Chapel Ascote is a small deserted parish on the edge of Ladbroke and Bishops Itchington, and when I moved there in 1975 and worked on the farm, I was intrigued by the unusual land marks, old pathways, pottery shards and strange shaped stones I found. So much so I started to research the local history and found a 1653 document which said “anciently an eminent parish” and for many years past the estates being in “great men’s hands” and I wanted to know – who were these Great Men?
They turned out to be ancestors of our future King, Prince William, Catesby of gunpowder plot fame and a Captain who was beheaded in the Battle of Edgehill, to name but a few. Then as I researched more and continued to walk and work those acres, I wondered who rode the horses who’s horse shoes I so frequently found, who built and lived in the now deserted village and once sat beside the glowing hearths, but more to the point, whose skeleton was it we accidentally dug up while draining Chapel Field. This must have been where St Helen’s Chapel stood, hence the field name, so who had been buried there and why had the village, along with four others nearby, all been deserted by the 15th century?
I now have many of the answers and to find out more you can purchase the book for £7.00 from me on behalf of Ladbroke Matters and the Southam Heritage Collection. I am happy to deliver locally or post out for an extra £1.50.