Ashford is a town located in the county of Kent, England. It is situated on the Great Stour River, and. one of the most important agricultural market is in the county. The town is situated at a distance of around 61 miles (97 kilometres) from central London, and takes less than forty-minutes to get to Ashford from London by train. It has a population of 74, 204 according to the latest census which was conducted in 2011. Ashford has been a market town since the 1300's, primarily a market for livestock.
Ashford is one of the fastest growing towns in England, and was designated a 'growth area' by the Labour Government back in two thousand and three. It is a modern town, not much is left of the old Ashford town centre, apart from some medieval buildings in Middle Row, and around the churchyard in the town centre. Several old buildings were removed to make way for the ring road around the centre, built in the early nineteen seventies. Three modern shopping centres are situated in the town, the new Designer Outlet Mall, and Park. High Street and Bank Street are traffic-free shopping areas.
Evidence of settlement around Ashford can be traced back to the Iron Age. Archaeological studies have indicated the presence of a Roman town close to the location of Ashford. The present town evolved from a settlement that was established way back in 893 AD by a group of people that came here to escape a Viking raid. The town gained importance in the 13th century because of the agricultural and livestock market held here.
The town is home to some modern shopping centers. The town's main shopping center is the Country Square, it was built way back in 1973, it was expanded in 2008 and an additional 50,000 square feet space was added. Park Mall is another shopping center in the town; it was opened back in 1985. The Ashford Designer Outlet located just outside the town was opened back in 2010. The center is home to more than 120 designer brands. The center attracts close to three million customers every year has won awards like the Retail Destination of the Year award and the Best Shopping Venue award.
Ashford is home to twelve primary schools; in addition to that it has two grammar schools and secondary schools. K College is the only college located in the town.
The town is home to the Ashford United Football Club, the. There is also an 800 capacity athletics stadium in the town. The town also has a Rugby club by the name of Ashford Rugby Football Club and a hockey club.