Ashby, being one of the 5 villages that came together in 1936 to form the Borough of Scunthorpe, plays quite an important role in the town’s development, this page will be developed to look at Ashby throughout the years.

In the middle of the nineteenth century the parishes of Bottesford and Frodingham, which contained the townships of Ashby, Brumby, Crosby and Scunthorpe differed little from many of their rural neighbours. At the 1851 census Ashby was the largest of the settlements in the group, with Scunthorpe next, then Crosby and Brumby, while Frodingham was the smallest.  All the villages had grown since the beginning of the century, some faster than others.

The photo below shows Ashby post mill which stood on land close to Ashby Turn, it was demolished towards the end of the 19th century. An enclosure map of 1801/2 shows a mill in this location so it’s reasonable to believe it to be his mill. Ashby High Street was, at this time, called Mill Lane and then later Mill Road.

It is of interest to note the last miller to operate the mill was Mr R A Ashbee.


Ashby Post Mill

One of the millstones was taken around the time of its demolition and used to cover up an old well in Ashby High Street, where dwellings were to be built (approximately opposite where St. Paul’s Road is today), the corner of a house was built over the well.

In 1963 the houses that had been built over the millstone were demolished, Mr Harry Kinsley remembered as a boy he went from the mill site to the housing site accompanying a cart which carried the stone. It was because of his information that the stone was carefully sought and recovered after more than 60 years. When the stone came to light again it was noted the well had been filled in prior to capping with the millstone.

As excavation took place separation of the stone occurred (seen on the photo below), the portion on the left was discarded and the piece on the right was taken to Scunthorpe Museum where it is on display today.


Ashby millstone which was uncovered in 1963, the piece on the right is on display in Scunthorpe Museum.


The old well which was capped with the millstone. Flats now occupy this site.

The two photos below are believed to have been taken in 1904, Collum Lane is still named as such today. Note the spelling on the photo (Column Lane), there are a number of early postcards which spell the name in this way – maps of 1907 show it spelled as Collum Lane, earlier maps seem to omit any names. The man stood in the photo is at the junction with Back Lane (now called School Lane)


Hoar Frost on Collum Lane c1904  – the gate at the bottom of Collum Lane led across a field to a further gate through which one could proceed to Brumby. Going off to the right of the photo is Back Lane (now called School Lane) – see below.


A Hoar Frost on Back Lane (now called School Lane)


Ashby High Street c1905 looking in an easterly direction.

On the above photo is Mr Robert Drayton driving a wedding party along the High Street c1905 heading in a westerly direction, the approximate site would be just east of where Collum Avenue begins today. All the buildings seen here had been demolished by the early 1960s. An oil lamp can be seen on the corner of the brick building to the left, the second lady on the left of the photo is standing at the entrance to the ‘Smooting’. A smooting is old Lincolnshire dialect for ‘a narrow passage between houses’.

In deeds dated 1809 (before the houses were built) this passage was referred to as an ancient footway leading to Brumby. The land on which the house and shop, together with the white house adjoining, stood, had been sold in 1809. It was alluded to as a piece of land were a public  house was formerly standing. In 1815 a cottage is noted on the site, and by 1824 there are two houses thereon. Mr T.F. Cranidge, and earlier his father, had a newsagent’s shop on this site for many years; later Mr and Mrs Buckle continued the business. The white building, partly obscured by the wedding carriage, was a blacksmith’s shop.


Ashby High Street c1903/04 – site of the War Memorial today.

Mr James Kendall is seen stood in uniform at his front gate to his house in the photo above – he was the village Postmaster at this time. The building at right angles to the house was the post office: a woman is seen about to enter the postal premises.

James Kendall, who was a tailor as well as a postmaster, was the father of Clement Kendall, who became the first librarian of Ashby Library.

The lamp seen to the right, where a group of men are standing, was at the gate to the ‘Tin Tabernacle’ church which had opened in 1899, it served as a church until 1925 when the present St. Paul’s Church was opened – the ‘Tin Tabernacle’ was then used as a hall. The man to the right, leaning on the gate, is J.C. Neilson, who died in 1966 aged 89 years.

