History of Ashingdon

Ghosts and Paranormal at Ashingdon

Moaning of Dying Soldiers Location: Ashingdon – Hill on which Saint Andrews Church stands Type: Unknown Ghost Type Date / Time: Unknown Further Comments: No further information. Great Cry Location: Ashingdon – Lane winding past church Type: Unknown Ghost Type Date / Time: Unknown Further Comments: The story goes that two men walking past the church had a heated argument which resulted in the murder of one of them. The killer, in turn, killed himself in an asylum; the haunting scream in the area is said to be his, rather than his victims. Bloodstained Hill on which No Grass Grows Location: Ashingdon – Saint Andrews Church, Hill on which it stands Type: Legend Date / Time: Unknown Further Comments: It is said that an incredibly vicious battle was fought on this site, the blood running so thick that no grass could ever grow here again. The hill is currently grassy…

The two main characters associated with Ashingdon are Canute and Edmund ‘Ironside’. When Swein died at Gainsborough in 1014 the Danish army chose Canute to be their king. When, on 23rd April 1015, Ethelred the Unready “did his country the only service that was in his power by dying” the council proclaimed his son Edmund king. Meanwhile the chiefs and Churchmen of Wessex got together and elected Canute to be their king. While Canute was preparing to lay seige to London Edmund slipped out of the city to raise an army. Twice (at Penselwood and Sherston) Edmund beat off the Danes. With these victories behind him, Edmund’s army grew larger. With his new army, Edmund attacked the Danish army camped to the north of London, forcing them to take to their ships and flee. Crossing the Thames Edmund’s army defeated the rest of Canute’s forces. After having to leave London to replenish his army, Edmund caught up with Canute at Otford on Kent. The danes resistance was short-lived and again they fled – this time to Sheppey. Again Edmund went away to raise an army. This time it included the Mercians commanded by Eadric who had been supporters of Canute by now claimed alliegence to Edmund. When the two sides met again at Ashingdon Edmund had the bigger army and his troop’s moral was high after the earlier victories. Unfortunately for Edmund, Eadric changed sides again at a cruicial moment in the battle. The result of this treachery was that Canute won the day and killed all the english leaders, although Edmund escaped. This defeat marked the final conquest of Britain by the Danes. The two leaders met at Deerhurst and made peace, with Edmund being granted control over Wessex. Within weeks Edmund was dead and Canute’s 25 year rule began Five years later Canute returned to Ashington, accompanied by Archbiship Wulfstan, to consecrate a church “for the souls of the men who had been slain” The church still stands and is worth a visit.