- Ashill, Norfolk
infobox UK place
country = England
region=East of England
The civil parish has an area of 12.26 square
kilometresand in the 2001 census had a population of 1,426 in 634 households. For the purposes of local government, the parish falls within the district of Breckland.Office for National Statistics & Norfolk County Council (2001) " [http://www.norfolk.gov.uk/consumption/groups/public/documents/general_resources/ncc017867.xls Census population and household counts for unparished urban areas and all parishes] "]
Ashill was originally called Asleigh, [ [http://www.ashill.org/review/ashill_review.htm Ashill review ] ] which meant a clearing in the Ash wood. The parish church of St Nicholas dates from the 14th century and stands close to the group of houses that form the oldest part of the village. The village centres around the green and a duck pond. Drovers travelling to
Swaffhammarket would stay overnight on the green, using a shed as accommodation, whilst their cattle grazed on the green and drank from the pond.
The original school was built using funds from Rev. Bartholomew Edwards and opened in 1848. Bartholomew was the longest-serving incumbent of a single parish, totalling 76 years in Ashill, from 1813 to 1889. [ [http://www.smr.herefordshire.gov.uk/hsmr/db.php?smr_no=31428 Historic Herefordshire On-Line: Sites and Monuments Record database ] ] The
National Society for Promoting Religious Educationbuilt an adjoining classroom and school house in 1876 and the school name was changed to Ashill National School. The school house was taken over by Norfolk Education committee in 1957, however, this was subsequently sold on again in 1979. [ [http://www.ashill.ik.org/ Ashill V.C.P. School Website ] ] It is now the headquarters for the local St John Ambulance division.The present school building, housing Ashill Voluntary Controlled Primary School, was opened by the Bishop of Lynn, The Right Reverend David Bentley, in 1989 and caters for 119 pupils. [ [http://www.dfes.gov.uk/cgi-bin/performancetables/school_06.pl?Mode=Z&No=9263003&Type=LA&Num=926&Phase=p&Year=06&Base= Ashill Voluntary Controlled Primary School ] ]
The village benefits from a number of shops including a post office/shop overlooking the green. There is a garage and two farm shops. Until recent years the village contained an electrical goods retailer and fancy dress hire as well as a cafe. However these have closed down.
The Community Centre complex was completed in the 1970s and provides Ashill with a main event hall, with a large grassed playing field for sporting activities.The Village Aid's Call-in centre was converted from the village coal store next to the pond and operates as a drop-in centre for the local community.Ashill has facilities that cater for a wide age-range from a Toddlers club, through the Old Hall Leisure Centre, up to The Lodge Care Home for the elderly, whilst the "White Hart" public house offers live music, quiz nights and traditional home-cooked food.
The village has its own free monthly newsletter, Ashlink, [http://ashlinkonline.co.uk/] which contains local notices and announcements, detail on local events, clubs and societies and submissions from local residents. The publication is produced by Ashill residents, and offers a detailed insight into the village and offers warm welcomes to new residents in the village. It also features a crossword with a £100 prize.
The parish church of St Nicholas originates from the 14th century but also features many aspects from more recent times. The north windows hold some 15th-century mediaeval glass, the chancel features 19th-century glass by
Lavers%2C Barraud and Westlake, whilst the roof is of 17th-century origin. [ [http://www.ashill.org/church/stnicholas.htm St Nicholas page ] ]
There is also a charismatic congregation, which split from the parish church in the 1990s. The Fountain of Life church is unusually still on good terms with the local parish church and is still a member of the Church of England. During the divide the church received a great deal of publicity on a national scale due to the rarity of a charismatic revival in a rural Anglican congregation. It was a mechanics garage before it became the home of Fountain of Life. [ [http://fountainoflifeonline.org/history.php Fountain of life church - Our History ] ]
Ashill Methodist Church is a 92-year-old brickwork building situated in Hale Road. The church runs a fortnightly Women's Fellowship and hold an annual Village Carol Service. [ [http://www.methodist.org.uk/index.cfm?fuseaction=information.content&cmid=358 The Methodist Church of Great Britain | Future of the Rural Church ] ]
Local Radio Station
Wayland Community Radio 105FM is based in Ashill and has been broadcasting on monthly or short term liscences for a number of years. The next broadcast is scheduled for the run into Christmas starting on November 27 for 28 days ending on December 24th. 2008. Mean while the station is appling for a full time license in the latest round of application invitations from Ofcom. The results should been known in the new year, 2009.
A notable person to have hailed from Ashill is the former Newcastle United, West Bromwich Albion, Charlton Athletic and once Premiership player Andy Hunt. He was most notable for his spell with Charlton in the Premiership.
* [http://www.origins.org.uk/genuki/NFK/places/a/ashill/ Information from Genuki Norfolk] on Ashill.
* [http://www.users.paston.co.uk/wright//ashill.htm Ashill village pages] .
* [http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/NORFOLK/1999-01/0917596319/ 1883 Kelly's Directory entry for Ashill, 1883, p.229]
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