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Kent
Kent
/kɛnt/ is a county in South East England
England
and one of the home counties. It borders Greater London
Greater London
to the north west, Surrey
Surrey
to the west and East Sussex
East Sussex
to the south west. The county also shares borders with Essex
Essex
along the estuary of the River Thames, and with the French department of Pas-de-Calais
Pas-de-Calais
along the English Channel. The county town is Maidstone. Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
in Kent
Kent
has been the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England, since the conversion of England
England
to Christianity
Christianity
by Saint Augustine began in the 6th century. Rochester Cathedral
Rochester Cathedral
is also located in Kent, in Medway. It is the 2nd oldest Cathedral in England, with Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
being the oldest. Between London and the Strait of Dover, which separates it from mainland Europe, Kent
Kent
has seen both diplomacy and conflict, ranging from the Leeds Castle peace talks of 1978 and 2004 to the Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain
in World War II. England
England
relied on the county's ports to provide warships through much of its history; the Cinque Ports
Cinque Ports
in the 12th–14th centuries and Chatham Dockyard
Chatham Dockyard
in the 16th–20th centuries were of particular importance. France can be seen clearly in fine weather from Folkestone and the White Cliffs of Dover. Hills in the form of the North Downs and the Greensand Ridge
Greensand Ridge
span the length of the county and in the series of valleys in between and to the south are most of the county's 26 castles. Because of its relative abundance of fruit-growing and hop gardens, Kent
Kent
is known as 'The Garden of England'.[2][3] The title was defended in 2006 when a survey of beautiful counties by the UKTV Style Gardens channel put Kent
Kent
in fifth place, behind North Yorkshire, Devon, Derbyshire
Derbyshire
and Gloucestershire.[3] Kent's economy is greatly diversified. Haulage, logistics, and tourism are major industries; major industries in north-west Kent
Kent
include aggregate building materials, printing and scientific research. Coal mining has also played its part in Kent's industrial heritage. Large parts of Kent
Kent
are within the London commuter belt
London commuter belt
and its strong transport connections to the capital and the nearby continent makes Kent
Kent
a high income county. Twenty-eight per cent of the county forms part of two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: the North Downs
North Downs
and The High Weald.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 History 3 Climate 4 Physical geography 5 Demography 6 Government 7 Economy 8 Culture

8.1 Architecture 8.2 Literature & Publishing 8.3 Visual arts 8.4 Performing arts

9 Transport

9.1 Roads 9.2 Water 9.3 Railways 9.4 Air

10 Education

10.1 National Challenge schools

11 Sport 12 Local media

12.1 Television 12.2 Radio 12.3 Newspapers

13 See also 14 References 15 External links

Etymology[edit] The name Kent
Kent
is believed to be of British Celtic
British Celtic
origin and was known in Old English
Old English
as Cent, Cent lond, Centrice (all pronounced with a hard “C” as “Kent-”). In Latin sources Kent
Kent
is mentioned as Cantia, Canticum. The meaning is explained by some researchers as "coastal district," or "corner-land, land on the edge" (compare Welsh cant "bordering of a circle, tire, edge," Breton cant "circle").[4][5] If so, the name could be etymologically related to the placename Cantabria, historically a Celtiberian-speaking coastal region in pre-Roman Iberia, today a province of Spain. History[edit] Main article: History of Kent The area has been occupied since the Palaeolithic
Palaeolithic
era, as attested by finds from the quarries at Swanscombe. The Medway
Medway
megaliths were built during the Neolithic
Neolithic
era. There is a rich sequence of Bronze Age, Iron Age, and Roman era occupation, as indicated by finds and features such as the Ringlemere gold cup
Ringlemere gold cup
and the Roman villas of the Darent valley.[6] The modern name of Kent
Kent
is derived from the Brythonic word kantos meaning "rim" or "border" or maybe from a homonymous word kanto "horn, hook" (< PIE *kn̥g-tó, cfr. cornwall < cornus "horn"). This describes the eastern part of the current county area as a border land or coastal district. Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
had described the area as um, or home of the Cantiaci
Cantiaci
in 51 BC.[7] The extreme west of the modern county was by the time of Roman Britain
Roman Britain
occupied by Iron Age
Iron Age
tribes, known as the Regnenses. Caesar wrote that the people of Kent
Kent
are 'by far the most civilised inhabitants of Britain'[5]. East Kent
East Kent
became a kingdom of the Jutes
Jutes
during the 5th century[8] and was known as Cantia from about 730 and recorded as Cent in 835. The early medieval inhabitants of the county were known as the Cantwara, or Kent
Kent
people. These people regarded the city of Canterbury
Canterbury
as their capital.[9] In 597, Pope Gregory I
Pope Gregory I
appointed the religious missionary (who became Saint Augustine of Canterbury
Augustine of Canterbury
after his death) as the first Archbishop of Canterbury. In the previous year, Augustine successfully converted the pagan King Æthelberht of Kent
Æthelberht of Kent
to Christianity. The Diocese of Canterbury
Canterbury
became England's first Episcopal See
Episcopal See
with first cathedral and has since remained England's centre of Christianity.[10] The second designated English cathedral was in Kent
Kent
at Rochester Cathedral.[11] In the 11th century, the people of Kent
Kent
adopted the motto Invicta, meaning "undefeated" or "unconquered". This naming followed the invasion of Britain by William of Normandy. The Kent
Kent
people's continued resistance against the Normans
Normans
led to Kent's designation as a semi-autonomous county palatine in 1067. Under the nominal rule of William's half-brother Odo of Bayeux, the county was granted similar powers to those granted in the areas bordering Wales
Wales
and Scotland.[12] Kent
Kent
was traditionally partitioned into East and West Kent, and into lathes and hundreds. The traditional border of East and West Kent
Kent
was the county's main river, the Medway. Men and women from east of the Medway
Medway
are Men (or Maids) of Kent, those from the west are Kentishmen or Kentish Maids.[5]

