See Kent through history

Inspire your family with a journey to England’s past

 

70,000,000 BC

The iconic chalk of the White Cliffs of Dover is formed from the shells of minuscule sea organisms.

DO IT: Take a wild walk along the White Cliffs to South Foreland, a Victorian lighthouse, then head to Dover Castle to explore the bastion that has guarded the English Channel for almost 2,000 years.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/white-cliffs-dover/

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/south-foreland-lighthouse/

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/dover

AD 43

The Romans invade Britain; their main entry point is near modern-day Sandwich, on the East Kent marshes.

DO IT: Get a sense of Roman power at Richborough Castle, which they built on the site of their initial invasion. See the stone walls of the ancient fortification.

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/richborough

597

Augustine lands at Ebbsfleet and establishes Christianity. In 604 a Saxon cathedral is founded in Rochester by King Ethelbert; the first Bishop of Rochester is Bishop Justus.

DO IT: Find out more about Rochester, England’s second-oldest cathedral, on a themed trail or audio tour.

http://www.rochestercathedral.org/

1119

Robert de Crevecoeur begins constructing a Norman fortification on an outcrop in the River Len. It becomes Leeds Castle.

DO IT: Trace almost a millennium of history at Leeds, then punt on the moat, brave the Underground Grotto and go wild at the Knight’s Realm Playground.

http://www.leeds-castle.com/home

1170

Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, is murdered at his cathedral; the city becomes an important pilgrimage site.

DO IT: Enter the magnificent cathedral: visit the site of Becket’s shrine in Trinity Chapel and stand where the priest was slain.

http://www.canterbury-cathedral.org/

 

1338

Wealthy merchant Sir John de Pulteney desires a country estate within a day’s ride of London; he begins building Penshurst Place.

DO IT: Admire medieval Penshurst, a perfectly preserved fortified manor. Roam the Elizabethan walled garden, view the 15th-century tapestries, get lost in the maize maze and explore the Toy Museum.

http://www.penshurstplace.com/

1387-1400

Chaucer writes The Canterbury Tales, salutary stories of pilgrims progressing to Becket’s shrine.

DO IT: Make a mini pilgrimage at The Canterbury Tales attraction, which brings Chaucer’s medieval misadventures to life.

http://canterburytales.org.uk/

1505

Hever Castle, built in the 13th century, is inherited by Thomas Boleyn; his daughter, Anne – future wife of Henry VIII – grows up here.

DO IT: Run around Hever’s glorious grounds and mazes – and look out for Anne herself, who supposedly haunts the River Eden bridge.

http://www.hevercastle.co.uk/

1558

Chatham, on the River Medway, becomes the principal base of the Royal Navy.

DO IT: Discover over 400 years of maritime heritage at Chatham Historic Dockyard, from its Tudor beginnings to its Cold War submarine.

http://www.thedockyard.co.uk

1648

The Civil War’s Battle of Maidstone takes place; the Parliamentarians win. In 1649, it is the Mayor of Maidstone who pronounces the death sentence on Charles I.

DO IT: Visit Maidstone Museum, which chronicles county life as well as hosting family-friendly events. Entry is free.

http://www.museum.maidstone.gov.uk/

1882

Charles Darwin dies at Down House.

DO IT: Be inspired at Down, where Darwin wrote On the Origin of Species. Visit his study, stroll his gardens and follow the interactive multimedia tour, narrated by David Attenborough.

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/downhouse

1940

Over ten days in May, the Dunkirk Evacuation (codenamed Operation Dynamo) is masterminded from the tunnels at Dover Castle.

DO IT: Immerse yourself in the drama at Dover Castle’s Operation Dynamo experience – state-of-the-art effects and real film footage combine to bring the dramatic events to life.

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/dover-castle/wartime-tunnels/operation-dynamo/

1940

The German Luftwaffe and RAF fight out the Battle of Britain over Kent as Hitler seeks to gain control of UK skies.

DO IT: Kent’s fascinating Battle of Britain Museum houses relics recovered from over 650 crashed aircraft.

http://www.kbobm.org/

 

For more information on planning your visit to Kent, explore http://www.visitkent.co.uk/


 Visit Kent

News
people Ex-wife of John Lennon has died at her home in Spain
News
Nick Clegg on the campaign trail in Glasgow on Wednesday; he says education is his top priority
peopleNick Clegg remains optimistic despite dismal Lib Dem poll ratings
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?