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Ashdon Windmill - - 1219346.jpg
Ashdon Windmill
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Population893 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceTL584421
Civil parish
  • Ashdon
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townSaffron Walden
Postcode districtCB10
Dialling code01799
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
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Signpost in Ashdon

Ashdon, is a village and civil parish in Essex, England. It is about 4 miles (6 km) northeast of Saffron Walden and 23 miles (37 km) northwest from the county town of Chelmsford. The village is in the district of Uttlesford and the parliamentary constituency of Saffron Walden. The village has its own Parish Council.[2]


The village is approximately 4 miles (6 km) northeast of the nearest town, Saffron Walden. It is on the River Bourn, a tributary to the River Granta, a tributary to the River Cam. The village is close to the Essex/Cambridgeshire county border.

According to the 2011 census the population of the parish was 893, up from 792 in 2001.[1][3] Apart from Ashdon village, the parish also includes Steventon End (52°03′47″N 0°19′55″E / 52.06306°N 0.33194°E / 52.06306; 0.33194) and Church End (52°03′01″N 0°18′10″E / 52.05028°N 0.30278°E / 52.05028; 0.30278).

The River Bourn has caused much flooding in recent years to the village of Ashdon in 2000 and 2001 saw heavy winds and rain flood it immensely. On 14 June 2007 the village fell victim to flash flooding when a month's rain fell in an hour causing heavy flooding. Historically, one tenth of Ashdon parish was woodland.[4]


Ashdon has been cited as a potential location [note 1] for a significant battle in 1016, known as the Battle of Assundun.[4][5][6] This was a key milestone in the creation of a united England, whereby the Danish King Canute (or Cnut) defeated the English King Edmund II. After the battle King Edmund II ceded England (except Wessex) to Canute.[5] During the summer and autumn of 2016 the Ashdon and Hadstock Millennium Group organised events to mark the event.[7] On 10 September 2016 Waltons Park hosted a re-enactment of the battle which was organised by Ashdon Parish Council, Hadstock village and Saffron Walden Museum, and involved 80 actors[8][9] In addition to the battle, former archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams came to Hadstock church to deliver a commemorative service.[10]

All of the Bartlow Hills were entirely in Ashdon Parish, Essex when the boundary between Cambridgeshire and Essex ran from Steventon End to the River Granta, then along the Granta westwards to Linton, as shown on Ordnance Survey maps including those dated 1805, 1838 and 1882. There is evidence to suggest former vineyards were in operation near to the church.[4]

As a rural settlement, farming has been a major aspect of village life. So after many years of reduced pay, the farmers formed unions and in 1914, partook in the first agricultural strike.[11][12] Not only were workers unhappy over pay conditions, which at 13 shillings a week among the lowest paid in the country (just ahead of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire),[13][14] but also the dismissal of workers who had joined the Helions Bumpstead National Agricultural & Rural Workers Union branch, which had formed one year previously.[14][15] The strikers used the grounds of The Fox (a former pub) to organise protests and host concerts.[4] In addition to the concerts villages organised processions of flags and banners, as well as torch glowings at night.[14] During the strike 70 police officers were drafted in and resulted in 8 workers being sentenced to a month imprisonment in Cambridge, for refusing to pay fines.[11][14][15] Initially the workers demanded 16 shillings and for reduced working hours with a half day on Saturday[13] but settled for 15 shillings and £8 for harvest work, bringing the dispute to a close a day before the outbreak of World War I.[14]

Ashdon Halt was a stop (from 1911-1964)[15] on the closed Saffron Walden Railway near Church End. The halt was only opened after a long campaign by the village.[16]

Present day

Ashdon Primary School, a non-denominational, built in the Victorian Age, for 4–11 year olds is located in the village and has approximately 90 students and had Iain Dale, a Conservative Blogger.[17] Following an initiative to boost student numbers in 2014,[18] the school was still under capacity 4 years later.[19]

In 2013, Ashdon Forest School became the first fully outdoor pre-school to be assessed by Ofsted; it achieved a 2, or "Good" rating.[20][21]

In 2014, Hideout Leather, an Ashdon clothing manufacturer, was approached to design jackets for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.[22]


An electoral ward in the same name exists. The district ward contains the "Parishes of Ashdon, Hadstock and Sewards End together with the Little Walden ward of Saffron Walden parish."[23] This ward had a population of 1,736 at the 2011 census.[24]