Flag of the traditional county of Kent

During the medieval and early modern period, Kent
Kent
played a major role in several of England's most notable rebellions, including the Peasants' Revolt
Peasants' Revolt
of 1381, led by Wat Tyler,[13] Jack Cade's Kent rebellion of 1450, and Wyatt's Rebellion of 1554 against Queen Mary I.[14]

Title page of William Lambarde's Perambulation of Kent
Kent
(completed in 1570, and published in 1576), a historical description of Kent
Kent
and the first published county history

The Royal Navy
Royal Navy
first used the River Medway
Medway
in 1547. By the reign of Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I
(1558–1603) a small dockyard had been established at Chatham. By 1618, storehouses, a ropewalk, a drydock, and houses for officials had been built downstream from Chatham.[15] 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, a successful attack by the Dutch navy on the shipyards of the Medway
Medway
towns in 1667.[16] The 18th century was dominated by wars with France, during which the Medway
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 Atlantic, this role was assumed by Portsmouth
Portsmouth
and Plymouth, with Chatham concentrating on shipbuilding and ship repair. As an indication of the area's military importance, the first Ordnance Survey map ever drawn was a one-inch map of Kent, published in 1801.[17] Many of the Georgian 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.[18] In 1889, the County of London
County of London
was created and it took over responsibility for local administration of parts of north-west Kent. This included the towns of Deptford, Greenwich, Woolwich, Lee, Eltham, Charlton, Kidbrooke
Kidbrooke
and Lewisham. In 1900 the area of Penge was gained. Some of Kent
Kent
is contiguous with the Greater London
Greater London
sprawl, notably parts of Dartford. During World War II, much of the Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain
was fought in the skies over the county. Between June 1944 and March 1945, over 10,000 V1 flying bombs or "Doodlebugs", were fired toward London from bases in Northern France. Although many were destroyed by aircraft, anti-aircraft guns, and barrage balloons, both London and Kent
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 Bromley and Bexley
Bexley
were created from nine towns formerly in Kent.[19][20] In 1998, Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham, and Rainham left the administrative county of Kent
Kent
to form the Unitary Authority of Medway. During this reorganisation, through an "apparent" administrative oversight, the city of Rochester lost its official city status.[21] Plans for another unitary authority in north-west Kent were dropped. In 2016 consultations began between five Kent
Kent
local authorities (Canterbury, Thanet, Dover, Folkestone
Folkestone
& Hythe, and Ashford) with a view to forming a new Unitary Authority
Unitary Authority
for East Kent, outside the auspices of Kent
Kent
County Council. For almost nine centuries a small part of present-day East London (the North Woolwich, London E16
London E16
area), formed part of Kent. The most likely reason for this is that in 1086 Hamon, dapifer and Sheriff of Kent, owned the manor and, perhaps illegally, annexed it to Kent. It ceased to be considered part of the county in 1965[disputed (for: contradicting related articles)  – discuss] upon creation of the London Borough of Newham. Climate[edit] Kent
Kent
is one of the warmest parts of Britain. On 10 August 2003, in the hamlet of Brogdale
Brogdale
near Faversham
Faversham
the temperature reached 38.5 °C (101.3 °F), the hottest temperature ever officially recorded in the United Kingdom.[22]

