It was here that the pivotal Battle of Ashingdon was fought on 18th October 1016. The English army, led by Edmund Ironside, had been camped on the hill at Ashingdon, while the forces of the Danish leader Cnut were camped on the nearby hill at Canewdon.
The battle itself was fought on the plain between the two villages, and resulted in a narrow victory for Cnut, largely because of treachery by the notorious Edric Streona.
After the battle, the two leaders met at Deerhurst in Gloucestershire and divided England between them but Edmund died shortly after, in dubious circumstances.
Cnut returned to Ashingdon in 1020, and dedicated a church in honour of the fallen on both sides. This is now the site of the hilltop St. Andrew's Church, replaced in the 14th century as a response to the practice, frowned upon ecclesiastically, of women crawling up the hill in the hope of healing by a miraculous idol.
A few miles away, another important battle was fought at Maldon in 991.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Ashingdon for groups.