St Barbara's Church; photo by Roger Umpelby
In May 2005, in connection with our village stewardship campaign, we celebrated the 900 years or so of St Barbara's Church with an exhibition of its history. The first question so often asked by visitors: "How old is the church?" was answered by illustrating the various phases of development from the first Norman building of c1100 to the more recent extensive restorations of 1867 and 1913. A number of puzzling features were resolved by the discovery of an old plan in Lambeth Palace Library and by careful examination of the Churchwardens' Account books, for example.
There was frequent mention of the ancient links between the churches and villages of Ashton and Beckford, including details of the life of perhaps the most important former resident, Sir John Cheyne. He occupied Beckford Priory (now The Hall) from c1379-1414 and his coat of arms forms the only fragment of mediaeval glass in St Barbara's.
The History of St Barbara's has been put together in a fascinating 28-page booklet which is illustrated with a number of pen and ink drawings, an updated historical plan and a list of the vicars since 1177.
It is available from the church or from the author (see below) at £2.00 (£2.50 by post). All proceeds go to St Barbara's Church.
The Old Farmhouse
Ashton under Hill
Worcs. WR11 7SW
See also our Village History page on this website