Climate data for Wye, England
England
(1981–2010) data

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 7.4 (45.3) 7.4 (45.3) 10.3 (50.5) 12.9 (55.2) 16.3 (61.3) 19.3 (66.7) 21.8 (71.2) 21.9 (71.4) 18.8 (65.8) 14.8 (58.6) 10.7 (51.3) 7.8 (46) 14.1 (57.4)

Daily mean °C (°F) 4.5 (40.1) 4.4 (39.9) 6.7 (44.1) 8.7 (47.7) 12.0 (53.6) 14.7 (58.5) 17.2 (63) 17.2 (63) 14.6 (58.3) 11.2 (52.2) 7.5 (45.5) 5.0 (41) 10.3 (50.5)

Average low °C (°F) 1.7 (35.1) 1.5 (34.7) 3.1 (37.6) 4.6 (40.3) 7.7 (45.9) 10.2 (50.4) 12.6 (54.7) 12.5 (54.5) 10.5 (50.9) 7.7 (45.9) 4.3 (39.7) 2.3 (36.1) 6.6 (43.9)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 71.4 (2.811) 50.3 (1.98) 48.9 (1.925) 49.1 (1.933) 50.7 (1.996) 48.8 (1.921) 48.2 (1.898) 61.8 (2.433) 55.1 (2.169) 93.0 (3.661) 83.5 (3.287) 80.3 (3.161) 741.1 (29.177)

Average rainy days 12.7 9.6 9.5 9.0 9.2 7.9 7.7 7.4 8.1 12.1 12.0 12.2 117.4

Mean monthly sunshine hours 59.6 79.6 115.3 174.1 205.2 200.1 213.7 210.3 152.2 118.2 71.9 49.8 1,649.9

Source #1: [23]

Source #2: [2]

Physical geography[edit] Main article: Geography of Kent

The White Cliffs of Dover

View of the White cliffs of Dover
Dover
from France

Kent
Kent
is in the southeastern corner of England. It borders the River Thames and the North Sea
North Sea
to the north, and the Straits of Dover
Straits of Dover
and the English Channel
English Channel
to the south. France is 34 kilometres (21 mi) across the Strait.[24] The major geographical features of the county are determined by 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
Kent
and Sussex
Sussex
created by alpine movements 10–20 million years ago. This dome consists of an upper layer of chalk above successive layers of Upper Greensand, Gault Clay, Lower Greensand, Weald
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, Ashford, and Folkestone
Folkestone
are built on greensand,[25] while Tonbridge
Tonbridge
and Tunbridge Wells
Tunbridge Wells
are built on sandstone.[26] Dartford, Gravesend, the Medway
Medway
towns, Sittingbourne, Faversham, Canterbury, Deal, and Dover
Dover
are built on chalk.[25][26] The easterly section of the Wealden dome has been eroded away by the sea, and cliffs such as the White Cliffs of Dover
White Cliffs of Dover
are present where a chalk ridge known as the North Downs
North Downs
meets the coast. Spanning Dover
Dover
and Westerham
Westerham
is the Kent
Kent
Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.[27] The Wealden dome is a Mesozoic
Mesozoic
structure lying on a Palaeozoic foundation, which can often create the right conditions for coal formation. This is found in East Kent
East Kent
roughly between Deal, Canterbury, and Dover. The Coal Measures
Coal Measures
within the Westphalian Sandstone are deep about 250–400 m (820–1,310 ft) and subject to flooding. They occur in two major troughs, which extend under the English Channel
English Channel
where similar coalfields are located.[28] 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 earthquake caused physical damage in Folkestone.[29] A further quake on 22 May 2015 measured 4.2 on the Richter Scale.[30] The epicentre was in the Sandwich area of east Kent
Kent
at a depth of some ten miles from the surface. There was little if any damage reported.

Geological cross section of Kent, showing how it relates to major towns

The coastline of Kent
Kent
is continuously changing, due to tectonic uplift and coastal erosion. Until about 960, the Isle of Thanet
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
Romney Marsh
and Dungeness have been formed by accumulation of alluvium.[26] Kent's principal river, the River Medway, rises near East Grinstead
East Grinstead
in Sussex
Sussex
and flows eastwards to Maidstone. Here it turns north and breaks through the North Downs
North Downs
at Rochester, then joins the estuary of the River Thames
River Thames
as its final tributary near Sheerness. The Medway
Medway
is some 112 kilometres (70 mi) long.[31][32] The river is tidal as far as Allington lock, but in earlier times, cargo-carrying vessels reached as far upstream as Tonbridge.[31] The Medway
Medway
has captured the head waters of other rivers such as the River Darent. Other rivers of Kent
Kent
include the River Stour in the east. See also: List of hills of Kent Demography[edit] See also: List of settlements in Kent
Kent
by population At the 2011 census,[33] 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
Medway
was female — as to Medway
Medway
this proportion was 50.4%. The tables below provide statistics for the administrative county of Kent, that is, excluding Medway.

