The place-name Ashley is thought to have been derived from the earlier Assle, Assele or Esselie, noted in the Doomsday Book, meaning the lea or field of ash trees.
The modern village consists of the two ancient parishes of Ashley and Silverley. Both were mentioned in the Domesday Book. In 1086 Silverley had a total population of 22 households and had land for 8 plough teams. The Domesday Book does not give the population of Ashley, but Ashley only had land for 4 plough teams. In 1086, the tenant-in-chief in both Ashley and Silverley was Aubrey de Vere.
In the 13th century, the manors of both Ashley and Silverley were owned by the Knights Hospitallers of Chippenham. Silverley was the larger of the two villages and so the villages at that time were known as Silverley cum Ashley. However, since the Hospitaller's manor house was situated in Ashley, by the end of the 13th century the villages became known as Ashley cum Silverley
If anybody would like to expand this series please do. I would just ask that you let Smokeypugs know first so they can keep track of the Village Sign numbers and names to avoid duplication.