the Guildhall Charity has been held by the parish ever since the Reformation, if not previously, and has been from time to time conveyed to feoffees, "for the use and relief of the poor inhabitants". It comprises an ancient house called the Guildhall, five cottages and about 2½A., of land, let for about £19 per annum, which is distributed in small sums to the poor, except £3.3s. to the schoolmaster.
The poor have the following yearly doles, viz., a rent charge of 10s., left by the Rev. Edmund Sherbrooke in 1589, out of Newnham Hall; lOs.6d. from half an acre, left in 1696 by Thomas Saward; and a rent charge of 10s. out of Herds Meadow, left by John Freeman in 1639.
The dividends of £100 five per cent Bank Stock left by Robert Freeman, in 1817, have been applied since the death of his wife in 1834, in schooling poor children, except lOs. for books, lOs. to the rector for his trouble, and a small occasional sum for repairing the testator's gravestone.
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Ashdon - Cary's New and Correct English Atlas, 1798
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