Main household types[33]

Married couples with/without children Sole occupants Unmarried couples with/without children Lone parents Shared homes and institutions

210,671 174,331 of which 79,310 over aged 65 63,750 60,645 77,877

Claimants of JSA or Income Support (DWP)[33]

Unit JSA or Inc. Supp. claimants (August 2012) JSA and Income Support claimants (August 2001) Population (April 2011)

Kent 55,100 89,470 1,463,740

% of 2011 Kent
Kent
resident population (2001 population where applicable) 3.8% 6.7% -

Three highest-ranking districts

Thanet
Thanet
District 6.5% 11.3% 134,186

Folkestone
Folkestone
& Hythe District 4.9% 8.9% 107,969

Borough of Swale 4.8% 7.5% 135,835

Three lowest-ranking districts

Tonbridge and Malling
Tonbridge and Malling
District 2.5% 4.4% 120,805

Sevenoaks
Sevenoaks
District 2.3% 4.3% 114,893

Borough of Tunbridge Wells 2.2% 5.1% 115,049

Government[edit] Kent County Council
Kent County Council
(KCC) and its 12 district councils administer most of the county (3352 km²), while the Medway
Medway
Towns Council, a unitary authority and commonly called Medway
Medway
Council, administers the more densely populated remainder (192 km²).[34] Together they have around 300 town and parish councils. Kent
Kent
County Council's headquarters are in Maidstone,[35] while Medway's offices are at Gun Wharf, Chatham. At the 2013 county council elections, control of Kent
Kent
County Council was held by the Conservatives, which won 44 of the council's 83 seats. 17 seats were won by the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Independence Party, 13 by the Labour Party, 7 were won by the Liberal Democrats, 1 by the Green Party and 1 by the Swanscombe
Swanscombe
and Greenhithe
Greenhithe
Residents Association. At the 2007 local elections, control of Medway
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 and 1 by an Independent.[36] All but one of Kent's district councils are controlled by the Conservatives, a minority Labour administration taking control of Thanet
Thanet
District in December 2011 following the defection of a Conservative councillor to the Independent group. In the council elections of May 2015 the United Kingdom
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
Kent
is represented in Parliament by 17 MPs, all of whom were Conservative until the general election of June 2017.[37] During this election the constituency of Canterbury
Canterbury
elected Rosie Duffield, the first ever Labour MP to hold the seat since the constituency was formed in 1918. Kent
Kent
is in the European Parliament constituency of South East England, which elects ten members of the European Parliament.[38] Economy[edit]

Converted oast houses at Frittenden

At the 2001 UK census,[33] 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.[33] The average hours worked per week by residents of Kent
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
England
for construction and transport/communications, and lower for manufacturing. Kent
Kent
is sometimes known as the "Garden of England" for its abundance of orchards and hop gardens. Distinctive hop-drying buildings called oasts are common in the countryside, although many have been converted into dwellings. Nearer to London, market gardens also flourish. Kent
Kent
is the main area for hazelnut production in the UK.[39] 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 2000 (figures are in millions of British Pounds Sterling).[40]

Year Regional GVA[A] Agriculture Industry[B] Services[C]

County of Kent
Kent
(excluding Medway)

