Dunstable Grammar School was a grammar school in the market town of Dunstable, Bedfordshire, England. Opened in 1888, it was closed in 1971.

Dunstable Grammar School buildings, now used by Ashton Middle School
Dunstable Grammar School buildings, now used by Ashton Middle School

School now Closed, Now Flats and apartments


Dunstable Grammar School was established by the Trustees of the Almshouse Charity created by the Will of Frances Ashton. Hence the inscription on the building which says:

Dunstable Grammar School Founded A.D. 1728 By Mrs. Frances Ashton Built A.D. 1887.


New school buildings were constructed in 1887 on the northern side of Dunstable for the Trustees of Frances Ashton's charity, and in 1888 the school opened with 49 pupils. The first headmaster was L. C. R. Thring, of the Thring family of Uppingham which included the educationist Edward Thring (1821-1887), headmaster of Uppingham School. By 1917, the school had grown to 67 boarders and 100 day boys. A school library was built in memory of the former pupils who died in the Boer War and the Second World War, and a memorial in the library commemorated the names of the sixty-two boys who gave their lives, including Ashton Edward Thring, the only son of the school's first headmaster.[1] and the Victoria Cross winner, Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Henderson.[2]


The school remained in its purpose-built home from 1888 until 1971, when it was closed with the coming of the new comprehensive system of education. The remaining schoolteachers and pupils moved to a new school at the opposite end of the town, the Manshead Upper School (now Manshead CE Academy).

Use of the buildings

The original Grammar School building was modernised and since 1973 has housed the Ashton Middle School, for children aged nine to thirteen.

Notable former pupils


  1. ^ Dunstable School at Lost Generation Website Support Materials
  2. ^ History at (G. G. Henderson appears on the memorial)