Ashley church inception.

The church which is dedicated to St John the Baptist and can be found in the small village of Ashley, close to Newcastle-under-Lyme in the county of Staffordshire has an unusual folktale connected with it.

It is said that the following story can be found engraved on a brass plaque in the nave inside the church. It is said that a David Kenric was returning from Crecy and Poitiers which I assume to be in France, where he had been fighting many battles under the banner of the Black Prince. It is said that he was making his way back to Flintshire loaded down with the captured treasures he had acquired during his campaigns in France when he became lost in Needwood forest which covered a large part of North Staffordshire in those days. Eventually Kendric emerged out of the forest at the village of Ashley, and because of his relief at arriving at this spot after being lost for so long in the forest, he made a vow to rebuild the church here which must have fallen into disrepair.

It is interesting to note as well, that the name “Ashley” means the “forest clearing by the ash tree”.

Another version of the story is that a someone was leaving the village to go to war and he stuck a spear into the ground where the church now stands, he made a vow to God that if he returned safely from the battle that he would build a church on the place where the spear struck the ground.ashley, madeley, mucklestone, hanchurch 027

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