|Ashbourne - three early twentieth century
| Ashbourne, The Mansion
Dr. Taylor's House, Ashbourne 
The Mansion, near the end of Church Street, is an early eighteenth
century building. Probably the best known guest was Dr. Johnson
who used to visit his lifelong friend, Dr. Taylor, in the reign
of George III. Samuel Johnson apparently used a small room that
became a bathroom, so this would have been on the back staircase.
Here is the view from the garden, including the wonderful octagonal
room designed by Robert Adam which is entered from the garden by
a flight of steps. The spire of St. Oswald's can be seen behind
The gardens extend down to the Henmore Brook; when the Henmore
broke its banks in the floods of the late 1950's and early 1960's
the water went quite a way up the garden. For part of its history
The Mansion was home to Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School's girl
boarders and the webmistress lived here for six years during term
Group from Matlock, photographed in The Mansion garden in
the 1920's, is elsewhere on this website.
| Ashbourne, The Old Grammar
On the opposite side of the road from The Mansion is the Old Grammar School founded
in 1585 and named after the then monarch, Queen Elizabeth I. It was a great
honour when, four hundred years later, Queen Elizabeth II visited the school.
Pupils, amongst whom, briefly, were two of the grandsons of Sir
were taught in the old school building for over three centuries
until the new school was built on the Green Road. There was a playground
behind the building and the gardens extended up the hillside. The
road on the Old School side is below the pavement and there are
two sets of stone steps to assist those wishing to cross.
The Grammar School, Ashbourne 
There were boy boarders at the school for around two hundred years
but in recent times the Old School building has been sold for conversion
When the contents of Osmaston Manor were sold, the then headmaster
Donald Kimmins bought some very fine Grinling Gibbons linenfold
panelling; it was installed in the main entrance way (through the
second doorway from the left) by a master and some of the pupils.
To the right of the main door are four large windows. This was
the panelled dining room where the Queen was entertained to lunch
in 1985 and was the original schoolroom.
One of the stories told on dark winter's nights by girl and boy
boarders alike was that the ghost of Lady Cockayne, wife of one
of the school's founders, walked the length of the junior boys'
dormitory on the first floor.
| Ashbourne, Church Street
The architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner described
Church Street as "one of the finest streets in Derbyshire".
The engraving below shows Owlfield Almshouses (1640) which have their
doorways opening directly onto the street. Sideways to the street
are Pegg's Almshouses (1699). The brick wall with the blank arches
was The Mansion's stables. Then comes The Mansion and St. Oswald's
Church, which has a lovely set of wrought iron gates dating from
about 1700, is further along.
Church Street, Ashbourne 
The churchyard, filled with daffodils in the Spring, has many tombstones
and inside the church are some very fine monuments, especially
those to the Cockayne and Boothby families that are in, and just
outside, the Boothby chapel in the North Transept. Of especial
interest to many is Joseph Bank's white marble carving of Penelope
Boothby dating from 1791 (see on
More onsite info about Ashbourne:
Parishes, 1811 (A) See Ashbourne
Gentleman's Magazine Library
photograph of the Old School
Illustrations by Nelly Erichsen, in the collection of, provided
by, researched by and written by and © Ann
Intended for personal use. only.
 Firth, J.B. (1908) "Highways
and Byways in Derbyshire" MacMillan & Co., London.
Illustrations provided are from this book
 Fitton, RS (1989) The Arkwrights,
Spinners of Fortune Manchester University Press ISBN 0-7190/2646-6,
 Pevsner, Nikolaus (1953), "The
Buildings of England, Derbyshire", Penguin Books