Ashbourne Treasures

Ashbourne Treasures

5th July to 25th September 2017

An exciting opportunity to see, hear and learn about the Town Treasures with exhibitions, talks and a heritage trail.


An exhibition of objects associated with the history and development of Ashbourne which have been brought together from the British Museum, National Archives, Derbyshire  Record Office and various private collections.

The exhibitions will include the original 1585 Charter – a beautiful document illustrated by the Queen’s portrait artist Nicholas Hilliard, a Bronze Age axe head, the St Oswald’s flagon, the battle helm worn by Sir Thomas Cokayne in 1537.  Examples of 18th and 19th century longcase clocks, an 1862 oil painting of Shrovetide football, a lace shawl made for the Great Exhibition and many more varied and intriguing items from Ashbourne’s past. Parts of St Oswald’s Church including the Penelope Boothby marble tomb will also form part of the exhibition.

Where is it?
The main exhibits will be in the Ashbourne Library in Compton,  St Oswald’s Church and the Heritage Centre in Church Street. 

Admission is free. 
Opening times:                
St Oswald’s Church, DE6 1AN : 10am – 5pm. Mon – Sat (Opening hours may vary due to Church events)
Heritage Centre, Church Street, DE6 1AE: 10am – 4pm, Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun
Ashbourne Library, Compton, DE6 1DA: 9am – 5pm Mon, Wed, Thurs.   Tues & Fri 9am – 7pm, and Sat 9am -1pm.


Ashbourne treasures have announced their summer events line up. See Forthcoming Events for all details. It will open with the welcome return of Ashbourne enthusiast and TV historian Dan Cruikshank who will be entertaining us, in his usual laid back style with an illustrated talk on what lay behind the Georgian age of building Ashbourne’s ‘high society period’ in its development.

As well as building history, there will be a chance to get a taste of history, with a unique event which combines the story of the food eaten in Georgian Ashbourne with a chance to sample it yourself! Dr Pete Collinge and Pete Dale, formerly of the Dining Room, have combined to offer an evening to remember with the story and samples of the food and drink being consumed in Ashbourne 200 years ago.

If all that food has piled on the pounds then you can go along to the Town Hall and enjoy a nostalgic night reflecting on some of the more physical exploits and  stories around the glorious game – the history of Shrovetide football with an exhibition of leathers and a talk by Revd Tim Baker.

In complete contrast to the mud and wellies of Shrovetide is a fashion show featuring Notty Hornblowers exquisite historic costume collection from the 1790s to the 1970s covering every period and style, from Regency to Ragtime and Edwardian to Elvis, as well as a special parade of school uniforms through the years – can you spot yours?   Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School students will be modelling and the period music playing – another great night in store.

As well as a further eight events over the summer, covering every period from the medieval, and how three towns became Ashbourne, to Ashbourne in the civil war, ‘tours of the town from your chair’ and the story of The Old Trust  – the unique  charity  still serving the town after nearly 500 years.

Clockmaking – Ashbournes onetime biggest industry, the exciting new developments at Buxton Museum will be revealed and all will be rounded off by TV historian and Tudor expert Susannah Lipscombe, who will be telling us all what Queen Elizabeth the first ever did for Ashbourne!

Ashbourne: Its History and Treasures

A booked dedicated to the towns history from Bronze Age to the digital age by Adrian Henstock is still available.  The book also includes images and details of the artefacts that were on display across the summer months in 2017.

Price £5.00 + PP (UK only)

Ashbourne Town Heritage Trail Guide Book

40 pages with over 50 photographs many dating back to the early days of Victorian  photography – See the town then and now complete with Town Map and Treasure Trail Route.

 Price £2.50   + P&P (UK only)  

Both the Ashbourne: Its History and Treasures and The Heritage Trail Book are available by post from the Visitor Information Centre, Ashbourne Town Hall, Market Place, Ashbourne, DE6 1ES, Tel: 01335 343666, email: or  in person from Ashbourne Library, Compton, Ashbourne; the Heritage Centre, Church Street Ashbourne, or  St Oswald’s Church, Ashbourne.

Would you like to get involved?   We need volunteers..
We are still recruiting stewards for the various exhibition locations and the events being held around the town.  For further details, download the following application form Volunteer Application Form.

Easter Treasure Trove
Following a very successful Easter Treasure Trove event where nearly 500 people visited our display at the Town Hall, plus over 150 people contributed to the painting of a four part panel depicting the history and heritage of the Town of Ashbourne.  Designed by acclaimed local artist Sue Prince, the timeline painting – incorporating many of those items which will be displayed in the Ashbourne Treasures exhibition.


Thanks to all those who took part and to Hall Family Fund from Foundation Derbyshire for the funding.