1995 12,369 379 3.1% 3,886 31.4% 8,104 65.5%

2000 15,259 259 1.7% 4,601 30.2% 10,399 68.1%

2003 18,126 287 1.6% 5,057 27.9% 12,783 70.5%

Medway

1995 1,823 21 3.1% 560 31.4% 1,243 68.2%

2000 2,348 8 1.7% 745 30.2% 1,595 67.9%

2003 2,671 10 1.6% 802 27.9% 1,859 69.6%

A Components may not sum to totals due to rounding

B includes energy and construction

C includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured

North Kent
Kent
is heavily industrialised with cement-making at Northfleet and Cuxton, brickmaking at Sittingbourne, shipbuilding on the Medway and Swale, engineering and aircraft design and construction at Rochester, chemicals at Dartford
Dartford
and papermaking at Swanley, and oil refining at Grain.[19] A steel mini mill in Sheerness
Sheerness
and a rolling mill in Queenborough.There are two nuclear power stations at Dungeness, although the older one, built in 1965, was closed at the end of 2006.[41] Cement-making, papermaking, and coal-mining were important industries in Kent
Kent
during the 19th and 20th century. 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 and Gravesend
Gravesend
bear testament to that industry. There were also other workings around Burham
Burham
on the tidal Medway.[42] Chalk, gravel and clay were excavated on Dartford
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. Two 18th century mills were on the River Len and at Tovil
Tovil
on the River Loose. In the late 19th century huge modern mills were built at Dartford
Dartford
and Northfleet
Northfleet
on the River Thames
River Thames
and at Kemsley on The Swale. In pre-industrial times, almost every village and town had its own windmill or watermill, with 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
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,[43] including Chislet, Tilmanstone, Betteshanger, and the Snowdown Colliery, which ran from 1908 to 1986.[44] The west of the county (including Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge
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
Thanet
(chiefly three resorts: Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Margate). West and Central Kent
Kent
has long had many City of London commuters. Since the Channel Tunnel
Channel Tunnel
Rail Link improvements of 2009 to High Speed 1, services from Ebbsfleet near Dartford
Dartford
and from Ashford have become frequent, express to Central London, Paris and Brussels. Culture[edit] Architecture[edit]

Canterbury
Canterbury
Cathedral

Kent's geographical location between the Straits of Dover
Straits of Dover
and London has impacted its architecture, as has its Cretaceous
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
Canterbury
and St Augustine's Abbey, that did not pass into the hands of the king during the Reformation. Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
is the United Kingdom's 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
is England's second oldest cathedral, the present building built in the Early English Style.[45] These two dioceses ensured that every village had a parish church. The sites of Richborough Castle
Richborough Castle
and Dover
Dover
Castle, along with two strategic sites along Watling Street, were fortified by the Romans and Normans. Other important sites include Canterbury
Canterbury
city walls and Rochester Castle.[clarification needed][46] There remained a need to defend London and thus Kent. Deal Castle, Walmer
Walmer
Castle, Sandown Castle (whose remains were eroded by the sea in the 1990s) were constructed in late mediaeval times, and HM Dockyard, at Chatham and its surrounding castles and forts—Upnor Castle, Great Lines, and Fort Amherst—more recently. Kent
Kent
has three unique vernacular architecture forms: the Oast house, the Wealden hall house, and Kentish peg-tiles. Kent
Kent
has bridge trusts to maintain its bridges, and though the great bridge (1387) at Rochester was replaced there are medieval structures at Aylesford, Yalding
Yalding
and Teston.[47] With the motorways in the late twentieth century came the M2 motorway bridge spanning the Medway
Medway
and the Dartford
Dartford
tunnel and the Dartford
Dartford
Bridge spanning the Thames. The Bluewater shopping centre at Greenhithe
Greenhithe
is the United Kingdom's largest shopping mall. Literature & Publishing[edit] Kent
Kent
has provided inspiration for several notable writers and artists. Canterbury's religious role gave rise to Chaucer's Canterbury
Canterbury
Tales, a key development in the English language. The father of novelist Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
worked at the Chatham Dockyard; in many of his books, the celebrated novelist featured the scenery of Chatham, Rochester, and the Cliffe marshes.[48] During the late 1930s, Nobel Prize-awarded novelist William Golding
William Golding
worked as a teacher at Maidstone
Maidstone
Grammar School, where he met his future wife Ann Brookfield.[49] William Caxton, the inventor of the printing press, was born in Kent; his invention was key in helping many Kent
Kent
dialect words and spellings to become standard in English. Visual arts[edit] A number of significant artists came from Kent, including Thomas Sidney Cooper, a painter of landscapes, often incorporating farm animals,[50] Richard Dadd, a maker of faery paintings, and Mary Tourtel, the creator of the children's book character, Rupert Bear. The artist Clive Head
Clive Head
was also born in Kent. The landscape painter J. M. W. Turner spent part of his childhood in the town of Margate
Margate
in East Kent, and regularly returned to visit it throughout his life. The East Kent
East Kent
coast inspired many of his works, including some of his most famous seascapes.[51] Kent
Kent
has also been the home to artists including Frank Auerbach, Tracey Emin
Tracey Emin
and Stass Paraskos. Kent
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
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
Canterbury
College of Art, founded by Thomas Sidney Cooper in 1868, which is today the University for the Creative Arts.[52] Performing arts[edit] The county's largest theatre is the Marlowe Theatre, situated in the centre of Canterbury. Other venues for live music include Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone
Folkestone
and the Assembly Hall in Tunbridge Wells. It re-opened, after being completely rebuilt, in October 2011.[53] Music festivals that take place in Kent
Kent
include Chilled in a Field Festival, Electric Gardens, Hop Farm Festival, In the Woods Festival, and Lounge On The Farm. Transport[edit] Main article: Transport in Kent Roads[edit]

The M2 and High Speed 1
High Speed 1
crossing the Medway
Medway
Valley, south of Rochester.

