EtymologyThe name ''Kent'' is believed to be of 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''.
HistoryThe area has been occupied since the era, as attested by finds from the quarries at . The were built during the era. There is a rich sequence of , celtic , and Britto- era occupation, as indicated by finds and features such as the and the Roman villas of the Darent valley. described the area as ''Cantium'', or the home of the , in 51 BC. The extreme west of the modern county was by the time of occupied by a celtic Iron Age tribe known as the . 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 . While they expelled the native Romano-British population, some likely remained in the area, eventually assimilating with the newcomers. Of the invading tribes, the 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, appointed the religious missionary (who became after his death) as the first . In the previous year, Augustine successfully converted the King to Christianity. The became England's first with first cathedral and has since remained England's centre of Christianity. The second designated English cathedral was in Kent at . In the 11th century, the people of Kent adopted the motto '' '', meaning "undefeated" or "unconquered". This naming followed the invasion of Britain by as he was unable to subdue the county and they negotiated favourable terms. The continued resistance of the Kentish people against the led to Kent's designation as a semi-autonomous in 1067. Under the nominal rule of William's half-brother , the county was granted similar powers to those granted in the areas bordering and . Kent was traditionally into East and West Kent, and into and . The traditional border of East and West Kent was the county's main river, the . 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 of 1381, led by , 's Kent rebellion of 1450, and Wyatt's Rebellion of 1554 against Queen . The first used the in 1547. By the reign of (1558–1603) a small dockyard had been established at Chatham. By 1618, storehouses, a , a , 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 , a successful attack by the Dutch navy on the shipyards of the 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 and , with Chatham concentrating on shipbuilding and ship repair. As an indication of the area's military importance, the first map ever drawn was a one-inch map of Kent, published in 1801. Many of the 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 was created and took over responsibility for local administration of parts of north-west Kent. These included the towns of , , , , Charlton, . In 1900, however, Kent absorbed the district of . Some of Kent is contiguous with the sprawl, notably parts of Dartford (borough), Dartford. Originally the border between Kent and Sussex (later ) 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 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 . 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.
ClimateKent 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 geographyKent 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, , Ashford, Kent, Ashford, and 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 are present where a chalk ridge known as the 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 , rises near East Grinstead in Sussex and flows eastwards to . 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.
DemographyAt 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.
GovernmentKent 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 , 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.
EconomyAt 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.
ArchitectureKent'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. 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. 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 publishingKent 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 ; 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)
Visual artsA 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 artsThe 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.
RoadsWith 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
WaterThe medieval , 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.
RailwaysThe 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
AirCharter 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.
EducationKent 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 , 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 schoolsIn 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'.
SportIn 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).
TelevisionMuch 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 . 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 . 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.
RadioKent 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.
NewspapersThe 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