Copyright Kent Past 2010
The History of Kent
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History of Ashford
Ashford comes from the Old English ‘æscet’ meaning a ‘clump of ash-
Ashford parish church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to St Mary the virgin.
The Normans built it in the 13th Century, with substantial restoration in 1475, including,
the heightening of the aisles, new windows inserted, battlements added, and raised
In 1243, Ashford was incorporated, confirming its importance as a growing agricultural and market town. In 1856, local farmers and businessmen relocated the market from the high street to Elwick Road. They formed a Market company, which is the oldest surviving registered company in England and Wales.
In 1638, Sir Norton Knatchbull founded a free grammar school, built in the churchyard,
where it remained until 1846.
Ashford's association with the railway commenced on 1st December 1842 with the opening of a section of the South Eastern Railway’s (SER) line from London to , via Ashford. Initially a terminus, until the line, they extended it, in June 1843, to . SER obtained parliamentary approval to build a line from Ashford to Margate in 1844. Soon after arriving, in the town, SER constructed a large locomotive works on a 185 acre site, which developed further in the years that followed....