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. In 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