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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
River Thames
, and with the French department of Pas-de-Calais along the English Channel
English Channel
. The county town is Maidstone
Maidstone
.

Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
in Kent
Kent
has been the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury
Canterbury
, leader of the Church of England
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 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 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'. 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
North Yorkshire
, Devon
Devon
, Derbyshire
Derbyshire
and Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
.

Kent's economy is greatly diversified. Haulage, logistics, and tourism are major industries; major industries in north-west 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 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 "> Flag of the traditional county of Kent
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 of 1381, led by Wat Tyler , Jack Cade 's Kent rebellion of 1450, and Wyatt\'s Rebellion of 1554 against Queen Mary I . Title page of William Lambarde 's Perambulation of 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 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.

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 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 Atlantic
Atlantic
, this role was assumed by Portsmouth
Portsmouth
and Plymouth
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. 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.

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
Greenwich
, Woolwich , Lee , Eltham , Charlton , Kidbrooke and Lewisham
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. 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 . Plans for another unitary authority in north-west Kent
Kent
were dropped. In 2016 consultations began between five Kent
Kent
local authorities (Canterbury, Thanet, Dover, Shepway and Ashford) with a view to forming a new 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 area), formed part of Kent. The most likely reason for this is that in 1086 Hamon, dapifer and Sheriff of Kent
Kent
, owned the manor and, perhaps illegally, annexed it to Kent. It ceased to be considered part of the county in 1965 upon creation of the London Borough of Newham .

CLIMATE

Kent
Kent
is one of the warmest parts of Britain. On 10 August 2003, in the hamlet of Brogdale near Faversham the temperature reached 38.5 °C (101.3 °F), the hottest temperature ever officially recorded in the United Kingdom.

CLIMATE DATA FOR WYE, 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:

Source #2:

PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY

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 and the English Channel
English Channel
to the south. France is 34 kilometres (21 mi) across the Strait.

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 Clay
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
, Ashford , and Folkestone
Folkestone
are built on greensand, while Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells are built on sandstone. Dartford , Gravesend , the Medway towns, Sittingbourne , Faversham , Canterbury
Canterbury
, Deal , and Dover
Dover
are built on chalk. The easterly section of the Wealden dome has been eroded away by the sea, and cliffs such as the 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 is the Kent
Kent
Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty .

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 roughly between Deal, Canterbury, and Dover. The 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.

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. A further quake on 22 May 2015 measured 4.2 on the Richter Scale. 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 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 have been formed by accumulation of alluvium.

Kent's principal river, the River Medway , rises near East Grinstead in Sussex
Sussex
and flows eastwards to Maidstone
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 is some 112 kilometres (70 mi) long. The river is tidal as far as 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 in the east. See also: List of hills of Kent

DEMOGRAPHY

See also: List of settlements in Kent by population

At the 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.

Main household types 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 ) 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 District 6.5% 11.3% 134,186

Shepway District 4.9% 8.9% 107,969

Borough of Swale 4.8% 7.5% 135,835

Three lowest-ranking districts

Tonbridge and Malling District 2.5% 4.4% 120,805

Sevenoaks District 2.3% 4.3% 114,893

Borough of Tunbridge Wells 2.2% 5.1% 115,049

GOVERNMENT

Kent County Council (KCC) and its 12 district councils administer most of the county (3352 km²), while the 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 and parish councils . Kent
Kent
County Council's headquarters are in Maidstone
Maidstone
, 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 and Greenhithe Residents Association. At the 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 and 1 by an Independent. All but one of Kent's district councils are controlled by the Conservatives, a minority Labour administration taking control of 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 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. 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
England
, which elects ten members of the European Parliament
European Parliament
.

ECONOMY

Converted oast houses at Frittenden

At the 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
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. 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).

YEAR REGIONAL GVA AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY SERVICES

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 and papermaking at Swanley , and oil refining at Grain . A steel mini mill in 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.

