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Lower High Street

The town pump and later the Furley Fountain stood on the site of the garden in front of 45-47 High Street (Mann & Co). Like much decorative or redundant metalwork, the fountain was removed during WWII.

Ashford Stock Market 1830
Plate 1 – Ashford Stock Market 1830

Ashford was granted a charter to hold a market by Henry III in 1243. By 1600 it had become an important market town.

The market was held in the High Street. “At the west end was the fish market, and next to it the corn market, where the corn was pitched”. Then came the butchery (occupying the greatest space), in what is now Middle Row.

Ashford’s livestock market was held in the lower High Street until 1856. The livestock market is illustrated in the engraving by Thomas Garner of a picture by George “Sidney” Shepherd, a copy of which can be seen in Ashford Museum.

Plate 1 - The Friendship Stone
Plate 2 – The Friendship Stone

The High Street fountain features a reclaimed steam train wheel, a celebration of Ashford’s railway past.

Further on is a friendship stone, a symbol of Ashford and Bad Munstereifel’s twinning in 1964. Both are also twinned with Fougères in Brittany.

While, like many other twinnings, the the relationship between Ashford and Bad Münstereifel was formalised in the 1960s, it began after the World War I when Mr. John Evans Goode commanded British Troops occupying the town. Goode subsequently formed close friendships with some Bad Münstereifel residents. Following World War II, Goode’s brother-in-law, John Wiles, Mayor of New Romney, arranged several exchange visits between British and German families, at a time where travel between the two countries was rare.

Read more about

and some of the buildings in Lower High Street:

Comprises only an extract of the list entry for the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990

The walk to Martyr’s Field is 500m down a steep hill. If you are restricted for time or might find the return climb difficult you can turn back toward North Street at this point.

< Middle Row ¦ Heritage Trail ¦ Martyrs’ Field >