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Kent is a
county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William and Robert Chambers (publisher bo ...
in
South East England South East England is one of the nine official regions of England The regions, formerly known as the government office regions, are the highest tier of sub-national division in England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, ...
and one of the home counties. It borders
Greater London Greater London is an Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England, administrative area governed by the Greater London Authority, and a Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county of England that covers the bulk of the same area ...

Greater London
to the north-west,
Surrey Surrey () is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William and Ro ...

Surrey
to the west and
East Sussex East Sussex is a county in South East England on the English Channel The English Channel,, "The Sleeve"; nrf, la Maunche, "The Sleeve" ( Cotentinais) or (Jèrriais), (Guernésiais), "The Channel"; br, Mor Breizh, "Sea of Brittany"; c ...

East Sussex
to the south-west, and
Essex Essex () is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William and Rob ...

Essex
to the north across the estuary of the
River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England Southern England, or the South of England, also known as the South, is an area of England consisting of the southernmos ...
; it faces the French department of
Pas-de-Calais Pas-de-Calais (, "strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrowing, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. The surface water generally flows at the same elevation on both sides and through the strait in either ...
across the
Strait of Dover The Strait of Dover or Dover Strait, historically known as the Dover Narrows (french: Pas de Calais - ''Strait of Calais''; nl, Nauw van Calais or the lesser used ''Straat van Dover''), is the strait at the narrowest part of the English Chann ...
. The
county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer ...
is
Maidstone Maidstone is the largest Town status in the United Kingdom, town in Kent, England, of which it is the county town. Maidstone is historically important and lies 32 miles (51 km) east-south-east of London. The River Medway runs through the c ...
. It is the fifth most populous county in England, the most populous non-Metropolitan county and the most populous of the home counties. Kent was one of the first British territories to be settled by Germanic tribes, most notably the
Jutes The Jutes (), Iuti, or Iutæ ( da, Jyde, non, Jótar, ang, Ēotas) were one of the Nordic Nordic most commonly refers to: * Nordic countries, written in plural as Nordics, the northwestern European countries, including Scandinavia, Fennoscand ...
, following the withdrawal of the Romans.
Canterbury Cathedral Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury Canterbury (, ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated in the heart of the City of Canterbury, a local government district of Kent, England. It lies ...

Canterbury Cathedral
in Kent, the oldest cathedral in England, has been the seat of the
Archbishops of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian Full communion, communion a ...
since the conversion of England to
Christianity Christianity is an , based on the and of . It is the , with about 2.5 billion followers. Its adherents, known as , make up a majority of the population in , and believe that is the , whose coming as the was in the (called the in Christ ...

Christianity
that
began in the 6th century
began in the 6th century
with
Saint Augustine In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being ...

Saint Augustine
.
Rochester Cathedral Rochester Cathedral, formally the Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary, is an English church of Norman architecture in Rochester, Kent. The church is the cathedral A cathedral is a church that contains the '' cathedra'' ...

Rochester Cathedral
in Medway is England's second-oldest cathedral. Located between London and the
Strait of Dover The Strait of Dover or Dover Strait, historically known as the Dover Narrows (french: Pas de Calais - ''Strait of Calais''; nl, Nauw van Calais or the lesser used ''Straat van Dover''), is the strait at the narrowest part of the English Chann ...
, which separates England from mainland Europe, Kent has been the setting for both conflict and diplomacy, including the
Battle of Britain The Battle of Britain (german: die Luftschlacht um England, "the Air Battle for England") was a military campaign A military campaign is large-scale long-duration significant military strategy Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented ...

Battle of Britain
in
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing s: the and the . In a total war directly involving m ...
and the
Leeds Castle Leeds Castle is a castle in East Sussex East Sussex is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Ed ...
peace talks of 1978 and 2004. England relied on the county's ports to provide warships through much of its history; the
Cinque Ports The Confederation of Cinque Ports () is a historic group of coastal towns in , and . The name is , meaning "five harbours". It was originally formed for military and trade purposes, but is now entirely ceremonial. The ports lie on the weste ...
in the 10th–14th centuries and
Chatham Dockyard Chatham Dockyard was a Royal Navy Dockyard located on the River Medway in Kent. Established in Chatham, Kent, Chatham in the mid-16th century, the dockyard subsequently expanded into neighbouring Gillingham, Kent, Gillingham (at its most extensi ...
in the 16th–20th centuries were of particular importance. France can be seen clearly in fine weather from
Folkestone Folkestone ( ) is a port town on the English Channel, in Kent, south-east England. The town lies on the southern edge of the North Downs at a valley between two cliffs. It was an important harbour and shipping port for most of the 19th and 20th ...

Folkestone
and the
White Cliffs of Dover The White Cliffs of Dover is the region of English coastline The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the sea or ocean, or as a line that forms the boundary between the land and the ocean ...
. Hills in the form of the
North Downs The North Downs are a ridge of chalk hills in south east England that stretch from Farnham in Surrey to the White Cliffs of Dover in Kent. Much of the North Downs comprises two Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Areas of Outstanding Natural Bea ...
and the
Greensand Ridge The Greensand Ridge, also known as the Wealden Greensand is an extensive, prominent, often wooded, mixed greensand (geology), greensand/sandstone escarpment in south-east England. Forming part of the Weald, a former dense forest in Sussex, Sur ...
span the length of the county and in the
Vale of Holmesdale . Image:Newlands Corner.jpg, the view from Newlands Corner near to Guildford showing the richness of this undeveloped part of the valley's agriculture and natural habitat Holmesdale, also known as Vale of Holmesdale, is the valley in South East ...
in between and to the south are most of the county's 26 castles. Kent's
economy An economy (; ) is an area of the production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products ( ...
is greatly diversified: agriculture, haulage,
logistics Logistics is generally the detailed organization and implementation of a complex operation. In a general business sense, logistics is the management of the flow of things between the point of origin and the point of consumption to meet the requ ...

logistics
and tourism are major industries. Because of its relative abundance of
fruit-growing
fruit-growing
and
hop
hop
gardens, Kent is known as "The Garden of England".Kent loses its Garden of England title to North Yorkshire
''The Guardian'' 1 June 2006.
In northwest Kent, industries include extraction of aggregate building materials, printing and scientific research. Coal mining has also played its part in Kent's industrial heritage. Large parts of Kent are within the
London commuter belt The London metropolitan area includes London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the south-east of Englan ...
and its strong transport connections to the capital and the nearby continent make Kent a high-income county. Twenty-eight per cent of the county forms part of two
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB; ; AHNE) is an area of rural area, countryside in England, Wales or Northern Ireland that has been designated for protected area, conservation due to its significant landscape value. Areas are designa ...
: the
North Downs The North Downs are a ridge of chalk hills in south east England that stretch from Farnham in Surrey to the White Cliffs of Dover in Kent. Much of the North Downs comprises two Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Areas of Outstanding Natural Bea ...
and The High Weald.


