1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ashford
ASHFORD, a market-town in the Southern or Ashford parliamentary division of Kent, England, 56 m. S.E. of London by the South-Eastern & Chatham railway. Pop. of urban district (1901) 12,808. It is pleasantly situated on a gentle eminence near the confluence of the upper branches of the river Stour. It has a fine Perpendicular church dedicated to St Mary, with a lofty, well-proportioned tower and many interesting monuments. The grammar school was founded by Sir Norman Knatchbull in the reign of Charles I. Ashford has agricultural implement works and breweries; and the large locomotive and carriage works of the South-Eastern & Chatham railway are here. At Bethersden, between Ashford and Tenterden, marble quarries were formerly worked extensively, supplying material to the cathedrals of Canterbury and Rochester, and to many local churches. At Charing, north-west of Ashford, the archbishops of Canterbury had a residence from pre-Conquest times, and ruins of a palace, mainly of the Decorated period, remain. On the south-eastern outskirts of Ashford is the populous village of Willesborough (3602).