With the Roman invasion, a road network was constructed to connect London to the Channel ports of Dover, Lympne
Lympne
and Richborough. The London– Dover
Dover
road was Watling Street. These roads are now approximately the A2, B2068, A257, and the A28. The A2 runs through Dartford
Dartford
(A207), Gravesend, Rochester, Canterbury
Canterbury
and Dover; the A20 through Eltham, Wrotham, Maidstone, Charing, Ashford. Hythe, Folkestone
Folkestone
and Dover; the A21 around Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and on to Hastings in East Sussex.[19] In the 1960s, two motorways were built; the M2 from Medway
Medway
to Faversham, and the M20 from Swanley
Swanley
to Folkestone. Part of the M25 runs through Kent, from Westerham
Westerham
to the Kent
Kent
and Essex
Essex
tunnel at Dartford. The Dartford tunnel has been joined by the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, together providing four lanes in each direction. The M26 motorway, built in 1980, provides a short link between the M25 at Sevenoaks
Sevenoaks
and the M20 near Wrotham. Kent
Kent
currently has more motorways by distance than any other county in the UK, with sections of the M2, M20, M25 and M26 totalling 173 km (107 mi) within the extents of the ceremonial county. Water[edit] The medieval Cinque Ports, except for the Port of Dover, have all now silted up. The Medway
Medway
Estuary has been an important port and naval base for 500 years. The River Medway
Medway
is tidal up to 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
Medway
Canal between Strood
Strood
and Gravesend. Built in 1824, it was purchased in 1846 by the railways, which partially backfilled it.[19] Container ports are located at Ramsgate
Ramsgate
and Thamesport. Railways[edit]

A 300 km/h (186 mph) Eurostar
Eurostar
train at km 48 (mile 30) on High Speed 1, near Strood

The earliest locomotive-driven passenger-carrying railway in Britain was the Canterbury
Canterbury
and Whitstable
Whitstable
Railway which opened in 1830.[54] This and the London and Greenwich
Greenwich
Railway later merged into South Eastern Railway (SER).[55] 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, Charing
Charing
Cross, and Cannon Street. Kent
Kent
also had a second major railway, the London, Chatham and Dover
Dover
Railway (LCDR). Originally the East Kent Railway
East Kent Railway
in 1858, it linked the northeast Kent
Kent
coast with London terminals at Victoria and Blackfriars. The two companies merged in 1899, forming the South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR), further amalgamated with other railways by the Railways Act 1921
Railways Act 1921
to form the Southern Railway.[55] Britain's railways were nationalised in 1948, forming British Railways
British Railways
(shortened to British Rail
British Rail
in the mid-1960s). The railways were privatised in 1996 and most Kent
Kent
passenger services were franchised to Connex South Eastern.[56] Following financial difficulties, Connex lost the franchise and was replaced by South Eastern Trains
South Eastern Trains
and after Southeastern.[57] The Channel Tunnel
Channel Tunnel
was completed in 1994 and High Speed 1
High Speed 1
in November 2007 with a London terminus at St Pancras. A new station, Ebbsfleet International, opened between Dartford
Dartford
and Gravesend, serving northern Kent.[58] The high speed lines will be utilised to provide a faster train service to coastal towns like Ramsgate
Ramsgate
and Folkestone. This station is in addition to the existing station at Ashford International, which has suffered a massive cut in service as a result.

Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway

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
Spa Valley Railway
near Tunbridge Wells
Tunbridge Wells
on the old Tunbridge Wells
Tunbridge Wells
West branch, East Kent Railway
East Kent Railway
on the old East Kent
Kent
coalfield area and the Kent
Kent
and East Sussex
East Sussex
Railway on the Weald around Tenterden. In addition there is the 15-inch (380 mm) gauge, Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway
Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway
on the southeast Kent
Kent
coast along the Dungeness peninsula. Finally, there is the 2 ft 6 in (0.76 m), industrial Sittingbourne
Sittingbourne
& Kemsley Light Railway, previously the Bowaters Paper Railway. Air[edit] A limited number of charter flights are provided by London Ashford Airport at Lydd. However, most passengers across the South East use the larger Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton airports. In 2002, it was revealed that the government was considering building a new four-runway airport on the marshland near the village of Cliffe on Hoo Peninsula.[59] This plan was dropped in 2003 following protests by cultural and environmental groups.[60] However further plans for a Thames Estuary Airport
Thames Estuary Airport
on the Kent
Kent
coast have subsequently emerged, including the Thames Hub Airport, again sited on the Isle of Grain
Isle of Grain
and designed by Lord Foster,[61][62] and the London Britannia Airport plan, colloquially known as "Boris Island" due to its being championed by the former Mayor of London
Mayor of London
Boris Johnson, which would see a six runway airport built on an artificial island to be located towards the Shivering Sands area, north-east of Whitstable.[62][63] 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. Education[edit] See also: List of schools in Kent Kent
Kent
has four universities: Canterbury
Canterbury
Christ Church University with campuses throughout East Kent; University of Kent, with campuses in Canterbury
Canterbury
and Medway; University of Greenwich
Greenwich
(a London University), with sites at Woolwich, Eltham, London
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
Kent County Council
(KCC) and Medway
Medway
Unitary Authority
Unitary Authority
are among around fifteen[64] local authorities still providing 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
Kent
authorities have 38 of the 164 grammar schools remaining in Britain.[64][65] Kent County Council
Kent County Council
has the largest education department of any local council in Britain,[66] providing school places for over 289,000 pupils. In 2005–06, Kent County Council
Kent County Council
and Medway
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".[67] Kent County Council
Kent County Council
Local Education Authority maintains 96 secondary schools, of which 33 are selective schools and 63 are secondary modern schools.

Schools in Kent
Kent
(data from 2000)[68]

LEA Nursery Primary Secondary (modern) Secondary (Grammar) Special Pupil Referral Units Independent City Technology College Total

KCC 1 475 74 32 34 11 83 1 711

Medway 0 89 14 6 3 1 7 0 120

Music education is provided by Kent
Kent
Music (formerly Kent
Kent
Music School),[69] which has its origins in the 1940s. Kent
Kent
Music provides services across the county including Kent
Kent
County Youth Orchestra, Kent Youth Choirs, and an annual summer school at Benenden School. National Challenge schools[edit] Kent
Kent
has 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.[70] Of the 63 secondary modern schools, 33 missed this target; thus 52% of Kent
Kent
secondary modern schools (34% out of all 96 maintained secondary schools) are 'failing'.[71] Sport[edit]

Priestfield Stadium
Priestfield Stadium
is the home of Gillingham FC, Kent's only Football League team.

In association football, Kent's highest ranked football team is Gillingham FC, who play in Football League
Football League
One. Maidstone
Maidstone
United were a Football League
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
Maidstone
United and Dover
Dover
Athletic playing in the National League along with Ebbsfleet United, who were promoted in 2017. Dartford
Dartford
and Welling currently play in National League South, the sixth tier of the English football pyramid. Kent
Kent
is represented in cricket by Kent
Kent
County Cricket
Cricket
Club. The club was a founder member of the County Championship
County Championship
in 1890 and have won the competition, the major domestic first-class cricket competition, seven times. They are based at the St Lawrence Ground
St Lawrence Ground
in Canterbury and also play matches at the Nevill Ground
Nevill Ground
in Royal Tunbridge Wells and the County Cricket
Cricket
Ground, Beckenham.[72] The Kent
Kent
Women cricket team has won the Women's County Championship
County Championship
seven times since it was established in 1997. Cricket
Cricket
has traditionally been a popular sport in the county and Kent
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
Kent
Cricket
Cricket
League is the top level of club competition within Kent
Kent
and features teams from throughout the county, including areas such as Beckenham
Beckenham
and Bexley
Bexley
which were formerly part of the county. Canterbury
Canterbury
Hockey Club and Holcombe Hockey Club both play in the top division in both the men's and women's England
England
Hockey Leagues. Sevenoaks
Sevenoaks
Hockey Club's women first XI plays in the second tier of national competition. In Rugby Union
Rugby Union
Canterbury
Canterbury
RFC play in the fourth tier of English rugby in the National League 2 South. Gravesend
Gravesend
RFC and Tonbridge
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 National League 1, the third tier of English rugby. In motorsport, the Brands Hatch
Brands Hatch
circuit near Swanley
Swanley
has played host to a number of national and international racing events, and hosted 12 runnings of the British Grand Prix
British Grand Prix
in various years between 1964 and 1986. Local media[edit] Television[edit]