Etymology

The name ''Kent'' is believed to be of
British Celtic Insular Celtic languages are the group of Celtic languages The Celtic languages ( , ) are a group of related languages descended from Proto-Celtic. They form a branch of the Indo-European language family. The term "Celtic" was first used ...
origin. The meaning has been explained as 'coastal district,' 'corner-land' or 'land on the edge' (compare Welsh ''cant'' 'bordering of a circle, tire, edge,' Breton ''cant'' 'circle'). In Latin sources the area is called ''Cantia'' or ''Canticum'', while the Anglo-Saxons referred to it as ''Cent'', ''Cent lond'' or ''Centrice''.


History

The area has been occupied since the
Palaeolithic The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic or Palæolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek wikt:παλαιός, palaios - old, lithos - stone), is a period in prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of ...
era, as attested by finds from the quarries at
Swanscombe Swanscombe (/ˈswɒnzkəm/) is a town in the Borough of Dartford in Kent Kent is a Counties of England, county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Greater London to the north-west, Surrey to the west and East Susse ...
. The
Medway megaliths The Medway Megaliths, sometimes termed the Kentish Megaliths, are a group of Early Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary hist ...
were built during the
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
era. There is a rich sequence of
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the , as proposed in modern times by , for classifying and studying a ...
, celtic
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history between the use of the first stone tools by hominins 3.3 million years ago and the ...
, and Britto-
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in the New Testament of the Christian Bible Roman ...

Roman
era occupation, as indicated by finds and features such as the
Ringlemere gold cup The Ringlemere Gold Cup is a Bronze Age vessel found in the Ringlemere barrow near Sandwich, Kent, Sandwich in the English county of Kent in 2001 in archaeology, 2001. Description The body of the cup was created by hammering a single piece of gold ...
and the Roman villas of the Darent valley.
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of anc ...

Julius Caesar
described the area as ''Cantium'', or the home of the
Cantiaci The Cantiaci or Cantii were an Iron Age Celtic people living in Britain before the Roman conquest, and gave their name to a ''civitas In the history of Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder ...
, in 51 BC. The extreme west of the modern county was by the time of
Roman Britain Roman Britain is the period in classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, ...

Roman Britain
occupied by a celtic Iron Age tribe known as the
Regni The Regni, Regini, or Regnenses were a of Roman Britain Roman Britain is the period in classical antiquity when large parts of the island of Great Britain were under Roman conquest of Britain, occupation by the Roman Empire. The occupation l ...
. Caesar wrote that the people of Kent were 'by far the most civilised inhabitants of Britain'. Following the withdrawal of the Romans, large numbers of Germanic speakers from the continent settled in Kent, bringing their language, which came to be
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
. While they expelled the native Romano-British population, some likely remained in the area, eventually assimilating with the newcomers. Of the invading tribes, the
Jutes The Jutes (), Iuti, or Iutæ ( da, Jyde, non, Jótar, ang, Ēotas) were one of the Nordic Nordic most commonly refers to: * Nordic countries, written in plural as Nordics, the northwestern European countries, including Scandinavia, Fennoscand ...
were the most prominent, and the area became recorded as ''Cantia'' in about 730 and ''Cent'' in 835. The early medieval inhabitants of the county were referred to as the ''Cantwara'', or Kentish people. The city of Canterbury was the largest in Kent. In 597,
Pope Gregory I Pope Gregory I ( la, Gregorius I; – 12 March 604), commonly known as Saint Gregory the Great, was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally ent ...

Pope Gregory I
appointed the religious missionary (who became
Saint Augustine of Canterbury Augustine of Canterbury (early 6th century – probably 26 May 604) was a monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic langua ...

Saint Augustine of Canterbury
after his death) as the first
Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Cat ...
. In the previous year, Augustine successfully converted the
pagan Paganism (from classical Latin Classical Latin is the form of Latin language Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, includ ...
King
Æthelberht of Kent Æthelberht (; also Æthelbert, Aethelberht, Aethelbert or Ethelbert; ang, Æðelberht ; 550 – 24 February 616) was Kings of Kent, King of Kingdom of Kent, Kent from about 589 until his death. The eighth-century monk Bede, in his ''Ecc ...
to Christianity. The
Diocese of Canterbury In church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted ...
became England's first
Episcopal See The seat or ''cathedra'' of the Bishop of Rome in the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran An episcopal see is, in the usual meaning of the phrase, the area of a bishop's ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Phrases concerning actions occurring within o ...
with first cathedral and has since remained England's centre of Christianity. The second designated English cathedral was in Kent at
Rochester Cathedral Rochester Cathedral, formally the Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary, is an English church of Norman architecture in Rochester, Kent. The church is the cathedral A cathedral is a church that contains the '' cathedra'' ...

Rochester Cathedral
. In the 11th century, the people of Kent adopted the motto ''
Invicta Invicta (Latin for "unvanquished") may refer to: Companies * Invicta (company), an Italian outdoor equipment manufacturer * Invicta Bus Services, a bus operator in Melbourne, Australia * Invicta International Airlines, a UK charter airline from 1 ...
'', meaning "undefeated" or "unconquered". This naming followed the invasion of Britain by
William of Normandy William I (c. 1028Bates ''William the Conqueror'' p. 33 – 9 September 1087), usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first House of Normandy, Norman List of English monarchs, monarch of Engl ...

William of Normandy
as he was unable to subdue the county and they negotiated favourable terms. The continued resistance of the Kentish people against the
Normans The Normans (Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of N ...

Normans
led to Kent's designation as a semi-autonomous
county palatine In England, Wales and Ireland a county palatine or palatinate was an area ruled by a hereditary nobleman enjoying special authority and autonomy from the rest of a Monarchy, kingdom or empire. The name derives from the Latin adjective ''palātīnu ...
in 1067. Under the nominal rule of William's half-brother
Odo of Bayeux 300px, Scene in the Bayeux Tapestry showing Odo rallying Duke William's troops during the Battle of Hastings. Latin Bayeux Tapestry tituli">tituli :''See also Titulus (Roman Catholic) for Roman churches called tituli, or titulus (disambiguatio ...

