900 years of Dunstable

Tomorrow is Dunstable’s Carnival. The theme for this year is ’900 Years of Dunstable’.

Dunstable started as a Roman posting station where travellers could change their horses. A settlement grew up on the crossroads of the Roman Watling Street and the older prehistoric Icknield Way. When the Romans left Britain in the 5th Century, the town was abandoned and became overgrown. It lay derelict for centuries and in 1100 was just a crossroads in a forest.

In 1107, work on the creation of the new town, ordered by King Henry 1, at the junction of Icknield Way and Watling Street began. This makes 2007 the 900th Anniversay of the town’s foundation. Dunstable is a market town, with the Royal Charter granted by Henry 1 in 1131. The Priory Church of St Peter in Dunstable is all that remains of the Augustinian priory founded in 1132 by Henry 1 and endowed with the lordship and manor of the town. The priory was destroyed during the dissolution of the monastries, shortly after the anouncement there of the divorce of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, which lead to the separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church.

Hopefully the weather will be fine tomorrow and we will get to see the carnival parade as it goes past the end of our road.

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