Cruising the Danube from the Black Sea to the North Sea
April-May 2023: Day 41

Ashbourne, Norbury, Nottingham, UK


After a quiet day at Froggatt, with a drive in the country over Winnat's Pass we were ready for more family history. After a great breakfast we headed southwest to Ashbourne where all my Froggatt ancesters originated. From there we moved to a more rural church at Norbury and then south to Nottingham. Here we checked the Froggatt family grave at Nottingham General Cemetery before relaxing at the Premier Inn at Castle Marina.

Ashbourne Church

We stayed in Ashbourne in 2006 but for some reason did not venture into the church. I later researched that part of the family and realised how important Ashbourne Church was to the Froggatt family. I knew there were graves and headstones to be found there but no real clue where they might be. On our arrival we found the graveyard overgrown with spring flowers and long grass - "No Mow May" they called it. This did not made our search any easier, but soon I had uncovered the two Froggatt headstones I was hoping to find. Inside, the church was much larger and older than I had realised.

The Alm Houses, Ashbourne

Along the road from Ashbourne Church is The Almhouses, two blocks of housing built for the village poor. One of my Froggatt ancesters lived here for several years. Today the Almhouses are being run as a B&B. While I was photographing the houses the owners emerged. They were intrigued that I had a relative who had once lived there, so showed me inside. They were very small but with thick stone walls and heavy slate roof would have been good accommodation in those times.

Norbury Parish Church

Norbury is a small village a few miles SW of Ashbourne, right on the border between Derbyshire and Staffordshire. For some time in the early 19th century several Froggatt families were associated with this church. The present church was commenced about 1300AD but was extended by the Fitzherbert family who owned the manor in this area. There are several Fitzherbert memorial inside the church. To my surprise there is a modern Froggatt headstone at the rear of the church.

Nottingham General Cemetery

Nottingham General Cemetery lies in the heart of Nottingham, with the top entrance at the intersection of Alfreton, Wollaton and Dery Roads. There are gates that are sometimes open but turning into the driveway is a challenge in heavy traffic. There is also an entrance off the corner of Clarendon and Waverley St that is easier to access. BUT, having failed to turn into the top entrance we drove down the hill, turned left and came to the cemetery entrance on the corner. Drove in and found a locked gate. Funny, that was not there last time... Only when a council vehicle cam past did I realise we had arrived at the Forest Rd (Rock) Cemetery, whose entrace looks identical. So back up the hill and this time we turned into the correct cemetery. On previous visits the Froggatt grave was being destroyed by a tree growing out between the stone slabs. Two attempts to cut it down had failed to stop new growth, so on our visit in 2017 I administered a full bottle of industrial strength weedkiller to the tree. We now found this treatment had been successful!

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Last updated: 30 June 2023