Odo of Bayeux
, the county was granted similar powers to those granted in the areas bordering
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...

Wales
and
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
. Kent was traditionally into East and West Kent, and into
lathes File:Watchmaker's Lathe in use.jpg, A watchmaker using a lathe to prepare a component cut from copper for a watch A lathe () is a machine tool that rotates a workpiece about an axis of rotation to perform various operations such as cutting, san ...
and
hundreds A hundred is the natural number following 99 and preceding 101. Hundred may also refer to: Units and divisions * Hundred (word) formerly also equal to 120 or other values * Hundred (unit) sometimes equal to 120 or other values ** Hundredweight (cw ...
. The traditional border of East and West Kent was the county's main river, the
Medway Medway is a conurbation and Unitary authorities of England, unitary authority in Kent, South East England. It had a population in 2019 of 278,016. The unitary authority was formed in 1998 when the City of Rochester-upon-Medway amalgamated wit ...
. Men and women from east of the Medway are Men (or Maids) of Kent, those from the west are Kentishmen or Kentish Maids. The divide has been explained by some as originating in the Anglo-Saxon migrations, with Jutes mainly settling east of the Medway and Saxons settling west of it. During the medieval and early modern period, Kent played a major role in several of England's most notable rebellions, including the
Peasants' Revolt The Peasants' Revolt, also named Wat Tyler's Rebellion or the Great Rising, was a major uprising across large parts of England in 1381. The revolt had various causes, including the socio-economic and political tensions generated by the Black ...
of 1381, led by
Wat Tyler Wat Tyler (c. 1320/4 January 1341 – 15 June 1381) was a leader of the 1381 Peasants' Revolt in Kingdom of England, England. He marched a group of rebels from Canterbury to City of London, London to oppose the institution of a Tax per head, ...
,
Jack Cade Jack Cade's Rebellion was a popular revolt in 1450 against the government of England, which took place in the southeast of the country between the months of April and July. It stemmed from local grievances regarding the corruption, maladmini ...

Jack Cade
's Kent rebellion of 1450, and Wyatt's Rebellion of 1554 against Queen
Mary I Mary I (18 February 1516 – 17 November 1558), also known as Mary Tudor, and as "Bloody Mary" by her Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to ...

Mary I
. The
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
first used the
River Medway The River Medway is a river in South East England. It rises in the High Weald AONB, High Weald, East Sussex and flows through Tonbridge, Maidstone and the Medway conurbation in Kent, before emptying into the Thames Estuary near Sheerness, a tot ...
in 1547. By the reign of
Elizabeth I Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_an ...

Elizabeth I
(1558–1603) a small dockyard had been established at Chatham. By 1618, storehouses, a
ropewalk A ropewalk is a long straight narrow lane In road transport Road transport or road transportation is a type of transport by using roads. Transport on roads can be roughly grouped into the transportation of goods and transportation of peopl ...

ropewalk
, a
drydock A dry dock (sometimes drydock or dry-dock) is a narrow basin or vessel that can be flooded to allow a load to be floated in, then drained to allow that load to come to rest on a dry platform. Dry docks are used for the construction, maintenance, ...
, and houses for officials had been built downstream from Chatham. By the 17th century, tensions between Britain and the powers of the Netherlands and France led to increasing military build-up in the county. Forts were built all along the coast following the
raid on the Medway The Raid on the Medway, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War The Second Anglo-Dutch War or the Second Dutch War (4 March 1665 – 31 July 1667; nl, Tweede Engelse Oorlog "Second English War") was a conflict between Kingdom of England, Engl ...
, a successful attack by the Dutch navy on the shipyards of the
Medway Medway is a conurbation A conurbation is a region comprising a number of metropolis in the background A metropolis () is a large city or conurbation which is a significant economic, political, and cultural center for a country or reg ...
towns in 1667. The 18th century was dominated by wars with France, during which the Medway became the primary base for a fleet that could act along the Dutch and French coasts. When the theatre of operation moved to the , this role was assumed by
Portsmouth Portsmouth ( ) is a port and island city status in the United Kingdom, city with Unitary authorities of England, unitary authority status in the ceremonial county of Hampshire, southern England. It is the most densely populated city in the Unit ...

Portsmouth
and
Plymouth Plymouth () is a port city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: ...

Plymouth
, with Chatham concentrating on shipbuilding and ship repair. As an indication of the area's military importance, the first
Ordnance Survey , nativename_a = , nativename_r = , logo = Ordnance Survey 2015 Logo.svg , logo_width = 240px , logo_caption = , seal = , seal_width = , seal_caption = , picture = , picture_width = , picture_caption = , formed = , preceding1 = , di ...
map ever drawn was a one-inch map of Kent, published in 1801. Many of the
Georgian Georgian may refer to: Common meanings * Anything related to, or originating from Georgia (country) **Georgians, an indigenous Caucasian ethnic group **Georgian language, a Kartvelian language spoken by Georgians **Georgian scripts, three scripts ...
naval buildings still stand. In the early 19th century, smugglers were very active on the Kent coastline. Gangs such as The Aldington Gang brought spirits, tobacco and salt to the county, and transported goods such as wool across the sea to France. In 1889 the
County of London The County of London was a county of England from 1889 to 1965, corresponding to the area known today as Inner London. It was created as part of the general introduction of elected county government in England, by way of the Local Government Ac ...
was created and took over responsibility for local administration of parts of north-west Kent. These included the towns of
Greenwich Greenwich ( , , , or ) is a town in South London, south-east London, England, located in the Historic county of England, historic county of Kent and the Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county of Greater London. It is situated east ...

Greenwich
,
Woolwich Woolwich () is a district in southeast The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydros ...
,
Lee Lee may refer to: People Given name * Lee (given name) Lee is a given name derived from the Lee (English surname), English surname Lee (which is ultimately from a placename derived from Old English '':wikt:leah, leah'' "clearing; meadow"). As ...
,
Eltham Eltham () is a district of South London, southeast London, England, within the Royal Borough of Greenwich. It is east-southeast of Charing Cross, and is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London. The three war ...
, Charlton,
Kidbrooke Kidbrooke is an area of South East London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the south-east of England, ...
. In 1900, however, Kent absorbed the district of
Penge Penge () is an area of South East London London is the Capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the head ...
. Some of Kent is contiguous with the
Greater London Greater London is an Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England, administrative area governed by the Greater London Authority, and a Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county of England that covers the bulk of the same area ...

