The land now known as the Ashes has a long and famous history, having originally belonged to Howden Minster – the history of that site dates back to Saxon times.
The Ashes was donated by Charles Briggs to the people of Howden in 1927, with trustees appointed following registration with the Charity Commission and a bank account opened with Midland Bank.
Initial investment saw the formation of a football club and the first play area installed in 1928, with facilities for cricket, hockey and bowls quickly following. The iconic cricket pavilion was built in 1932, with the bowls hut and water fountain added in 1936.
The current main entrance, from the marketplace, was created in 1938 when a building, previously used as a bank, was bought by Mr Briggs and demolished.
The death of Mr Briggs in 1950 changed the running of the site drastically, with Howden Parish Council first agreeing to a grant in 1961 which now stands annually at around £20,000. This still leaves great challenges, meaning the Ashes Playing Field Trust is constantly fundraising and seeking to work with other agencies to secure grants.
The Ashes is now entering one of the most exciting periods of its history, though it was marked with sadness at the loss of our famous cricket pavilion which was burnt down on Easter Monday 2015. This provided a rallying call for the people of Howden, with the Ashes Trust now pressing ahead with consultation plans on how the site can be developed to suit the town’s future needs. That resulted in the production of a vision for what the park could look like in 2027 – when we celebrate our centenary.