New book gives a snippet of a village’s history

A NEW book has been launched charting the history of a village from the middle ages to the present day.

Historian David Short has penned the book, titled Snippets of Ashwell’s History, with Peter Greener, curator of Ashwell Museum, providing illustrations. The book was launched at the museum last week.

Mr Short has been living in Ashwell since 1975, and the book is a compilation of articles he submitted to the Ashwell News parish magazine.

He said: “I would realise the deadline was approaching each month and pick a subject which seemed topical to me, either because people in the village had been talking about it or for some other reason.

“This is the second volume and it looks at all aspects of Ashwell’s past.”


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Topics such as the oldest building in the village, windmills, and stories of notable village families are included, along with a tale of Anabaptists disrupting church services in the eighteenth century.

The book also looks at Ashwell’s relationship with the other towns in the area, and the important role it played in Hertfordshire.

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“In 1086 Ashwell was one of four boroughs in Hertfordshire,” said Mr Short.

“It was there before Royston or Baldock even existed, and remained an important town in the area until the rise in the use of coaches in the 17th century. This meant the town was bypassed and trade left the market.”

The book, priced �8, is available from various shops including Davids Bookshop in Letchworth and Ashwell Post Office. Email david@ashwell-education-services.co.uk for more information.

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