Greater London
sprawl, notably parts of Dartford (borough), Dartford. Originally the border between Kent and Sussex (later
East Sussex East Sussex is a county in South East England on the English Channel The English Channel,, "The Sleeve"; nrf, la Maunche, "The Sleeve" ( Cotentinais) or (Jèrriais), (Guernésiais), "The Channel"; br, Mor Breizh, "Sea of Brittany"; c ...

East Sussex
) ran through the towns of Royal Tunbridge Wells, Tunbridge Wells and Lamberhurst. In 1894, by the Local Government Act 1894, Local Government Act, the parts of these towns that lay in East Sussex were absorbed by Kent. During the Second World War much of the
Battle of Britain The Battle of Britain (german: die Luftschlacht um England, "the Air Battle for England") was a military campaign A military campaign is large-scale long-duration significant military strategy Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented ...

Battle of Britain
was fought in the skies over Kent. Between June 1944 and March 1945 more than 10,000 V1 flying bombs, or "Doodlebugs", were fired towards London from bases in Pas-de-Calais, Northern France. Although many were destroyed by aircraft, anti-aircraft guns and barrage balloons, both London and Kent were hit by around 2,500 of these bombs. After the war Kent's borders changed several more times. In 1965 the London boroughs of London Borough of Bromley, Bromley and London Borough of Bexley, Bexley were created from nine towns formerly in Kent. In 1998 Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham and Rainham, Kent, Rainham left the administrative county of Kent to form the Unitary Authority of
Medway Medway is a conurbation A conurbation is a region comprising a number of metropolis in the background A metropolis () is a large city or conurbation which is a significant economic, political, and cultural center for a country or reg ...
. Plans for another unitary authority in North West Kent, north-west Kent were dropped, but in 2016 consultations began between five Kent local authorities (Canterbury, Thanet, Dover, Folkestone & Hythe, and Ashford) with a view to forming a new unitary authority for East Kent, outside the auspices of Kent County Council. For almost nine centuries a small part of present-day East London (the North Woolwich, London E16 area), formed part of Kent.


Climate

Kent is one of the warmest parts of Britain. On 10 August 2003, in the hamlet of Brogdale near Faversham the temperature reached , at that time the hottest temperature ever officially recorded in the United Kingdom.


Physical geography

Kent is in the southeastern corner of England. It borders the Thames Estuary and the North Sea to the north, and the Straits of Dover and the English Channel to the south. France is across the Strait. The major geographical features of the county are based on a series of ridges and valleys running east–west across the county. These are the results of erosion of the Wealden dome, a dome across Kent and Sussex created by geography of the Alps, alpine movements 20–10 million years ago. This dome consists of an upper layer of chalk above successive layers of Upper Greensand, Gault Clay, Lower Greensand, Weald Clay, and Wealden sandstone. The ridges and valleys formed when the exposed clay eroded faster than the exposed chalk, greensand, or sandstone. Sevenoaks,
Maidstone Maidstone is the largest Town status in the United Kingdom, town in Kent, England, of which it is the county town. Maidstone is historically important and lies 32 miles (51 km) east-south-east of London. The River Medway runs through the c ...
, Ashford, Kent, Ashford, and
Folkestone Folkestone ( ) is a port town on the English Channel, in Kent, south-east England. The town lies on the southern edge of the North Downs at a valley between two cliffs. It was an important harbour and shipping port for most of the 19th and 20th ...

Folkestone
are built on greensand, while Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells are built on sandstone. Dartford, Gravesend, Kent, Gravesend, the Medway towns, Sittingbourne, Faversham, Canterbury, Deal, Kent, Deal, and Dover are built on chalk.Britain's Structure and Scenery, Laurence Dudley Stamp, L.Dudley Stamp, Pub September 1946, Collins New Naturalist Series. The easterly section of the Wealden dome has been eroded away by the sea, and cliffs such as the
White Cliffs of Dover The White Cliffs of Dover is the region of English coastline The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the sea or ocean, or as a line that forms the boundary between the land and the ocean ...
are present where a chalk ridge known as the
North Downs The North Downs are a ridge of chalk hills in south east England that stretch from Farnham in Surrey to the White Cliffs of Dover in Kent. Much of the North Downs comprises two Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Areas of Outstanding Natural Bea ...
meets the coast. Spanning Dover and Westerham is the Kent Downs AONB, Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Wealden dome is a Mesozoic structure lying on a Palaeozoic foundation, which can often create the right conditions for coal formation. This is found in East Kent roughly between Deal, Canterbury, and Dover. The Coal Measures within the Westphalian Sandstone are about deep, and are subject to flooding. They occur in two major troughs, which extend under the English Channel. Seismic activity has occasionally been recorded in Kent, though the epicentres were offshore. In 1382 and 1580 there were two earthquakes exceeding 6.0 on the Richter Scale. In 1776, 1950, and on 28 April 2007 there were earthquakes of around 4.3. The 2007 Kent earthquake, 2007 earthquake caused physical damage in Folkestone. A further quake on 22 May 2015 measured 4.2 on the Richter Scale. It was centred in the Sandwich area of east Kent at about ten miles below the surface. There was little if any damage reported. The coastline of Kent is continuously changing, due to tectonic uplift and coastal erosion. Until about 960, the Isle of Thanet was an island, separated by the Wantsum channel, formed around a deposit of chalk; over time, the channels silted up with alluvium. Similarly Romney Marsh and Dungeness (headland), Dungeness have been formed by accumulation of alluvium. Kent's principal river, the
River Medway The River Medway is a river in South East England. It rises in the High Weald AONB, High Weald, East Sussex and flows through Tonbridge, Maidstone and the Medway conurbation in Kent, before emptying into the Thames Estuary near Sheerness, a tot ...
, rises near East Grinstead in Sussex and flows eastwards to
Maidstone Maidstone is the largest Town status in the United Kingdom, town in Kent, England, of which it is the county town. Maidstone is historically important and lies 32 miles (51 km) east-south-east of London. The River Medway runs through the c ...
. Here it turns north and breaks through the North Downs at Rochester, then joins the estuary of the River Thames near Sheerness. The Medway is some long. The river is tidal as far as Allington, Kent, Allington lock, but in earlier times, cargo-carrying vessels reached as far upstream as Tonbridge. The Medway has captured the head waters of other rivers such as the River Darent. Other rivers of Kent include the River Stour, Kent, River Stour in the east. A 2014 study found that Kent shares significant reserves of shale oil with other neighbouring counties, totalling 4.4 billion Barrel (unit), barrels of oil, which then Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon said "will bring jobs and business opportunities" and significantly help with UK energy self-sufficiency. Hydraulic fracturing in the United Kingdom, Fracking in the area is required to achieve these objectives; it has been opposed by environmental groups.


