Categories: Dunstable News303 words1.6 min read

Ashton Square and Middle Row

AUTHOR

Annette Clynes

DATE

January 13, 2024

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Nestled in the heart of Dunstable, Ashton Square is a hub for local independent shops and businesses. Visitors and locals can explore a treasure trove of handcrafted goods, unique fashion finds, artisanal treats, freshly brewed coffee, and locally sourced products, creating an authentic and personalised shopping experience.

Throughout the year, Ashton Square comes alive with various events and festivities. Local artisans showcase their creations during Middle Row Markets on the second and third Saturday of each month from March to December.

The Square is often host to seasonal celebrations such as the Christmas Carols and Torchlight Procession, Ashton Square Day, and Christmas Twilight Markets. On the second Thursday evening of the month between March to September  The Square comes alive with Street Food and music for a vibrant family atmosphere.  Free activities and events in The Square and Middle Row support families and community groups, contributing to the overall vibrancy of the community.

Ashton Square is characterised by its charming architecture and its historical significance. King Henry I created Dunstable as a commercial and shopping centre in the early 1100’s. The king had the woodland around the crossroads cleared and divided land alongside the road which rent had to be paid, today’s shops follow the same layout. The enclosed alleyway has been a favourite subject for photographers and artists, most notably the historian Worthington Smith whose drawings were produced in 1887. Today we follow this historic trend with our own community art projects which are displayed in the alleyway and across the top of Middle Row with currently with a hanging hat community art installation.

Come along and visit this historic area with all its charm, independent shops, and exciting events. Ashton Square car park is free on Wednesday and Saturday afternoon from 1 pm and is the site for our award-winning public toilets.

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