The village has two cricket teams that play at Waltons Park.[25] There is also a football, bowls.[2] It also will host a trail run this year. It has hosted numerous cycle events in recent years, including the 2010 Regional Championships.[26]

Places of interest

There is a windmill on the hill, Bragg's Mill, which has recently been renovated; it is one of the few remaining post mills in Essex. Historically the mill had a brewery and to celebrate the legacy of the mill an Ashdon Amber ale was brewed by Roughacre Brewery in neighbouring Castle Camps.[27] The restored windmill was opened on 23 September 2006 by Patricia Herrmann OBE, Vice Chairman of the Essex Environment Trust.[28] There is also a village museum with information on local history. The village hall is Midsummer Hill.[2]

There are three religious centres in the village. These are two churches, All Saints Church and Ashdon Baptist Church and the Buddhist retreat at Marpa House.[2] Ashdon Baptist Church has been in the village since 1809.[29] The parish church of All Saints dates from the 13th century, with later alterations.[30] Marpa House Buddhist retreat was established in 1973 and is run by the Dharma Trust and practices the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.[31] Businesses include a haunted pub (Rose and Crown which was frequented by Cromwell),[32] as well as many farms.


1 There is dispute over whether battle occurred in North West Essex, in the area around Ashdon, or in South East Essex, in the area around Ashingdon (near Rochford).

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Uttlesford Information regarding Ashdon". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 23 January 2007.
  3. "Civil Parish population 2001". Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Ashdon Village Walk". Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Battle Of Assandun: One Of The Great Battles In English History". Ancient Pages (in English). 11 April 2016. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  6. "A thousand years later, villagers will come together to remember battle which led to Danish conquest of England". Gazette (in English). Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  8. O’Gorman, Violet. "Hundreds turn out to enjoy Battle of Assandun re-enactment". Saffron Walden Reporter (in English). Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  9. "Ashdon fights for 1000 year celebration". Haverhill Echo (in English). 16 September 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  10. Berry, Franki. "Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, came to Hadstock to commemorate the 1000 year anniversary of the Battle of Assandun". Saffron Walden Reporter (in English). Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Ashdon Parish Council | A Brief History of Ashdon Parish". Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  12. "Rural Radicalism Conference". History Workshop (in English). 17 May 2016. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Country Standard: Essex Agricultural Labourers". Country Standard. 25 April 2007. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Aylmer, P (2013). Walking in Essex: 25 day walks and a cross-country route. Milnthorpe, Cumbria: Cicerone. p. 112. ISBN 978-1-85284-697-8.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 "Ashdon Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Proposals, Approved January 2013" (PDF). Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  16. "Ashdon Halt". Pocket Book (in English). 10 April 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  17. "Ashdon Primary School". Archived from the original on 10 October 2007. Retrieved 23 January 2007.
  18. Cooke, Phoebe. "Village schools open for business, says group of 12 Uttlesford headteachers in open letter". Saffron Walden Reporter (in English). Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  19. Rolfe, H. (2018, Winter). Howard Rolfe District Councillor. The Ashdon Village Magazine, (121), 33.
  20. Barkham, Patrick (9 December 2014). "Forest schools: fires, trees and mud pies". The Guardian (in English). ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  21. Ward, Lucy (13 May 2014). "How can teachers introduce forest school principles to their curriculum?". The Guardian (in English). ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  22. "Ashdon company tailors for Hollywood stars with Mission: Impossible leathers". Haverhill Echo (in English). 8 August 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  23. "Uttlesford District Council - Uttlesford District Wards and Representation". Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  24. "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  25. "Ashdon - No Ordinary Village". Retrieved 23 January 2007.
  26. Muir, Fergus. "Lyons roars to amazing fourth title". East Anglian Daily Times (in English). Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  27. Arnold, E.; Curtis, N.; Hardy, A.; How, D.; & Wilson, B. (2018, Winter). Ashdon Windmill Trust. The Ashdon Village Magazine, (121), 32
  28. "Restoration Update". Ashdon Windmill Trust Limited website. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 23 January 2007.
  29. "Ashdon Baptist Church". Archived from the original on 25 July 2009. Retrieved 23 January 2007.
  30. "All Saints". The Swan Family and Ashdon in Essex. Archived from the original on 30 September 2006. Retrieved 23 January 2007.
  31. "Welcome". Archived from the original on 5 February 2007. Retrieved 23 January 2007.
  32. "Ashdon Parish Council | Landmarks". Retrieved 5 January 2019.

External links

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