Demography

At the United Kingdom Census 2011, 2011 census, Kent, including Medway, had 1,727,665 residents (18.0% of which in Medway); had 711,847 households (17.5% of which in Medway) and had 743,436 dwellings (14.8% of which in Medway). 51.1% of Kent's population excluding Medway was female — as to Medway, this proportion was 50.4%. The tables below provide statistics for the administrative county of Kent, that is, excluding Medway.


Government

Kent County Council (KCC) and its 12 Local government in the United Kingdom, district councils administer most of the county (3352 km2), while the Medway, Medway Towns Council, a unitary authority and commonly called Medway Council, administers the more densely populated remainder (192 km2). Together they have around 300 town council, town and Parish councils in England, parish councils. Kent County Council's headquarters are in
Maidstone Maidstone is the largest Town status in the United Kingdom, town in Kent, England, of which it is the county town. Maidstone is historically important and lies 32 miles (51 km) east-south-east of London. The River Medway runs through the c ...
, while Medway's offices are at Gun Wharf, Chatham. At the 2013 United Kingdom local elections, 2013 county council elections, control of Kent County Council was held by the Conservative Party (UK), Conservatives, who won 44 of the council's 83 seats. 17 seats were won by the UK Independence Party, United Kingdom Independence Party, 13 by the Labour Party (UK), Labour Party, 7 by the Liberal Democrats (UK), Liberal Democrats, 1 by the Green Party (UK), Green Party and 1 by the Swanscombe and Greenhithe Residents Association. At the 2007 United Kingdom local elections, 2007 local elections, control of Medway Council was held by the Conservatives; 33 of the council's 55 seats were held by the Conservatives, 13 by the Labour Party, 8 by the Liberal Democrats (UK), Liberal Democrats and 1 by an Independent. All but one of Kent's district councils are controlled by the Conservatives: a minority Labour administration took control of Thanet District in December 2011 after a Conservative councillor defected to the Independent group. In the council elections of May 2015 the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) took control of the Council, the first and so far only one in the UK. In October 2015 UKIP lost overall control following a series of resignations, although remaining the largest party, only for UKIP to regain control once more following ward elections in August 2016. At the national level, Kent is represented in Parliament of the United Kingdom, Parliament by List of Parliamentary constituencies in Kent, 17 MPs, all of whom were Conservative until the general election of June 2017. At that election Canterbury (UK Parliament constituency), Canterbury elected Rosie Duffield, the first ever Labour MP to hold the seat since the constituency was formed in 1918. At the 2019 general election, she increased her majority from 187 to 1836.


Economy

At the United Kingdom Census 2001, 2001 UK census, employment statistics for the residents in Kent, including Medway, were as follows: 41.1% in full-time employment, 12.4% in part-time employment, 9.1% self-employed, 2.9% unemployed, 2.3% students with jobs, 3.7% students without jobs, 12.3% retired, 7.3% looking after home or family, 4.3% permanently sick or disabled, and 2.7% economically inactive for other reasons. Of residents aged 16–74, 16% had a higher education qualification or the equivalent, compared to 20% nationwide. The average hours worked per week by residents of Kent were 43.1 for males and 30.9 for females. Their industry of employment was 17.3% retail, 12.4% manufacturing, 11.8% real estate, 10.3% health and social work, 8.9% construction, 8.2% transport and communications, 7.9% education, 6.0% public administration and defence, 5.6% finance, 4.8% other community and personal service activities, 4.1% hotels and restaurants, 1.6% agriculture, 0.8% energy and water supply, 0.2% mining, and 0.1% private households. This is higher than the whole of England for construction and transport/communications and lower for manufacturing. Kent is sometimes known as the "Garden of England" for its abundance of orchards and gardens. In particular the county produces tree-grown fruits, strawberries and hazelnuts. Distinctive hop-drying buildings called oast house, oasts are common in the countryside, although many have been converted into dwellings. Nearer to London, market gardens also flourish. Kent is the main area for hazelnut production in the UK. However, in recent years, there has been a significant drop in agriculture, and industry and services are increasing their utilisation of the area. This is illustrated by the following table of economic indicator gross value added (GVA) between 1995 and 2003 (figures are in £ millions): North Kent is heavily industrialised, with cement-making at Northfleet and Cuxton, brickmaking at Sittingbourne, shipbuilding on the Medway and The Swale, Swale, engineering and aircraft design process, aircraft design and construction at Rochester, chemicals at Dartford, papermaking at Swanley, and oil refinery, oil refining at Isle of Grain, Grain. There is a steel mini mill in Sheerness and a rolling mill in Queenborough. There are two Dungeness nuclear power station, nuclear power stations at Dungeness (headland), Dungeness, although the older one, Dungeness A, built in 1965, was decommissioned in 2006. Cement-making, papermaking, and coal-mining were important industries in Kent during the 19th and 20th centuries. Cement came to the fore in the 19th century when massive building projects were undertaken. The ready supply of chalk and huge pits between Stone, Kent, Stone and Gravesend, Kent, Gravesend bear testament to that industry. There were also other workings around Burham on the tidal Medway. Chalk, gravel and clay were excavated on Dartford Heath for centuries. Kent's original paper mills stood on streams like the River Darent, tributaries of the River Medway, and on the River Stour, Kent, River Stour. Two 18th century mills were on the Rivers of Kent, River Len and at Tovil on the Loose Stream, River Loose. In the late 19th century huge modern mills were built at Dartford and Northfleet on the River Thames and at Sittingbourne, Kemsley on The Swale. In pre-industrial times, almost every village and town had its own windmill or watermill, with List of windmills in Kent, over 400 windmills known to have stood at some time. Twenty-eight survive within the county today, plus two replica mills and a further two in that part of Kent now absorbed into London. All the major rivers in the county were used to power watermills. From about 1900, several coal pits operated in East Kent. The Kent Coalfield was mined during the 20th century at several collieries, including Chislet, Tilmanstone, Betteshanger, and the Snowdown Colliery, which ran from 1908 to 1986. The west of the county (including Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, and Sevenoaks) has less than 50% of the average claimant count for low incomes or worklessness as the coastal districts of Dover, Folkestone and Hythe, and Thanet (chiefly three resorts: Ramsgate, Broadstairs, and Margate). West and Central Kent have long had many London commuter belt, City of London commuters.