The daughter of James Kendall – Miss Minnie Kendall, served in the post office and later became the wife of Mr George Drayton who lived in a house opposite the post office. Oliver Kendall, a son of Clement and grandson of James, became a professor at Bristol University.

Ashby High Street

The lower end of Ashby High Street

AshbyLibrary 001

Although the date stone atop of this building reads 1905 (this is when the Library was constructed) the opening of Ashby Free Library took place on 16th April 1906 and this photo is from that day. At the door stood next to the lady in the wide-brimmed hat is the first librarian Mr Clement Kendall who remained in the post until his death in 1931.  In his obituary he was described as ‘certainly the best known man in Ashby’. Among his many achievements he was a founder member and secretary of the Ashby Institute, and the first man in Ashby to own a pneumatically tyred bicycle, described as a ‘fearful and wonderful sight’.


Taken c1920 this photo shows Ashby Free Library constructed in 1905 and officially opened on 16th April 1906, it was built with the help of a Carnegie donation – Andrew Carnegie was born in Dunfermline and became an American manufacturer and philanthropist. In 1828 the two white houses on the left of the library formed one single house, which by 1850 had become converted into two dwellings. In early deeds this stretch of Ashby High Street was called Town Street. The narrow fronted cottage to the right of the library is still extant and was once the home of local Councillors John and Teresa Towndrow. The farm buildings seen beyond this cottage have disappeared, the farm house had for many year been the home of Misses Dook.

.Ashby market

Ashby Market was enclosed with metal fencing after complaints of ‘unsociable behaviour ‘ taking place by youths in the evenings, this photo was taken before the arrival of the fence.

Ashby library build

In this photo of Ashby High Street, looking east, the pub sign for the old Brown Cow can be seen hanging above the door, the white building to the left was a joiners and wheelwright’s shop, George Marshall was the last to occupy these premises, after which Stockshill Road now starts. Further down (on close inspection) scaffold can be seen during the construction of Ashby Library.

Ashby Wesleyan Church 1

A similar view to the one above but this time taken from slightly further west, the white building seen on the left of the photo above can be seen in the centre of this photo. To the right of this image the tall building is that of the first Wesleyan Chapel which dates back to 1836, opposite is the second Ashby Wesleyan Chapel built in 1870 and enlarged in 1882, it was replace by the present Chapel slightly further along in 1907 – shortly after it was taken over by the Ashby Institute.


The second Wesleyan Chapel opened in 1870 ( the first being on the opposite side of the road) with the school house, opened in 1893, is also seen. To the right of the lady & gentleman the new Wesleyan Chapel is under construction, it opened in 1907, the following year the Ashby Institute was formed and took over the 1870 Chapel and remained there until 1961.


The second Wesleyan Chapel which was built in 1870 and extended in 1882. A school house was opened next to it in 1893 and next to it, in 1907, the third and current Wesleyan Chapel. The Ashby Institute was formed  in 1908 and took over this building shown above and remained here until 1961 when they moved in to new premises.


Foundation stone laying ceremony of the third (and current) Wesleyan Chapel on 25th July 1906, it’s reported the cost of the Chapel was £3,140


Foundation diggers seen here in 1906 preparing the site of the third  Wesleyan Chapel


The third Ashby Wesleyan Chapel taken in 1980, the Chapel opened 10th July 1907. The stained-glass windows were installed after the First World War to commemorate the twenty-two members of the congregation who lost their lives in the conflict. The building, seen at right angles to the rest of the main building and extending across the carpark, indicates the approximate location of the westerly part of an earlier chapel of St. Giles, the rest of this old building would have extended out over land which Stockshill Road now runs.


A view of the third Wesleyan Chapel taken in 1980 and shows the school house of 1893 next door – it was extended in 1928.

The Ashby Institute, which originated in 1908, was one of the oldest and most valued organisations in Ashby. People of various ages spent much of their leisure time there and have benefited from the learning and fellowship which developed from this organisation. The High Street building was used as an adult school, and for debates and discussions; other lines soon followed, including social, recreational and athletic events, and eventually lectures and debates gave way to billiards, snooker, darts, dominoes and table tennis. Football was always popular with its members, and the club was very ably served over the years by Eric Hunsley and from its very early days it had hardly been without a team. A number of grounds had been used over the years by the football team, including one at the erstwhile end of Oxford Street, which in farming days had been known as Fiddler’s Field. A permanent ground was established in 1950 just off School Road in Ashby and eleven years later, in 1961, a new Ashby Institute building was constructed there, it was considerably larger in capacity than the original premises, moreover, it had the additional advantage of having been purpose built rather than a converted building.

