Ashford (Kent)

Ashford is a town in Kent in South East England. It is located in the Borough of Ashford in the North Downs at the confluence of the Upper Great Stour, East Stour of, the Whitewater Dyke and Ruck Dyke who connect to the Great Stour. Ashford has 118,000 inhabitants ( 2011). The agricultural market of the city is one of the largest in the country.

Ashford is a relatively common name in English and literally means " ash ford ", a ford, which is lined with ash trees. The town of Ashford, which lies in the boundary between the western and eastern Kent, has as its motto the phrase " With stronger faith" ( "With stronger faith " ), a quote from the poem "To Lucasta, Going to the Warres " by Richard Lovelace.


Ashford has always been an important market town in Kent and at the same time traffic junction of several roads and railway lines. The city has access to the lines Ashford- Ramsgate (via Canterbury West), Ashford- Maidstone, London - Dover (South Eastern Main Line), Ashford, Folkestone and Ashford- Hastings. Since the opening of the Euro tunnel under the English Channel has Ashford train station with the Euro star trains also on international transport links to the continent.

The Borough of Ashford was at the east end of the Andredsweals, a large wooded area, stretching from Kent to Sussex and from which the Weald is today's remnant. In Roman times was a street of Canterbury by Ashford, a settlement is but only for the time occupied from 893. The Domesday Book of 1086 records for Ashford ( or Essetesford Eshetisford ) a church, two mills and a value of 150 shillings. The estate of Ashford was then in possession of the Connétables of England, Hugh de Montfort.

The relative proximity to the capital, London has the story Ashford significantly influenced. Shakespeare mentioned in his play Henry VI. , That the rebel Jack Cade came from Ashford. Even the butcher Dick, who cries in the piece: First, let 's kill all the lawyers comes from the city.

Ashford has since 1243 market and municipal law, and since the end of the 16th century one of the most important cattle markets in the region. This market was held in the center on the high street until he was transferred in 1856 to Elwick Road. In the parish church of the village there buildings has received from the 13th century, it dates to otherwise largely from the 15th century when it was renewed. In 1638 the city received a high school, which was used until 1846 as a school and is now a museum. The city was home until 1997, when they had to make way for the construction of the high speed railway line for the Euro Tunnel, the Templar Barracks, a military site, which included a training center for the British foreign intelligence service.


In 1801, Ashford and Willesborough together had 2,600 inhabitants. The number rose to 1861 to 8,800 in 1961 and reached 28,000. In 1991 lived in Ashford 92 331 and in 2001 there were 102 661, which Ashford one of the youngest cities in England was. The growth is continuing; 2004, the estimated population of 107,700.

According to the 2001 census there were 41,450 households in Ashford and unemployment in the group of 16 - to 74 -year-olds was 2.4 %. This represents a very good value


An attractions are:

  • The Ashford Borough Museum in the old school; shown is the history of the city
  • The Ashford Green Corridor, an extensive park system along the rivers of the city
  • Brock Hill Country Park, a park around an old Norman manor house
  • Godinton House and Gardens
  • Port Lympne Wild Animal Park & Gardens, a wild animal park
  • Willesborough Windmill, windmill from 1869


The city is a popular business location because of its good accessibility. The largest industrial areas are located in Waterbrook ( 740,000 m² with production, storage and distribution facilities for cargo ), the Eureka Science and Business Park ( 570,000 m² with production and office complexes ), the orbital Park ( 570,000 m²), and 14 other commercial areas.

The largest employers include the Campbell Soup Company, which until 2001 was owned by Unilever and one of the largest factories entertained in Ashford for the production of soups.

Mention should be made also the Ashford Designer Outlet, a large shopping center. By 2002, Ashford was the seat of the automotive supplier Connolly Leather Ltd..

In order to take advantage of the situation and especially the proximity to London better it is an action plan for 2031 make some massive improvements in infrastructure and in establishing local operations. A main focus is on the marketing of industrial and office properties due to the much cheaper rents in comparison to the nearby London. Concomitantly, corresponding construction projects in order to create enough living space.


Ashford is known as home to many sports clubs. To be mentioned in particular:

  • " Ashford Town Football Club", which was founded in 1880 football club in the city
  • " Ashford Hockey Club " was founded in 1898.
  • " Ashford Town Swimming Club "
  • " Ashford Rugby Club"
  • The Tour de France was in 1994 on the stage from Dover to Brighton through the city, and in 2007 was the Tour de France by Ashford.
  • In the district of Willesborough is the " Julie Rose Stadium ", an athletics stadium where the " Ashford Athletics Club" is at home.


Ashford is home to a number of schools. Specifically, these are:

  • 3 Colleges ( Ashford School of Art & Design, South Kent College - Jemmett Campus, South Kent College - Ashford South Campus )

The Imperial College London has a larger campus in the adjacent Wye.

Twin Cities

Ashford is twinned with:

  • Bad Münster Germany Eifel, Germany
  • France Fougères, France
  • United States Hopewell, Virginia, USA


Sons and daughters of the town

  • John Wallis (1616-1703), mathematician
  • Sir Malcolm Sargent (1895-1967), conductor, organist and composer
  • Dudley Pope (1925-1997), writer
  • Bob Holness ( born 1928 ), actor and television presenter
  • Patsy Byrne ( born 1933), actress
  • John Wells (1936-1998), actor, writer and satirist
  • Frederick Forsyth ( born 1938 ), writer, best known for his thriller
  • Roger Dean ( born 1944 ), artist, known for designing album covers
  • Ray Dorset ( born 1946 ), guitarist and singer, founder of Mungo Jerry
  • Chris Thompson ( born 1947 ), rock singer and guitarist
  • Simon White ( born 1951 ), astrophysicist
  • Matilda Ziegler (born 1964 ), actress
  • Jamie Staff ( b. 1973 ), BMX World Champion
  • Sarah Ayton ( born 1980 ), sailor and winner of an Olympic gold medal
  • Lisa Dobriskey ( b. 1983 ), athlete
  • Barry Fuller ( born 1984 ), football player
  • Tom Varndell ( born 1985 ), rugby players

Other personalities

  • Alfred Austin (1835-1913), an English poet and Poet Laureate, died in Ashford
  • Sir Sydney Nicholson (1875-1947), choirmaster, organist and composer, founder of the Royal School of Church Music, died in Ashford
  • Simone Weil (1909-1943), activist, philosopher and mystic, died in Ashford