Culture


Architecture

Kent's geographical location between the Straits of Dover and London has influenced its architecture, as has its Cretaceous geology and its good farming land and fine building clays. Kent's countryside pattern was determined by a gavelkind inheritance system that generated a proliferation of small settlements. There was no open-field system, and the large tracts were owned by the two great abbeys, Christ Church, Canterbury and St Augustine's Abbey, that did not pass into the hands of the king during the Reformation.
Canterbury Cathedral Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury Canterbury (, ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated in the heart of the City of Canterbury, a local government district of Kent, England. It lies ...

Canterbury Cathedral
is the United Kingdom's Suffragan, metropolitan cathedral; it was founded in AD 598 and displays architecture from all periods. There are nine Anglo-Saxon churches in Kent.
Rochester Cathedral Rochester Cathedral, formally the Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary, is an English church of Norman architecture in Rochester, Kent. The church is the cathedral A cathedral is a church that contains the '' cathedra'' ...

Rochester Cathedral
is England's second-oldest cathedral, the present building built in the Early English Style. These two dioceses ensured that every village had a parish church. The sites of Richborough Castle and Dover Castle, along with two strategic sites along Watling Street, were fortified by the Romans and the Dukes of Kent. Other important sites include Canterbury city walls and Rochester Castle. There remained a need to defend London and thus Kent. Deal Castle, Walmer Castle, Sandown Castle, Kent, Sandown Castle (whose remains were eroded by the sea in the 1990s) were constructed in late mediaeval times, and Chatham Historic Dockyard, HM Dockyard, at Chatham and its surrounding castles and forts—Upnor Castle, Great Lines Heritage Park, Great Lines, and Fort Amherst—more recently. Kent has three unique vernacular architecture forms: the oast house, the Wealden hall house, and peg tile#Peg tile, Kentish peg-tiles. Kent has bridge trusts to maintain its bridges, and though the great bridge (1387) at Rochester Bridge, Rochester was replaced there are medieval structures at Aylesford, Yalding and Teston. With the motorways in the late twentieth century came the M2 motorway (Great Britain), M2 motorway bridge spanning the Medway and the Dartford tunnel and the Dartford Crossing, Dartford Bridge spanning the Thames.


Literature and publishing

Kent has provided inspiration for several notable writers and artists. Canterbury's religious role gave rise to Geoffrey Chaucer, Chaucer's ''The Canterbury Tales, Canterbury Tales'', a key development in the English language. The father of novelist Charles Dickens worked at the
Chatham Dockyard Chatham Dockyard was a Royal Navy Dockyard located on the River Medway in Kent. Established in Chatham, Kent, Chatham in the mid-16th century, the dockyard subsequently expanded into neighbouring Gillingham, Kent, Gillingham (at its most extensi ...
; in many of his books, the celebrated novelist featured the scenery of Chatham, Rochester, and the Cliffe-at-Hoo, Cliffe marshes. During the late 1930s, Nobel Prize-awarded novelist William Golding worked as a teacher at Maidstone Grammar School, where he met his future wife Ann Brookfield. William Caxton, who first introduced the printing press to England, was born in Kent; the recent invention was key in helping many Kentish dialect, Kent dialect words and spellings to become standard in English language, English. Lord Northbourne hosted a biodynamic agriculture conference on his estate at Betteshanger in the summer of 1939, he coined the term 'organic farming' and published his manifesto of organic agriculture the following year spawning a global movement for sustainable agriculture and food.Paull, John (2021)
Organic Agriculture - Invented in Kent
Kent Maps Symposium, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, 5 May.


Visual arts

A number of significant artists came from Kent, including Thomas Sidney Cooper, a painter of landscapes, often incorporating farm animals, Richard Dadd, a maker of faery paintings, and Mary Tourtel, the creator of the children's book character, Rupert Bear. The artist Clive Head was also born in Kent. The landscape painter J. M. W. Turner spent part of his childhood in the town of Margate in East Kent, and regularly returned to visit it throughout his life. The East Kent coast inspired many of his works, including some of his most famous seascapes. Kent has also been the home to artists including Frank Auerbach, Tracey Emin and Stass Paraskos. Kent was also the location of the largest number of art schools in the country during the nineteenth century, estimated by the art historian David Haste, to approach two hundred. This is believed to be the result of Kent being a front line county during the Napoleonic Wars. At this time, before the invention of photography, draughtsmen were used to draw maps and topographical representations of the fields of battle, and after the wars ended many of these settled permanently in the county in which they had been based. Once the idea of art schools had been established, even in small towns in Kent, the tradition continued, although most of the schools were very small one-man operations, each teaching a small number of daughters of the upper classes how to draw and make watercolour paintings. Nonetheless, some of these small art schools developed into much larger organisations, including Canterbury College of Art, founded by Thomas Sidney Cooper in 1868, which is today the University for the Creative Arts. Blean near Canterbury was home to Smallfilms, the production company founded by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin and responsible for children's TV favourites Noggin the Nog, Ivor the Engine and Bagpuss.


Performing arts

The county's largest theatre is the Marlowe Theatre in the centre of Canterbury. Other venues for live music include Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone and the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, Assembly Hall in Tunbridge Wells. It re-opened, after being completely rebuilt, in October 2011. Music festivals that take place in Kent include Chilled in a Field Festival, Electric Gardens, Hop Farm Festival, In the Woods Festival, Lounge On The Farm and the annual (not 2020) Smugglers Festival near Deal.


Transport


Roads

With the Roman invasion, a road network was constructed to connect London to the Channel ports of Dover, Lympne and Richborough. The London–Dover road was Watling Street. These roads are now approximately the A2, B2068, A257, and the A28. The A2 road (Great Britain), A2 runs through Dartford (A207), Gravesend, Rochester, Canterbury, and Dover; the A20 through Eltham, Wrotham, Maidstone, Charing, Ashford. Hythe, Kent, Hythe, Folkestone and Dover; the A21 road (England), A21 around Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and on to Hastings in East Sussex. In the 1960s, two motorways were built; the M2 motorway (Great Britain), M2 from
Medway Medway is a conurbation A conurbation is a region comprising a number of metropolis in the background A metropolis () is a large city or conurbation which is a significant economic, political, and cultural center for a country or reg ...
to Faversham, and the M20 motorway, M20 from Swanley to Folkestone. Part of the M25 motorway, M25 runs through Kent, from Westerham to the Dartford Crossing. The M26 motorway, built-in 1980, provides a short link between the M25 at Sevenoaks and the M20 near Wrotham. Kent currently has more motorways by distance than any other county in the UK, with sections of the M2, M20, M25 and M26 totalling within the extents of the ceremonial county. In the run-up to Britain Brexit, leaving the European Union, Government Minister Michael Gove MP for Surrey Heath (UK Parliament constituency), Surrey Heath confirmed that the UK government intended to impose a ''de facto'' border between Kent and the rest of England for freight lorries, in order to deal with expected lorry queues of 7,000 or more at Folkestone, Dover and other ports. Heavy Goods Vehicle, HGV operators need to apply for a 24-hour Kent Access Permit (KAP) to take a vehicle of 7.5 tonnes or more into Kent if their intention is to cross to the EU via Dover or the Eurotunnel.


