Ashley (Population 610)
Ashley is a small, attractive village approximately 3 miles south-east of Newmarket.
The village has an older core of attractive flint buildings and facilities include a post office, church, village hall, public house, sports field, petrol station and a part-time doctor. The Village is within easy reach of good shopping facilities in Newmarket and Cambridge.
Ashley cum Silverley is commonly known simply as Ashley. The two parish manors of Ashley and Silverley were owned and have been assessed for tax together since at least 1066. Although Silverley has always been the larger of the two parishes, in 1299, it was successfully claimed that Silverley was a hamlet of Ashley and with it formed one township and one tithing. Taxes in the C14 were laid on ‘Ashley with Silverley’ and the ecclesiastical parishes were united c1550 when both parish churches were abandoned. In 1086 there were two large manorial farms, but between 1250 and 1350 there was an active land market and a rapid turnover in landowning families. The estates’ tenants, often substantial men, from the C16 to the C20, thus dominated farming. Between 1950 and 1986 the number of farms fell from eleven to four. Agriculture still employed 68 people in 1950, but barely a dozen in the 1970s and 1980s.