10 Interesting facts you never knew about Kent

Kent, famously known as ‘The Garden of England’, is England’s oldest county and is enriched with an abundance of fascinating history.

Having six holiday parks located within Kent, from Whitstable and the Isle of Sheppey in the north to Romney and Dymchurch in the south, we thought we had Kent fully covered. However, these obscure and interesting facts that we never knew tell us otherwise! How many of these facts didn’t you know until now?

 
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Kent is the proud supplier of Wimbledon’s famed strawberries

Ever been watching Wimbledon and suddenly find yourself craving a bowl of fresh strawberries (accompanied by some double cream, of course)? Kent is the proud supplier of Wimbledon’s perfectly formed strawberries - each red juicy berry must measure between 25mm-45mm in diameter, be fully red all over and without the slightest hint of a defect.

 

The oldest known horse fossil was found in Herne Bay

No, we’re not horsing around! The fossil of the world's earliest known horse, dating back an amazing 54 million years ago, was rediscovered in Herne Bay last year. It was originally found in the cliffs at Studd Hill in 1838 and since then was much forgotten about, until it was rediscovered by Alan Porter, trustee of The Seaside Museum. He claims that this has now given Herne Bay ‘world recognition’ and is allowing Herne Bay to officially be considered as the birthplace of the horse.

 
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Fordwich is the smallest town in Britain

Going by the well-known saying ‘good things come in small packages’, Fordwich must be incredible, being the smallest town – population wise – in Britain. According to the 2011 census, it has a population of 381 people and rose by just 30 people between 2001 and 2011. And if there’s any question, there’s a sign as soon as you enter the town to confirm.

 

The first white road lines were painted in Ashford

The very first ‘white line’ road markings were painted on a number of dangerous bends on the London to Folkestone road in Ashford in 1914. During the 1920s the rise of road markings increased dramatically on UK roads.

 
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The famous gypsy tart came from the Isle of Sheppey

We’ve all heard of the gypsy tart, but did you know that it originated from the Isle of Sheppey? Made with muscovado sugar and evaporated milk, it is extremely sweet, and is often served with crème fraiche or yoghurt to balance out the sweetness. So the story goes, it was created by a woman who wanted to offer food to undernourished gypsy children playing by her home.

 

Pocahontas was buried in Gravesend

Native American princess, Pocahontas, was famous for saving English Captain John Smith’s life in Virginia. She married colonist John Rolfe and they went on to have a child together, Thomas, in 1615. Pocahontas and Rolfe boarded a ship to return to Virginia in 1617; the ship had only sailed as far as Gravesend when she became incredibly ill and died on board, later being buried in Gravesend. The actual whereabouts of her grave were lost as St George’s church, in which her grave was under, was destroyed in a fire in 1727.

 
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Laurel and Hardy opened The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway

Comedy double act, Laurel and Hardy, opened the famous Kent tourist attraction: The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, back in 1947. Despite the heavy rain, the stars were welcomed by large crowds who were charmed by their slapstick-style comedy. The line showcases some of Kent’s most breath-taking scenery including the picturesque Cinque Port of Hythe which continues along to the lighthouses and fishermen’s cottages at Dungeness.

 

The first speeding fine was handed out in East Peckham

If someone were to tell you they got a speeding ticket, how fast would you think they were going? Well, I bet it’s not 8mph – yes, that’s right – just 8 miles per hour. In 1886, Walter Arnold got caught speeding and consequently slapped with a fine. The speedy troublemaker was travelling at four times the legal limit of 2mph. A policeman was forced to pedal at his fastest on his bicycle to catch Arnold, and punished him with a one shilling fine – making Arnold the first person ever to be convicted of speeding in the UK.

 

The Garden of England – where did that come from?

Contrary to popular belief (or not) Kent is not named ‘The Garden of England’ for being the back garden… of England (strange, right?). In fact, Kent’s iconic title dates back over 400 years when Henry VIII allegedly once sampled a bowl of cherries that were grown in Kent – he was so delighted with them and their flavour that from then on the county became known as 'The Garden of England'.

 

Sevenoaks has eight oak trees

There are few places of interest in Kent as famous as Sevenoaks. As many people know, the town was named after seven oak trees which were on the Vine around AD 800. Since then, the trees have been replaced several times, and during the Great Storm of 1987 six of those trees were blown down completely. Their replacements were planted in a ceremony involving Gloria Hunniford and Blue Peter celebrities, but were sadly vandalised, leaving one mature tree standing. The trees have been replaced and now eight oak trees of varying ages line the Vine.

If you fancy finding out some Kentish history yourself, why not visit one of our six holiday parks in Kent, allowing you to explore the local area, attractions, history and much more? Share with your friends and family to see how many of these facts they know!

 

Kent Holidays

Affectionately known as the “Garden of England” (thanks to Henry VIII) Kent features a coastline of famous holiday resorts. From Whitstable and the Isle of Sheppey in the north to Romney in the south, we've got Kent covered!

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