Water

The medieval
Cinque Ports The Confederation of Cinque Ports () is a historic group of coastal towns in , and . The name is , meaning "five harbours". It was originally formed for military and trade purposes, but is now entirely ceremonial. The ports lie on the weste ...
, except for the Port of Dover, have all now silted up. The Medway Estuary has been an important port and naval base for 500 years. The River Medway is tidal up to Allington, Kent, Allington and navigable up to Tonbridge. Kent's two canals are the Royal Military Canal between Hythe and Rye, which still exists, and the Thames and Medway Canal between Strood and Gravesend. Built-in 1824, it was purchased in 1846 by the railways, which partially backfilled it. Container ports are at Ramsgate and Thamesport. Following the closures across the lower Medway, and the Swale to the Isle of Sheppey, during the 20th century, the Woolwich Ferry is the only domestic ferry that runs in the broadest definition of the county.


Railways

The earliest locomotive-driven passenger-carrying railway in Britain was the Canterbury & Whitstable Railway which opened in 1830. This and the London & Greenwich Railway later merged into South Eastern Railway (England), South Eastern Railway (SER). By the 1850s, SER's networks had expanded to Ashford, Ramsgate, Canterbury, Tunbridge Wells, and the Medway towns. SER's major London termini were London Bridge railway station, London Bridge, Charing Cross railway station, Charing Cross, and Cannon Street railway station, Cannon Street. Kent also had a second major railway, the London, Chatham & Dover Railway. Originally the East Kent Railway in 1858, it linked the northeast Kent coast with London terminals at London Victoria railway station, Victoria and Blackfriars railway station, Blackfriars. The two companies merged in 1899, forming the South Eastern & Chatham Railway, further amalgamated with other railways by the Railways Act 1921 to form the Southern Railway (England), Southern Railway. Britain's railways were nationalised in 1948, forming British Railways. The railways were privatised in 1996 and most Kent passenger services were franchising, franchised to Connex South Eastern. Following financial difficulties, Connex lost the franchise and was replaced by South Eastern Trains and after Southeastern (train operating company), Southeastern. The Channel Tunnel was completed in 1994 and High Speed 1 in November 2007 with a London terminus at St Pancras railway station, St Pancras. A new station, Ebbsfleet International railway station, Ebbsfleet International, opened between Dartford and Gravesend, Kent, Gravesend, serving northern Kent. The high speed lines will be utilised to provide a faster train service to coastal towns like Ramsgate and
Folkestone Folkestone ( ) is a port town on the English Channel, in Kent, south-east England. The town lies on the southern edge of the North Downs at a valley between two cliffs. It was an important harbour and shipping port for most of the 19th and 20th ...

Folkestone
. This station is in addition to the existing station at Ashford International railway station, Ashford International, which has suffered a massive cut in service as a result. In addition to the "main line" railways, there are several light, heritage, and industrial railways in Kent. There are three heritage, standard gauge railways; Spa Valley Railway near Tunbridge Wells on the old Tunbridge Wells West branch, East Kent Railway (heritage), East Kent Railway on the old East Kent coalfield area and the Kent & East Sussex Railway on the Weald around Tenterden. In addition, there is the gauge, Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway on the southeast Kent coast along the Dungeness peninsula. Finally, there is the , industrial Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway, previously the Bowaters Paper Railway.


Air

Charter flights are provided by Lydd Airport at Lydd. In 2002, it was revealed that the government was considering building a new four-runway airport on the marshland near the village of Cliffe, Kent, Cliffe on Hoo Peninsula. This plan was dropped in 2003 following protests by cultural and environmental groups. However further plans for a Thames Estuary Airport on the Kent coast have subsequently emerged, including the Thames Hub Airport, again sited on the Isle of Grain and designed by Lord Foster, and the London Britannia Airport plan, colloquially known as "Boris Island" due to its being championed by the former Mayor of London Boris Johnson, which would see a six runway airport built on an artificial island to be towards the Shivering Sands Army Fort, Shivering Sands area, north-east of Whitstable. Both of these options were dropped in 2014 in favour of expansion at either Gatwick or Heathrow Airport, the latter finally being the chosen option following Theresa May's installation as Prime Minister in summer 2016. Manston Airport, located near the village of Manston, Kent, Manston in the Thanet District, Thanet district, was a former Royal Air Force, RAF facility that also handled some civilian flights. It closed in 2014.


Education

Kent has four universities: Canterbury Christ Church University with campuses throughout East Kent; University of Kent, with campuses in Canterbury and Medway; University of Greenwich (a London University), with sites at
Woolwich Woolwich () is a district in southeast The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydros ...
, Eltham, London and Medway; the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) also has three of its five campuses in the county. Although much of Britain adopted a comprehensive education system in the 1970s, Kent County Council (KCC) and Medway Unitary Authority are among around fifteen local authorities still providing Education in the United Kingdom, wholly selective education through the eleven-plus examination with students allocated a place at a secondary modern school or at a grammar school. Together, the two Kent authorities have 38 of the 164 grammar schools remaining in Britain. Kent County Council has the largest education department of any local council in Britain, providing school places for over 289,000 pupils. In 2005–06, Kent County Council and Medway introduced a standardised school year, based on six terms, as recommended by the Local Government Association in its 2000 report, "The Rhythms of Schooling". Kent County Council Local Education Authority maintains 96 secondary schools, of which 33 are selective schools and 63 are secondary modern schools. Music education is provided by Kent Music (formerly Kent Music School), which has its origins in the 1940s. Kent Music provides services across the county including Kent County Youth Orchestra, Kent Youth Choirs, and an annual summer school at Benenden School.


