The Office of High Sheriff of Lancashire

The High Sheriff of Lancashire has ancient origins and is personally appointed by the King in his Right as Duke of Lancaster. The office, as Keeper of the Kings Peace, is unpaid and held for one year.


The Hon Ralph Christopher Assheton TD DL

With a Diploma in Rural Estate Management from the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, Ralph then qualified as a Chartered Surveyor and worked as a Land Agent in Berkshire and Lancashire in his early 20’s.  He joined the Territorial Army in 1987 and was commissioned as an officer the following year.  In the early part of his military career, he completed two years as a full-time army officer, serving with the Life Guards between 1990 and 1992, including Operation Granby in Saudi Arabia – ‘Gulf War 1’ – and ‘Operation Banner’ in Ulster.

He led his regiment’s Wigan Squadron and then commanded the Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry regiment from 2005 to 2007 and is now Honorary Colonel DLOY Squadron, Queens Own Yeomanry.  Today, as well as managing the family Estates at Downham and Cuerdale, Ralph is a founder and Director of Bowland Bioenergy Ltd – a successful company which produces biomass fuel for heating boilers across Lancashire and the North West.

Married to Olivia, Ralph has two children – Ralph Anthony (20) and Helen (17).  They live at Downham in the Ribble Valley.  Ralph is Chairman of the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership, a Board member of the North Lancashire Local Action Group for EU RDPE grant decisions, a Trustee of DLOY Trust and Regimental Museum and President of the Bowland Game Fishing Association.

Ralph regularly works with the Ribble Rivers Trust and carries out a number of wildlife surveys around Downham. His hobbies include gardening, campanology (bellringing), Morris and Scottish country dancing.  He particularly enjoys embarrassing his family with his eclectic musical tastes and traditional dress sense.

In his Shrieval year, Ralph is particularly keen to work with the Judiciary, Lancashire’s Police and emergency services to foster greater understanding of their work and the day-to-day challenges they face.