Royal Shrovetide Football

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football 2014 (GoPro)

Every year, thousands of locals from rival sides of a rugged English town brutally compete in an ancient sports game that is the lifeblood of the community, and the origin of soccer, rugby, and football. This is Royal Shrovetide mass football played in the town of Ashbourne, UK.
Filmed with the GoPro HD Hero

A Ben Holmes Media Production:

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football - Shrove Tuesday 2008

Ancient game of football, 2 teams, hundreds of players and thousands of spectators, goals 3 miles apart and play is through the streets of the town.

The Spirit of Ashbourne - Shrovetide Football 2011

A Documentary I made for my university dissertation about Shrovetide Football- the ancient game of the up'ards v down'ards played in the streets of Ashbourne in Derbyshire.

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football - 2017. Wednesday. Ball Toss.

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football - 2017. Wednesday Ball Toss
P.S.
I Hate Talk Talk Internet, has to go it's worthless!! I had better service with AOL in 1998!

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football - Ash Wednesday 2008

Day 2 of the annual Shrovetide Football game in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, UK. Final Score Up'ards 2 - Down'ards 0

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football 2013 (GoPro Edit)

Every year, thousands of locals from rival sides of a rugged English town brutally compete in an ancient sports game that is the lifeblood of the community -- and the origin of soccer, rugby, and football. This is Royal Shrovetide mass football played in the town of Ashbourne, UK.
Filmed with the GoPro HD Hero

Music: Kasabian - Club Foot

Filmed/edited by Ben Holmes

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football 2014 - Play on the Sports Fields 2

Play is clearly visible from an elevated level as it becomes grounded against a hedge on the edge of the Sports Fields.

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football 2014 - Play on the Sports Fields 3

Play breaks free from against the hedge and moves away towards the Henmore Brook!

Shrovetide Football

A short intro sequence from a documentary about Shrovetide Mass Football

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football 2014 - Finally breaks free from the river.

After many a 'Heave-Ho' the ball finally breaks free from the Henmore Brook!

A goal was scored by the Up-ards less than 20 mins afterwards at 17:04 - Four minutes too late for a second ball to be turned up.

It was perhaps one of the shortest games in Shrovetide Footballs history since another ball could have been turned up with the possibility of another 5 hours play.

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football Shrove Tuesday 2016

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Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football 2014 - Day 1 ...soon after the ball was turned up.

One of the safest places to watch Ashbourne's Royal Shrovetide Football - Up a tree!!

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football 2014 - Play crosses down onto Ashbourne's Sports Fields.

The regular Football (Soccer) & Rugby goal post pale into insignificance when Ashbourne's Shrovetide Football takes to the fields!!

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football - 20th Feb 2007

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For details of the 2013 game :


If you can spot yourself in my video, leave a comment with the timecode where you spotted yourself.

There is more footage in my Extra video..


All images and video footage was taken by me on 20th February 2007.
Ashbourne Football is one of the Oldest Shrovetide football games in England.
It was first recorded in 1682

The Game is played annually on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, and consists of two teams, one from anyone born to the North of the River Henmore, and one from people born South of the river, these are known as Up'ards and Down'ards.

The Goals are on the sites of Old mills, one at Clifton and one at Sturston, these are three miles apart.
A goal is scored by a player striking the mill wheel three times with the Ball.
The ball may be kicked, carried or thrown, but generally proceeds in a series of 'hugs' invisible to the spectator. The game can last for many hours, finishing well after dark.

The game starts at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, when a specially prepared ball - larger than a football and filled with cork which weighs around 4lbs is thrown in by a visiting guest of honor.

My video should hopefully give you an idea of what its like.

Things to look out for...
3.45 The white ball flying about is NOT the actual ball, but funny to see it.
4.27 The guy falling over the wall,see his legs
5.14 The metal fence being crushed, near fire station.

The final part of my video is around 5.50pm in Sainsburys loading bay. A goal was scored at 8.45pm on this day.

For photos of this event, see my website :


If you can spot yourself in my video, leave a comment or get in touch.

Tuesdays Game was won by the Up'ards, A goal being scored about 8.45pm.

Wednesdays Game was a draw as no one scored.

You may also like to watch my 2009 footage :

2017.02.28 Royal Shrovetide Football Tues Vid 7.

The hug topples over the edge of the boardwalk and into Ashbourne Pond! lol

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football Wed 18th feb 2015

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football Wed 18th feb 2015

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football

Action from the first day of Royal Ashbourne Shrovetide Football 2009. Score on day 1-0 to Down'ards.

Leave a comment if you spot yourself.

Video free to use :)

ASHBOURNE ROYAL SHROVETIDE 2016 - COMPTON LOOSE PLAY

Fast open play down the street in Ashbourne on the first day of play of Shrovetide 2016.

No Referee and Few Rules in Shrovetide Football

Wild in the Streets is a documentary written by Peter Baxter and Jay Nelson. The film is about an ancient game that is the lifeblood of an English market town and the origin of football and rugby. To see more football videos, go to:

The maddest game of football in the world –Ashbourne Shrovetide Football

The maddest game of football in the world – Royal Ashbourne Shrovetide Football

The game is played between the “Up'ards” those born north of the River Henmore which divides the town, and the “Down'ards,” those born south of the river.

The game is played with a hand-painted, cork-filled ball. The pitch is a no-man's land between two watermills, Sturston Mill and Clifton Mill, which serve as the goals at either end of the town about three miles apart.

Any number may play providing they can claim to be Up'ards or Down'ard's. The game can last for up eight hours and rarely is there a goal scored. This is not surprising considering the size of the pitch and the number of players involved.

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