St Mary’s church is mainly of 14th-century origin, but in 1851 it underwent a major restoration by William Butterfield. The Reverend J.W. Adams, who won a Victoria Cross in Afghanistan in 1879, is buried in the churchyard.
The previous kennels of the Cottesmore Hunt situated opposite the prison have now been converted to residential use and the hunt kennels are now based at a farm in the parish.
The Reverend Richard Levett (or Levet) was named vicar of Ashwell on 13 May 1646. He was brought in to minister to the parish when the Royalist rector, Thomas Mason, was ejected. The incumbent was reinstated when King Charles II was restored to the throne. The minister was the father of Sir Richard Levett, Lord Mayor of London in 1699 and owner of Kew Palace. Levett Blackborne, grandson of Sir Richard, who sold the Levett properties at Kew to the Royal family, was a well-known Lincoln's Inn barrister and longtime adviser to Charles Manners, 4th Duke of Rutland.
The Palmes family of Lindley, West Yorkshire was also seated at Ashwell. The family, a branch of the Palmes family of Naburn Hall, Naburn, Yorkshire, included Sir Guy Palmes, High Sheriff of Yorkshire.