The football feild/sports ground became known as The Screeds. The name “screed ” is used to mean a strip of land, on the Enclosure map of 1802/03 there were some narrow strips of land in this area. Close by there was a row of terrace of houses called Kirton Terrace, nicknamed The Screeds, close to were Cherry Tree House stands today along Collum Avenue – the terrace was demolished in the 1960’s, it’s reasonable to believe that this is how the ground got it’s name.

The Institute for many years held  an annual children’s gala where members families would be entertained with activities and races on the sports field followed by entertainment in the clubhouse in an evening.

After the Institute had moved to their new premises on School Road the old building on Ashby High Street was put to other uses before its demise.

Ashby Institute 1972

The former Ashby Institute building under demolition on 26th July 1972. It was built as a Wesleyan Chapel in 1870, enlarged in 1882 and taken over by the Institute in 1908.

Ashby Institute 1

The former Ashby Institute building under demolition on 26th July 1972. The sign of Joan Angela’s Ladies Hair Salon can be seen to the left.


The purposes build clubhouse which opened in 1961


A view of the new Ashby Institute clubhouse and football field which was called The Screeds.

Ashby Institute 2

The purpose built Institute premises opened in 1961 –  a housing estate now occupies this site and adjoining sports field


A program from a children’s gala


Ashby War Memorial c1925 seen in its original location at Ashby Turn – it was unveiled by Sir Berkeley Sheffield on 31st May 1925.


Ashby War Memorial is pictured here in its original location at Ashby Turn in the 1920’s. Seen on the photo are, from left to right – Mr Harry Kitchinson (monumental mason), Mr Albert Traviss, Mr Storey Jackson, Mr James Nash (who was responsible for the brickwork, help by his son Harry) and Mr Robinson. The memorial was moved to its present site in the Autumn of 1963, it was given a new plinth, the lettering re-gilded and was rededicated on Remembrance Sunday of that year.


Ashby War Memorial in 1980


Ashby War Memorial in 1980


Quite unceremoniously, after the War Memorial was removed from its original location a public toilet block was built on the site. The toilets suffered a checkered history before being demolished c1990.


The building had become three cottages; a third cottage existed to the left of this view. The older lady to the left is Mrs Close alongside Mrs Clark who was the wife of Percy Clark, a well known Ashby character. The photo dates from 1926/27.

It’s believed the building in the above photo had previously been a chantry chapel, connected with Bottesford Church. Ecclesiastically, Ashby was in the parish of Bottesford (Bottesford Vicarage stood at Ashby Turn) but the church was a mile or more from the locality where the great majority of parishioners lived. This building stood on the north side of Ashby High Street and to the east of the present Wesley Chapel which opened in 1907.

The buildings were demolished in 1934 and a doorstep was taken from the cottage and used as a coping stone in a wall – as can be seen in the photo below the doorstep is well worn, something one would expect if it had been at the entrance to a chapel.

An old deed refers to a field near three-cottage-building as “Chapel Close”, at which time there was no Methodist chapel on that side of the road; this road is referred to as “Town Street” and not as High Street. This gives further evidence – and there have been no other indications – that the three cottages were formerly a chantry chapel.


Broadway in the early 1960s

Ville road 001

A dust cart and its crew features here on Ville Road, Ashby. In the drivers seat is Percy Hudson Gilbert who worked for the refuse department. It is thought the photograph dates from the 1920’s. Note the solid wheels on the dust cart.

In the late 1960’s when work got underway to build the new Anchor Steelworks the size of the project saw a huge influx of workers from all over the country descend to Scunthorpe. The Anchor Village was constructed to the east of Ashby to cater for the workers. Below are some photo’s of the Anchor Village.

