The fundamental characteristics of Ashbourne Conservation Area are its wealth of historic buildings and the quality of its architectural detail.
The character of the town is predominantly Georgian but with remnants of its Mediaeval past, evident in buildings around the Market as well as in the burgage plots to many of the buildings along Church Street and St. John Street.
There are examples of Victorian properties of note on the periphery of the town. Intrinsic historic details remain which demonstrate the nostalgia of earlier ages, notably Victorian shop fronts, decorative iron work, such as railings, boot scrapers and lanterns and the history and social status of the town can still be observed.
Set in the base of the valley following the Henmore Brook, there are panoramic views from higher vantage points, short range views across the town and coupled with these, glimpses into the 'secret' and often unnoticed passages and gennels, many leading to rear yards and which have developed over the centuries as the town expanded.
Ashbourne Conservation Area is predominantly an urban area, the boundary of which encompasses the town centre extending from the meadows beyond St. Oswald's Church in the west to Hall Lane and Park Road in the east.
The northern boundary is formed along Belle Vue Road, Union Street and part of Buxton Road and to the south the Conservation Area boundary predominantly follows the Henmore Brook and the rear of the gardens to buildings which face onto St. John Street.
The original designation of Ashbourne Conservation Area was in November 1968. It was further extended in March 1972 and January 1979. The boundary was further amended in May 2008 and subsequently approved following a review in the Conservation Area Appraisal. It currently comprises 22.10 hectares.
Within Ashbourne Conservation Area there are 710 buildings, of which 146 are listed entries (around 185 structures) and of these, 11 are Grade I or Grade II*. The listed buildings in Ashbourne range from high status town houses, to smaller vernacular buildings, - from milestones to telephone boxes and even areas of paving. All are recognised for the contribution they make both individually and visually within the street-scene.
Ashbourne Conservation Area contains no Scheduled Monuments.
Conservation Area Character Appraisal
In May 2008 a comprehensive Conservation Area Character Appraisal was approved, which assessed the special qualities of the character and appearance of Ashbourne Conservation Area, both in terms of its buildings and the relationship of its spaces alongside those buildings. It assessed the archaeology; origins and development of the area; the architectural and historic quality; the setting and landscape of the area; an analysis of the character and considered the negative and neutral factors which impact on the Conservation Area. It also included a surface audit, of existing modern and historic surfacing throughout the area. Coupled with this, the document made reference to planning policies and strategies that work to enhance and preserve the special character and appearance of the area. As part of the Appraisal, alterations to the boundary were proposed and subsequently approved.
Buildings at Risk
Three of the listed buildings within the Ashbourne Conservation Area are recognised by the District Council as being 'at risk' – The Mansion House on Church Street (Grade I), The Former Malthouse to the rear of 23 Church Street (Grade II) and the Summer House on Belle Vue Road (Grade II).
Article 4 Direction
There are no additional planning controls, such as an Article 4 Direction, on properties in Ashbourne Conservation Area.
Ashbourne Conservation Area Map (PDF 1006KB)