"ASHFORD, a parish and market-town in the hundred of Chart and Longbridge, lathe of Scray, in the county of Kent, 14 miles from Canterbury, 20 miles to the S.E. of Maidstone, and 53 miles by road from London, or 67 miles by the South Eastern railway, on which it is a chief station. It is also the point of junction with the Canterbury and Hastings branch railways. It is situated in a pleasant and fertile district on the Esshe, or Esshet, the west branch of the river Stour; the town being built on a gentle eminence overlooking the Weald. The name of this place in Domesday Book is Estefort, and it belonged at that period to Hugo de Montford. It passed subsequently to the family of the Asshetesfords, and through other houses in succession, till it became part of the endowment of St. Stephen's Chapel, Westminster. In the reign of Edward VI. it was granted to Sir Anthony Aucher, Knt. Since the close of the 17th century the estates have become separated by sale and otherwise. ... More"
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]
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