National Challenge schools

In 2010, Kent had the highest number of National Challenge schools in England: schools which are branded 'failing' based on the British Government's floor targets that 30% of pupils achieve at least 5 GCSE grades A* to C. Of the 63 secondary modern schools, 33 missed this target; thus 52% of Kent secondary modern schools (34% out of all 96 maintained secondary schools) are 'failing'.


Sport

In association football, Kent's highest ranked football team is Gillingham FC, who play in Football League One. Maidstone United F.C. (1897), Maidstone United was a Football League side from 1989 until going bankrupt in 1992. Kent clubs in the higher levels of non-league football include the current incarnation of Maidstone United and Dover Athletic F.C., Dover Athletic playing in the National League (division), National League along with Ebbsfleet United F.C., Ebbsfleet United, who were promoted in 2017. Dartford F.C., Dartford currently play in National League South, the sixth tier of the English football pyramid. Kent is represented in cricket by Kent County Cricket Club. The club was a founder member of the County Championship in 1890 and has won the competition, the major domestic first-class cricket competition, seven times. The club is based at the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury and also plays matches at the Nevill Ground in Royal Tunbridge Wells and the County Cricket Ground, Beckenham. The Kent Women cricket team has won the Women's County Championship seven times since it was established in 1997. Cricket has traditionally been a popular sport in the county and Kent is considered one of the locations in which the game first developed. Teams have represented the county since the early 18th century. The Kent Cricket League is the top level of club competition within Kent and features teams from throughout the county, including areas such as Beckenham and Bexley which were formerly part of the county. British tennis player and US Open (tennis), US Open champion Emma Raducanu grew up and was educated in Bromley, North-East Kent Canterbury Hockey Club and Holcombe Hockey Club both play in the top division in both the Men's England Hockey League, men's and Women's England Hockey League, women's England Hockey Leagues. Sevenoaks Hockey Club's women first XI plays in the second tier of national competition. In rugby union, Canterbury RFC play in the fourth-tier of English rugby in the National League 2 South. Gravesend RFC and Tonbridge Juddians Rugby Football Club, Tonbridge Juddians both play in the fifth-tier National League 3 London & SE. Blackheath FC, a club within the historic boundaries of the county, play in third-tier National League 1. In motorsport, the Brands Hatch circuit near Swanley has played host to a number of national and international racing events and hosted 12 runnings of the British Grand Prix in various years between 1964 and 1986. Kent is home to two National League netball clubs, both based in northwest Kent: Telstars (Premier Division 2) and KCNC (Premier Division 3).


Local media


Television

Much of Kent is served by the BBC's BBC South East, South East region, which is based in Tunbridge Wells and provides local news for the county and
East Sussex East Sussex is a county in South East England on the English Channel The English Channel,, "The Sleeve"; nrf, la Maunche, "The Sleeve" ( Cotentinais) or (Jèrriais), (Guernésiais), "The Channel"; br, Mor Breizh, "Sea of Brittany"; c ...

East Sussex
. Its commercial rival is Meridian Broadcasting, ITV Meridian Ltd, which has a newsroom at The Maidstone Studios despite the main studio being based in Hampshire. Main transmitters providing these services are at West Hougham, near Dover and Blue Bell Hill, between Chatham and
Maidstone Maidstone is the largest Town status in the United Kingdom, town in Kent, England, of which it is the county town. Maidstone is historically important and lies 32 miles (51 km) east-south-east of London. The River Medway runs through the c ...
. A powerful relay transmitter at Tunbridge Wells serves the town and surrounding area. Those parts of Kent closest to London such as Swanley, Westerham, Dartford, Gravesend, and Sevenoaks lie within the ITV London and BBC London areas, taking their television signals from the Crystal Palace transmitter.


Radio

Kent has two county-wide stations – BBC Radio Kent, based in Tunbridge Wells; and the commercial station KMFM (radio network), KMFM, owned by the KM Group. KMFM previously consisted of seven local stations which covered different areas of the county (and are still technically seven different licences) but have shared all programming since 2012 The county's first commercial station was originally known as Invicta FM and began broadcasting in 1984. After various buyouts, the station was rebranded into Heart Kent in 2009 as part of the Heart Network. The station was closed and merged with several other Heart stations in the south of England in 2019 to form Heart South, with the Kent studios in Whitstable closing and production moving to Fareham in Hampshire. There are several community radio stations in Kent including: * Academy FM (Folkestone). * Academy FM (Thanet) * AHBS Community Radio, Ashford FM (Ashford) on 107.1 FM. * BRFM 95.6 FM (Sheppey) * Cabin FM broadcasting to Herne Bay on 94.6FM. * CSR 97.4FM (Canterbury) * Deal Radio (Deal): online only. * Dover Community Radio (DCR) Dover: currently online only; in May 2020 this was a granted a community radio licence and will start broadcasting in the next few years. * Radio Faversham (Faversham): online only. * Maidstone Community Radio (MCR): online only. * Miskin Radio (Dartford and Gravesend): online only. * SFM 106.9FM (Sittingboune) * Sheppey FM 92.2 (Sheppey) * Shoreline FM (Romney Marsh) broadcasting since January 2020 on 101.1FM. * West Kent Community Radio (WKCR) serving Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks. Awarded a community licence by Ofcom in late 2019 and due to launch in the next few years. * Whitstable Bay Radio (Whitstable): online only.


Newspapers

The KM Group, KOS Media and Kent Regional News and Media all provide local newspapers for most of the large towns and cities. County-wide papers include the ''Kent Messenger'', ''Kent on Saturday'', ''Kent on Sunday'', and the ''Kent and Sussex Courier''.


See also

* Custos Rotulorum of Kent – list of Keepers of the Rolls * Duke of Kent * Kent (UK Parliament constituency) – historical list of MPs for Kent constituency * Kent Community Network * Kent Police and Crime Commissioner * List of churches in Kent * List of civil parishes in Kent * List of fire stations in Kent * List of hills of Kent * Lord Lieutenant of Kent, List of Lord Lieutenants * List of people from Kent * List of places in Kent * List of tourist attractions in Kent * Recreational walks in Kent * Thames Gateway – includes details of regeneration projects in the northern areas of Kent * :Towns in Kent * :Villages in Kent


References


External links

*
Kent County Council
nbsp;– local government website
BBC – origins of Kent placenames

Images of Kent
at the English Heritage Archive {{Authority control Kent, Non-metropolitan counties South East England Home counties Counties of England established in antiquity