A Timeline of Dunstable

By Tim Lambert

2nd Century AD A Roman town grows up at Dunstable. It is called Durocobrivis.

5th Century AD The Romans withdraw from Britain. Roman Dunstable is abandoned.

1109 King Henry I founds a new town at Dunstable

1119 The first recorded play in England is performed in Dunstable

1131 Dunstable Priory is founded

1200 Dunstable has a population of about 1,00. Weekly markets and annual fairs are held in the town.

1208 A leper hostel is built south of the town

1213 Dunstable is badly damaged by a fire

1259 Dominican friars arrive in Dunstable

1533 Archbishop Cranmer announces the divorce of Henry VIII from Catherine of Aragon in the Priory Church

1539 Henry VIII closes Dunstable Priory

1582 Dunstable suffers an outbreak of plague

1723 Cart Almshouses are built

1770 Dunstable is a stage coaching town. There is an industry making straw hats.

1784 Church Street is built

1801 Dunstable has a population of 1,296

1836 Dunstable gains a gas supply

1848 The railway reaches Dunstable and the town grows rapidly

1864 Dunstable is made a borough

1897-1902 Sewers are built.

1897 the first telephone exchange opens.

1901 Dunstable has a population of 5,157

1920 Bennetts Recreation Ground opens

1927 A museum and library opens

1931 Straw hat making in Dunstable ends. Whipsnade Zoo opens.

1947 Priory Gardens opens to the public

1954 Vauxhall comes to Dunstable

1961 Dunstable College of Further Education opens

1963 Dunstable Magistrates Court opens

1964 Queensway Hall is built

1966 Quadrant Shopping Centre

1985 Eleanor Cross Shopping Centre is built