Goode subsequently formed close friendships with some Bad Münstereifel residents.John Wiles, Major Goode's brother in law, later became mayor of New Romney in 1946, and subsequently arranged a visit to the Rhineland with Winston Churchill.In addition, housing estates have been built in the open spaces amongst Bybrook, Godinton, Kingsnorth, Park Farm and Stanhope.The area around the Stour, particularly south of the station, is prone to flooding, which means it has been generally uninhabited. It lies on the River Great Stour at the south edge of the North Downs, about 61 miles (98 km) southeast of central London and 15.3 miles (24.6 km) northwest of Folkestone by road. The name comes from the Old English æscet, indicating a ford near a clump of ash trees.It has been a market town since the 13th century, and a regular market continues to be held.In the 1970s, a controversial ring road scheme and construction of the multi-storey Charter House building destroyed significant parts of the old town, though some areas were spared and preserved.St Mary's Church in Ashford has been a local landmark since the 13th century, and expanded in the 15th.
There is still a regular street market in the town, but the market company relocated outside Ashford town centre after part of the 19th-century site was demolished to make way for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. During World War I, Ashford's importance as a transport hub and its location between the continent and London made it a target for aerial bombing.Ashford has been a communications hub and has stood at the centre of five railway lines since the 19th century.The arrival of the railways became a source of employment and contributed to the town's growth.In the 16th and 17th centuries, Ashford became known for nonconformism.A local resident, John Brown, was executed for heresy in 1511, and may have inspired the later namesake of the song "John Brown's Body".Recent development has been possible by putting foundations on concrete stilts.