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Village History


From the Past to the Present ....

I had to go through a village called Ashton Keines with which place I was very much smitten. It is now a straggling village but to a certainty it has been a large Market Town. There is a Market Cross still standing in an open space in it and there are such numerous lanes, crossing each other and cutting the land into such little bits that it must at one time have been a large Town( extract from William Cobbett’s "Rural Rides" 11th September 1826 )

Here is a sample of local history, culled from a number of sources.

Ashton Keynes has been a community down the ages and has seen Ancient British tribes, the Roman invaders and the whole pageant of English history.

The village was known as AESCTUN in 800 AD and appeared in the Domesday book as ESSITONE in 1086 and changed its name 10 times in the next 800 years until its present name was recorded.

From Mediaeval times when this whole area was a Royal Forest, through the Civil War when Cirencester was held by Parliamentarians, through to modern times ordinary people have lived out their lives in Gosditch Street.

In 1851 in the 35 homes in Gosditch Street were living a tailor, saddler, tallow chandler, stonemason, many glove makers and a cobbler. The School was built in this street in 1870 and a Primitive Methodist chapel was opened in 1840, but became a baker's shop later.

The Horse and Jockey was a "scrumpy house", selling cider made from the apples from the orchards in the village. The Inn was the social centre of the community where dominoes were laid and gossip exchanged, and the hard times debated.