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 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 . Two 18th century mills were on the River Len and at Tovil on the River Loose . In the late 19th century huge modern mills were built at 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, 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, Shepway (main conurbation: Folkestone
Folkestone
and Hythe) and 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
High Speed 1
, services from Ebbsfleet near Dartford and from Ashford have become frequent, express to Central London, Paris and Brussels.

CULTURE

ARCHITECTURE

Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral

Kent's geographical location between the 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. 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 . There remained a need to defend London and thus Kent. Deal Castle , 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 and Teston . With the motorways in the late twentieth century came the M2 motorway bridge spanning the Medway and the Dartford tunnel and the Dartford Bridge spanning the Thames.

The Bluewater shopping centre at Greenhithe is the United Kingdom's largest shopping mall .

LITERATURE in many of his books, the celebrated novelist featured the scenery of Chatham, Rochester, and the Cliffe marshes. 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. 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

A number of significant artists came from Kent, including Thomas Sidney Cooper , a painter of landscapes, often incorporating farm animals, Richard Dadd
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
Margate
in East Kent, and regularly returned to visit it throughout his life. The East Kent
Kent
coast inspired many of his works, including some of his most famous seascapes. Kent
Kent
has also been the home to artists including Frank Auerbach , 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 .

PERFORMING ARTS

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. Music festivals that take place in Kent
Kent
include Chilled in a Field Festival , Electric Gardens , Hop Farm Festival , In the Woods Festival
In the Woods Festival
, and Lounge On The Farm .

TRANSPORT

Main article: Transport in Kent

ROADS

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

With the Roman invasion, a road network was constructed to connect London to the Channel ports of Dover, 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 (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. In the 1960s, two motorways were built; the M2 from Medway to Faversham, and the M20 from Swanley to Folkestone. Part of the M25 runs through Kent, from 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 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

The medieval Cinque Ports , except for the Port of Dover
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 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 located at Ramsgate
Ramsgate
and Thamesport .

RAILWAYS

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 Railway which opened in 1830. This and the London and Greenwich
Greenwich
Railway later merged into 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 , 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 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 . 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 . Following financial difficulties, Connex lost the franchise and was replaced by South Eastern Trains and after Southeastern .

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 and Gravesend , serving northern Kent. The high speed lines will be utilised to provide a faster train service to coastal towns like Ramsgate
Ramsgate
and Folkestone
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 near Tunbridge Wells on the old Tunbridge Wells West branch, 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 on the southeast Kent
Kent
coast along the Dungeness peninsula. Finally, there is the 2 ft 6 in (0.76 m), industrial Sittingbourne University of Kent , with campuses in Canterbury
Canterbury
and Medway; University of Greenwich
Greenwich
(a London University), with sites at Woolwich , 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 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.

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.

SCHOOLS IN KENT (DATA FROM 2000)

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), 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

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. 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'.

SPORT

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 One . Maidstone
Maidstone
United were a Football League side from 1989 until going bankrupt in 1992. Kent
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 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 in 1890 and have won the competition, the major domestic first-class cricket competition, seven times. They are based at the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury and also play matches at the Nevill Ground in Royal Tunbridge Wells and the County Cricket
Cricket
Ground, Beckenham . The Kent
Kent
Women cricket team has won the Women\'s 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 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 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 RFC and Tonbridge Juddians both play in the fifth tier National League 3 London and the commercial stations Heart Kent and Gold , both based in Whitstable and London.

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: KMFM Ashford , KMFM Canterbury
Canterbury
, KMFM Maidstone
Maidstone
, KMFM Medway , KMFM Shepway and White Cliffs Country , KMFM 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 covers Canterbury, as a joint production between the city's two universities * 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

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 Messenger , Kent on Saturday , Kent
Kent
on Sunday , and the Kent
Kent
and Sussex
Sussex
Courier .

SEE ALSO

* 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
Kent
constituency * 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 Police
Kent Police
* Kent Police
Kent Police
and Crime Commissioner * Thames Gateway – includes details of regeneration projects in the northern areas of Kent * Category:Towns in Kent
Kent
* Category:Villages in Kent
Kent

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