About the Parish
Ashmansworth Parish Council represents the community of two small villages, Ashmansworth with around 65 houses and neighbouring Crux Easton with around 25 houses, located approximately 7 miles (11km) south-south-west of Newbury.
The villages sit either side of the A343 Newbury to Andover Road and are less than a 10 minute drive from the A34 trunk road linking Oxford, Newbury and Winchester. They are two of the highest villages in Hampshire and the surrounding counties, lying around 235 metres (770 feet) above sea level, and what is probably the highest house in the county lies within the parish, at 252 metres above sea level.
Both villages lie within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and consequently the views from many parts of the parish are exceptional and very popular with those enjoying the outdoor life. There are a number of footpaths and bridleways in the area and the long distance track, the Wayfarers’ Walk, skirts the villages. Enhanced by their elevated position, these offer stunning views for villagers and visitors alike.
Areas of High Archaeological Potential (AHAP), Areas of Archaeological Importance (AAI) and Areas of Archaeological Potential (AAP) are terms used to identify parts of the country where it is known that buried archaeology is likely to survive.
There are three AHAPs, centred on the farms along the main thoroughfare of Ashmansworth, and between these sites is land designated as AAIs. The area around the large focus of houses at the northern end of Ashmansworth and the areas around St James’ Church and Lower Manor Farm are AHAPs, connected by Areas of Archaeological Potential (AAP) which straddle the road.
The Ashmansworth Conservation Area was designated in 1989 by Hampshire County Council in association with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, in recognition of the special architectural and historic interest of the village. The Appraisal document was adopted as supplementary planning guidance by Basingstoke and Deane in 2004 and complements the policies of the 2016 Local Plan. See the Conservation Area Appraisal document and area map attached below. Note that this area covers most of the village of Ashmansworth but not Crux Easton.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council adopted the Local List of Buildings of Architectural or Historic Interest on 27 March 2007. It stands alongside the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, which is managed by English Heritage and Central Government. See attachment below to view.
The core of Ashmansworth village is centred round the main thoroughfare where the Plough Inn (now closed), village hall, village green, war memorial, former chapel and old school house are located. This hub is where most of the village social scene is based and is also well trodden by passing ramblers enjoying the pleasant surroundings.
At Church Farm, large quantities of pottery were found, identified as Belgic, Roman, Norman and mediaeval and indicating continuous occupation from Iron Age to mediaeval times. Excavations also revealed Norman buildings with cobbled courtyard, and a 365ft deep well.
There are lots of key buildings in the village including 9 listed buildings, such as Mere Cottage, dating from the 16th century and Steeles Farmhouse, dating from the 17th century, and the parish church dating from the 12th century. There are also newer additions such as the Manor Farmhouse, and all combine to make Ashmansworth a characteristically rural community, with many obvious signs of its agricultural heritage reflected in its development.
The parish has an active community participating in many village events, such as ploughman’s lunches, flower shows and summer barbeques, which create a real sense of community.
Crux Easton is famous for its history of De Havilland, Sir Oswald Mosely and its unique Wind Engine. It has 5 listed buildings.