In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Kent like this:
Kent, an important maritime county in SE. of England, bounded N. by the Thames and the North Sea, E. and SE. by the Strait of Dover, S. by the English Channel, SW. by Sussex, and W. by Surrey; greatest length, W. to E., 65 miles; greatest breadth, N. to S., 35 miles; 995,392 ac., pop. 977,706. ...
The surface of the co. is hilly, being traversed E. and W. by the North Downs, a chalk range from 3 to 6 miles in breadth. On the N., along the shores of the Thames and Medway, there is a belt of marshland, which extends over a mile inland. The greater portion of the seaboard is washed by tidal water. Besides the Thames and Medway, the chief rivers are the Stour and the Darent. The soil is varied and highly cultivated, more especially in the valley of the Medway. All classes of cereals and root produce are abundant, as is also fruit of choice quality, and more hops are grown in Kent than in all the rest of England. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) The woods are extensive. The chief mfr. of the co. is paper, most of the mills being on the banks of the Medway, Cray, and Darent. The Government works and dockyards at Woolwich, Chatham, Sheerness, &c., employ an immense number of the inhabitants. Fishing is extensively prosecuted along the coast and in the estuaries of the rivers Thames and Medway, of which the oyster beds are especially famous. Historically Kent has greater associations than any other co. in England. The co. contains 5 lathes, 73 hundreds, 435 pars., and parts of 6 others, the Cinque Port Liberties of Dover, Hythe, and New Romney, the parl. and mun. bors. of Canterbury, Dover, Gravesend, Hythe, Maidstone, and Rochester (1 member each), the parl. bors. of Chatham, Deptford (part of), Greenwich, Lewisham, and Woolwich (1 member each), and the mun. bors. of Deal, Faversham, Folkestone, Margate, Sandwich, and Tenterden. It is almost entirely in the dioceses of Canterbury and Rochester. For parliamentary purposes the co. is divided into 8 divisions - viz., Western or Sevenoaks, North-Western or Dartford, South-Western or Tunbridge, Mid or Medway, North-Eastern or Faversham, Eastern or St Augustine's, Southern or Ashford, and Isle of Thanet, 1 member for each division; the representation of the co. was increased from 6 to 8 members in 1885.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Kent | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 26th April 2017
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