16 Facts About Dunstable


Dunstable is a market town and civil parish in Bedfordshire, England, east of the Chiltern Hills, 30 miles north of London.

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Dunstable is on the route of the Icknield Way, claimed to be 'the oldest road in Britain'.

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Bedfordshire and by extension the Dunstable area was affected by later Norse raids, under Kings Sweyn Forkbeard and Cnut of Denmark, in response to the St Bride's Massacre executed by King Athelred the Unready of England.

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Dunstable instructed areas to be cleared and encouraged settlers with offers of royal favour.

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Dunstable Priory was founded in 1131 by Henry I and was later used for the divorce between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, which led to the establishment of the Church of England in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church.

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In 1290, Dunstable was one of twelve sites to erect an Eleanor cross recognising Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I, whose coffin was laid close to the crossroads for the local people to mourn the dead Queen.

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Passenger services to Dunstable were withdrawn in 1965, but the line between Dunstable and Luton remained open for freight traffic for many years.

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Dunstable was a significant market town, but its importance diminished as the neighbouring town of Luton grew.

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The new Bedford Dunstable plant came into production in 1942 to support the British Army in the Second World War.

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Dunstable is served by the Bedfordshire Police force where the Police and Crime Commissioner is Festus Akinbusoye.

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Dunstable is the first black Briton to be elected to this position.

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Dunstable is served by two main operators, Arriva and Centrebus.

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Dunstable is one of the largest towns south of the Midlands conurbations without its own rail service.

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A5-M1 Link, which opened in May 2017, is a two-lane dual carriageway running east from the A5 north of Dunstable to join the M1 at a new Junction 11a south of Chalton.

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The A5-M1 Link aims to alleviate traffic congestion in Houghton Regis and Dunstable, reduce journey times for long-distance traffic travelling through Dunstable and improve the regional economy.

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Dunstable Downs, a chalky escarpment outside the town, is a popular site for kite flying, paragliding and hang gliding, while the London Gliding Club provides a base for conventional gliding and other air activities at the bottom of the Downs.

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