Anchor Village 1970 u1

Anchor Village was built in the late 1960’s to house construction works who came to the town to build the Anchor Steelworks. Here in the foreground we see landscaping ready for the laying of the village. Top right is the area of the steelworks where the Anchor project is to be built.

Anchor Village u1

The Anchor Village taken around 1971. It was built to accommodate the thousands of workers who came to the town to build the new steelworks Anchor project.

Anchor Village 1972 u1

Anchor Village in the early 1970’s with the Anchor Steelworks under construction to the top right.

Anchor Village 1985 u1

Anchor Village in the mid 1980s. After the steelworks Anchor project was complete in the mid 1970s the village became unused and slowly became dilapidated, the nearby lake often flooded the lower accommodation units. Top the upper left is the former Speedway track.


A view of Anchor Village c1971 with the Basic Oxygen Steelmaking Plant (BOS Plant) under construction in the background.


A view of Anchor Village from Mortal Ash Hill in 1984


A mid 1980’s view of Anchor Village, the village had long been abandoned with some of the units demolished, the units to the left became flooded every winter.

When the circus came to town one of the highlights for local children, as well as to whip up enthusiasm for shows, was the circus parade through the streets. These included all the performers from the circus including the clowns, jugglers, acrobats and some of the animals – the three photo’s below show elephants among the parade along Ashby High Street.

Local resident Ray Woodcock recalls, “we followed them down Ashby High Street, along Everest Road and Shipton Road to the field at the end of the council houses where they were setting up the circus. We got in free every afternoon for mucking out and watering the animals . They set up a Lister pump in the stream between Ashby and Bottesford and pumped water into tanks which we bucketed to the animals.”


Elephants passing The Crown Hotel on Ashby High Street in 1955


Parade of Elephants heading along Ashby High Street in 1955


Children on cycles follow elephants along Ashby High Street in 1955

Broadway 1960s

Ashby Broadway in the 1960’s

Roxy Lawn

This early 1950’s picture was taken from the lawn of the Roxy Cinema in Ashby, the cinema was originally called The Globe Cinema and later became a Bingo Hall, it’s now The Malt Shovel pub and snooker club. On the left of the view is seen the end of a row of houses known as West Terrace, and earlier as Hird Terrace. The house in the middle of the photo – and seen across the long gardens of west Terrace – are houses situated on Alexandra Road, The old buildings on the right, which were once owned by Mr & Mrs Bibby, were replace with a furniture store, this later became Ashby Emporium.

Ashby Broadway c1980 sh

Ashby Broadway c1980 with the Cooperative Supermarket

The Crown

When the Crown Hotel was built it replaced a previous hostelry, called The Crown Inn, which was partially on the same site – a photo further down shows the two pubs side by side. The new Crown was built for the Fox’s Brewery of Crowle and had three entrances at the front, one to the public bar, another to the snug and the third to the upstairs which along with guest rooms and living accommodation boasted a large ballroom.  The local Royal  Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes would hold their annual Christmas dances in the ballroom, it was also used by Wyn Benson for her school of dance. Jim and Jean Clements are notable names that ran the Crown Hotel from the mid 1960’s through the 1970’s.


Looking easterly – The Crown Hotel was opened in 1909 by Fox’s Brewery of Crowle

Crown inn

Looking easterly – The Crown Inn on the right

Crown inn3

Looking westerly – The Crown Inn seen along the road with its sign hung outside c1904

The photograph above is looking westwards, none of the building in it now exist. The building on the right is the Kendall Memorial Chapel (Primitive), it bore the date 1884 and was demolished in 1962. The Crown Inn can be seen with its sign hung outside, further along on the right is another house and shop known as Bibby’s, beyond which is another house where Mr Jimmy Steeper lived. On the left of the picture is a building which once belonged to Mr Broadbent and later became a single-fronted shop occupied by Bennett’s cycle business.   On the doorstep of the first shop to the left is Mr Archie Brown, and next to him Mr Bilton, who was a baker, beyond him is Blanche Underwood Wright standing on the step with her father next to her.


The Crown Hotel showing it’s three entrances and the brick and stone finials atop of the building which have long gone.


Looking westerly – The only known photograph which shows The Crown Hotel and The Crown Inn together

Bottesford Lane, Ashby in the 1960’s

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s