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Much of Kent
Kent
is served by the BBC's South East region, which is based in Tunbridge Wells
Tunbridge Wells
and provides local news for the county and East Sussex. Its commercial rival is ITV Meridian Ltd, which has a newsroom at The Maidstone
Maidstone
Studios despite the main studio being based in Hampshire. Main transmitters providing these services are located at West Hougham, near Dover
Dover
and Blue Bell Hill, located between Chatham and Maidstone. A powerful relay transmitter at Tunbridge Wells
Tunbridge Wells
serves the town and surrounding area. Those parts of Kent
Kent
closest to London such as Swanley, Westerham, Dartford, Gravesend
Gravesend
and Sevenoaks
Sevenoaks
lie within the ITV London
ITV London
and BBC
BBC
London areas, taking their television signals from the Crystal Palace transmitter. Radio[edit] Kent
Kent
has three county-wide stations – BBC
BBC
Radio Kent, based in Tunbridge Wells; and the commercial stations Heart Kent
Heart Kent
and Gold, both based in Whitstable
Whitstable
and London.[73] Most of the county is covered by local radio network KMFM, owned by the KM Group. Since March 2012, programmes have been the same across all seven stations in the network:[74] KMFM Ashford, KMFM Canterbury, KMFM Maidstone, KMFM Medway, KMFM Shepway and White Cliffs Country, KMFM Thanet
Thanet
and KMFM West Kent. The county has eight community radio stations run by various organisations.

BRFM 95.6 FM covers the Isle of Sheppey SFM covers Sittingbourne CSR 97.4FM
CSR 97.4FM
covers Canterbury, as a joint production between the city's two universities Academy FM (Thanet)
Academy FM (Thanet)
covers Thanet Academy FM (Folkestone) covers Folkestone Radio Sunlight covers Medway AHBS Community Radio covers Ashford

Dover
Dover
Community Radio (DCR) offers a podcasting service for the people of Dover
Dover
district on their website, hoping in the future to apply for a community radio licence to cover the town and its environs. A newly established Digital Radio platform has been created in Deal. Deal Radio is an online radio station created for the East Kent communities in and around the town of Deal. www.dealradio.co.uk Newspapers[edit] The KM Group, KOS Media and Kent
Kent
Regional News and Media all provide local newspapers for most of the large towns and cities. County-wide papers include the Kent
Kent
Messenger, Kent
Kent
on Saturday, Kent
Kent
on Sunday, and the Kent
Kent
and Sussex
Sussex
Courier. See also[edit]

Geography portal Europe portal United Kingdom
United Kingdom
portal England
England
portal South East England
England
portal Kent
Kent
portal

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

References[edit]

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Kent
2017/2018". The High Sheriffs' Association of England
England
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Kent
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England
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England
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Kent
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Kent
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External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kent.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Kent.

Kent
Kent
at Curlie (based on DMOZ) Kent
Kent
Parishes – Forum for History, Genealogy, Ancestry and local information Kent
Kent
County Council – local government website BBC – origins of Kent
Kent
placenames Images of Kent
Kent
at the English Heritage Archive Commuter Towns in Kent

Neighbouring English counties and French department

Greater London Essex Thames Estuary

Surrey

Kent

North Sea

West Sussex East Sussex English Channel Pas de Calais, France

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Ceremonial county of Kent

Kent
Kent
Portal

Unitary authorities

Borough of Medway

Boroughs or districts

Borough of Ashford Borough of Dartford Borough of Gravesham Borough of Maidstone Borough of Swale Borough of Tonbridge
Tonbridge
and Malling Borough of Tunbridge Wells City of Canterbury District of Dover District of Folkestone
Folkestone
& Hythe District of Sevenoaks District of Thanet

Major settlements

Ashford Broadstairs Canterbury Chatham Cranbrook Dartford Deal Dover Edenbridge Faversham Folkestone Fordwich Gillingham Gravesend Hawkinge Herne Bay Hythe Lydd Maidstone Margate New Romney Northfleet Paddock Wood Queenborough Rainham Ramsgate Rochester Royal Tunbridge Wells Sandwich Sevenoaks Sheerness Sittingbourne Snodland Southborough Strood Swanley Swanscombe Tenterden Tonbridge Walmer West Malling Westerham Westgate-on-Sea Whitstable See also: List of civil parishes in Kent

Rivers

See: Rivers of Kent

Topics

Flag Parliamentary constituencies Geography Places Population of major settlements SSSIs Country houses Grade I listed buildings Grade II* listed buildings History Schools Museums Lord Lieutenants High Sheriffs People Transport Windmills Culture London Paramount

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