Asheridge (or Ashridge) is a small village and common in Buckinghamshire, England, close to the border with Hertfordshire. It is situated in the beautiful Chiltern Hills, about two and a half miles north west of Chesham.
The village name is Anglo Saxon and means, literally, Ash Ridge, referring to the situation of the village on the ridge of a hill. In the Saxon period this whole area was completely forested, thus the 'ash' part of the village name.
Asheridge is a hamlet of the parish of Chesham and doesn't have its own parish church. From ancient times it was the location of an abbey founded in 1283 by the Earl of Cornwall, who had a palace here. The order was known as the Bonhommes, or 'bluefriars' on account of the colour of their robes.
At the foundation of the abbey the Earl of Cornwall donated, among other things, a phiall of Christ's blood, in honour of which the convent adjacent to the abbey was founded. This deposit proved fruitful for the abbey and convent, as pilgrims from all over Europe flocked to worship the phiall of blood. The abbey grew quite wealthy as a result.
One such visitor was King Edward I. In 1290 he held parliament at the abbey while he spent Christmas in Pitstone. However in 1538 the 'blood' was publicly proven to be nothing more than honey with colouring added. The building ceased to be used as an abbey shortly afterwards.
The abbey, which was of grand proportions and richly decorated, was pulled down in 1802.
Asheridge Common has featured many times in film and television series due to its distinction as an area of natural beauty. It was the location very recently for the film Danny the Champion of the World based on the book by Roald Dahl.
The common, that includes land in Hertfordshire as well as in Buckinghamshire, is owned by the National Trust.