Ashford – The Market Town

With evidence of settlement dating back to prehistoric times, Ashford’s history spans several millennia.

First recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086 as having a church, two mills and 21 ‘households’ – large by medieval standards – Ashford was well on its way to becoming the large and diverse borough it is today.

In 1243, Ashford’s history as a market town began, becoming one of Kent’s most important by the 1600s. Initially based in Middle Row and the High Street, the Ashford Cattle Market Company Ltd. was formed to relocate it in 1856 to Elwick Road as it had outgrown its site.

The prominent former Cattle Market is now home to Elwick Place, Ashford town centre’s flagship entertainment and leisure destination, which has recognised and honoured its past through a series of art installations across the complex.

Today, the Cattle Market is now located in Orbital Park and is used by over 5,000 farmers; it remains one of the top 15 markets in the UK.

To find out more about Ashford’s history visit:

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