Ashes Wood (Ashridge) from Rocque's map of Berkshire, 1761
Ashridge, together with parts of Wokingham, Hurst, Shinfield and Swallowfield, were regarded as being within the hundred of Ashridge and legally were in the county of Wiltshire. This may have come about in 1198 when William de Longespee who founded Salisbury Cathedral, and a natural son of Henry II, was created Earl of Salisbury.
Brick Hill and Ashridge Wood.
The manor of Ashridge (or Hertoke) may have been established in about 1280 when about 300 acres of woodland within Windsor Forest, to the north of Wokingham, were enclosed. The manor was then held by Henry de Lacy, 3rd Earl of Lincoln, who had married Margaret de Longespee. He wished to bring 100 acres into cultivation and an inquiry was held to see if this would inconvenience the King, Edward I. The jury concluded that Ashridge was situated between the Bishop of Salisbury's wood at Bearwood, and the Bishop of Winchester's wood at Billingbear, and that when the King hunted in the area he generally passed through Ashridge.
Ashridge, which mainly consisted of woodland, subsequently passed to the Earls of Warwick, and by 1561 was held by Elizabeth I. In 1593 permission was given for trees to be cut and used to repair naval ships.
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