Frances Ashton died in 1727, bequeathing 6 almshouses for Dunstable. Ashton Almshouse Charity went on to acquire various lands for investment. In 1868 it sold land to the Midlands Railway Company for £14,500 and permission to build a school was obtained from Queen Victoria in 1885.
The foundation stone for Dunstable Grammar School was laid in 1887. The school cost £12,000 to build. A science building was added in 1907 and a further new science building in 1964.
The Ashton Schools Foundation is a registered charity with a Board of Governors who are the trustees of three Church of England Schools in Dunstable including Ashton Middle School. The buildings and associated grounds belong to the Foundation. Ashton Middle School is set to close in July 2016.
The southern part of site falls within a Conservation Area including the main school building that fronts High Street North and the science block which fronts onto Dog Kennel Path. It occupies a prominent position on High Street North (A5). The site features a Grade 2 Listed main school building, as well as numerous ancillary buildings of varying age, size and construction.
The site is being sold by Informal Tender. Offers are to be received at:
2nd Floor, 45 Grosvenor Road, St Albans, Herts, AL1 3AW by 12 noon on Thursday 19th November 2015 clearly marked 'Ashton Middle School, Dunstable' – for the attention of Toby Lambert.
The site is offered for sale freehold, with vacant possession from 1st September 2016.
- A Facebook group interested in preserving Dunstable's past has been formed.