Welcome to the website for Ashwick Parish
This website contains a wide variety of information on the Parish. Some is to do with formal matters, such as the activities of the Parish Council, and some is more informal, embracing topics such as amenities, clubs and societies and community events. It includes activities for both residents and visitors to enjoy.
Police Statement – 8th October 2020
A murder investigation has been launched following the death of a man in the Oakhill area of Shepton Mallet.
A man has been arrested and is in police custody. At this time, police believe this to be an isolated incident.
Officers are at the scene while a forensic examination takes place.
A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out. Formal identification has not yet taken place.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Almond said: “This is a serious incident, which has sadly led to a man’s death. Specially trained officers will be providing support to this man’s family at what will be an incredibly difficult time.
“A cordon is likely to remain around the scene for some time while enquiries continue, and we are grateful for the local community’s support while we carry out the important work to understand what has happened.
“There will be additional patrols in the area over the coming days and I’d ask anyone with concerns to talk to officers, who will be able to provide them with advice.”
Anyone with information about the incident should contact the Major Crime Investigation Team via 101 and give the call-handler the reference number 5220228272.
The latest parish magazine can be downloaded below:
Introduction to the Parish
Ashwick lies at the eastern end of the Mendip Hills. It is set in rolling countryside, in the area between Shepton Mallet, Wells and Frome, with Bath being about 15 miles to the north-east. For those who do not know the area Oakhill will probably be a better known name (and easier to find on the map!): Oakhill village is within the Parish of Ashwick. There are also a number of other small settlements in the Parish, including the hamlet of Neighbourne, a cluster of dwellings near Ashwick Church, plus parts of Nettlebridge, Benter and Gurney Slade.
The area is rich in history: Ashwick is an ancient settlement going back to the 9th Century AD, but with much older connections – the earliest traces of human occupation are Neolithic tumuli dating back to more than 4,000 years BC and there are two Roman roads crossing the area. In early modern times the people of Ashwick were very active in the wool trade, with many Parishioners employed in stocking-making in particular. Then in 1767, thanks to the excellent quality of the Mendip spring water, the Oakhill Brewery was started. The Brewery soon became the major employer for the area and responsible for the growth of Oakhill from a small hamlet to the village it is today. This was the only Brewery in the country to have its own light railway, and the famous Oakhill Invalid Stout once sold in larger quantities than did Guinness! Sadly, a disastrous fire in 1925 led to the Brewery’s demise.
The Parish remains a largely rural area with picturesque rolling countryside scattered with outlying farms. Some farms concentrate on dairy farming, others on beef cattle, with sheep becoming more popular again. Agriculture is now the main economic activity locally. Apart from farming, many residents commute to surrounding towns, including Bath and Bristol, a few even as far as London, while others have small businesses or work from home. Ashwick attracts tourists from far and wide, providing comfortable places to stay with good walking, interesting history and ease of access further afield.
Ashwick Parish may be rural, but it is a very lively community with plenty going on for all ages and tastes, as we hope this website will demonstrate.