Original article from Kent Live
Kent is a fascinating and beautiful county, so rich with history and no shortage of stories.
From deciphering the true difference between a Man of Kent and a Kentish Man, to unearthing the location of the world's oldest horse, there is much to learn about our county.
We've pulled together a selection of our favourite facts about Kent for you to share and enjoy.
Please feel free to comment your own golden nuggets below or send them across to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Our 'Royal' town
Kent is home to one of only three "Royal" towns in the UK.
Royal Tunbridge Wells was granted its official regal title in 1909 after Edward VII granted the prefix in special recognition of the town’s connections with the royal family.
Laurel and Hardy
Comedy giants Laurel and Hardy opened The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway in 1947.
The line showcases some of Kent’s most breathtaking scenery including the beautiful Cinque Port of Hythe, continuing along to the lighthouses at Dungeness.
The stars of the big screen delighted the large crowds who turned out to see them.
Britain's only desert
Britain’s only officially recognised desert is located at Dungeness, the shingle beach at the southernmost point in Kent. Visitors to this unique British spot can expect to see beautifully bare shingle, gravel and shell landscapes.
The Garden of England
Kent’s iconic title as the Garden of England dates back 400 years.
Henry VIII allegedly once sampled a bowl of cherries produced in Kent and was so pleased with the flavour that the county became known as the Garden of England.
Hugh Lowe Farms near Maidstone is the proud supplier of Wimbledon’s strawberries.
Each Strawberry must be between 25mm-45mm in diameter, fully red all over and without even the hint of a defect.
The Crab and Winkle Line
The first railway line was opened in Kent.
The Canterbury and Whitstable Railway, fondly known as the Crab and Winkle Line, was an early British railway that opened in 1830 between Canterbury and Whitstable and was even visited by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
National Trust village
One of the best-preserved Tudor villages in the country has always drawn attention for its historic charm.
Also one of Kent’s oldest and most beautiful villages, Chiddingstone, near Sevenoaks, consists of just one tiny street.
And strolling along its cobbled pathway, you’ll see just how times have changed – and why the area is still the best example of Tudor living today.
The National Trust has owned Chiddingstone village almost in its entirety – excluding the school, the castle and the church – since 1939.
Britain's most haunted village
Kent is in the Guiness World Book of Records for having the most haunted village in Britain.
Pluckley, near Ashford, has previously had 12 ghost sightings reported.
Sadly, Guinness no longer uses the category but you can of course visit it for yourself if you're feeling brave enough.
White line markings
The very first ‘white line’ road markings were painted on the London to Folkestone road in Ashford in 1914.
During the 1920s the rise of road markings increased dramatically on UK roads but Kent has the claim to fame of being the first.
In 1886, Walter Arnold was caught going a blistering eight miles per hour through East Peckham, which was four times the British speed limit.
A policeman was reportedly forced to pedal at his fastest on his bicycle to catch Arnold, and punished him with a one shilling fine, putting Arnold and East Peckham into the history books.
A tale of two cities
Once upon a time in Kent, there were two cities. As well as Canterbury, Rochester also used to be a city.
It was granted the Royal Charter to recognise its status in 1227.
But, when Medway Council was formed in 1998, the city status of Rochester was withdrawn.
The Gypsy Tart
The Gypsy Tart, which is made with muscovado sugar and evaporated milk so is extremely sweet, came from the Isle of Sheppey. It is often served with yoghurt or crème fraiche to balance the sweetness.
It is said to have originated because an old Gypsy woman saw a group of famished children near her house.
She felt sorry for them, so she made them some food with the only ingredients she could find.
Men of Kent versus Kentish Men
The River Medway flows through Tonbridge, Maidstone and Medway before emptying into the Thames Estuary near Sheerness but it actually determines the type of person you are.
If you were born north of the river, you have the right to call yourself a Kentish Man, or Kentish Maid but if you were born south of the river, you are a Man, or Maid of Kent.
This allegedly dates back 1,500 years, when the Jutes occupied the east of the county and Saxons lived in the west.
The Kentish cobnut
The Kentish cobnut is one of the most famous varieties of hazelnut but Kent is the main place for hazelnut production in the country, and UK varieties are only tried and tested for conditions in the south east.
The Kentish Cob variety was introduced around 1830. Cobnut production increased greatly where the produce could be taken to London by train. Labour was cheap, and by 1913, plantations extended to more than 7,000 acres – most of the orchards being in Kent.
The tragic tale of Pocahontas
The famous Pocahontas was buried in Gravesend.
She was famous for sparing English Captain John Smith's life in Virginia before she married colonist John Rolfe, and she voyaged to Britain with him and some of her tribe in 1616 to meet King James I.
However, when she was ready to return to America, she died of Tuberculosis in Gravesend and was subsequently buried there.
The world's oldest horse
The world’s oldest horse fossil was discovered in Herne Bay just a few years ago, in 2017.
It dates back an astounding 54 years.
It was once found in 1838 in the cliffs at Studd Hill but until now the fascinating history has largely remained forgotten.
Alan Porter has claimed that the discovery in the seaside town has put it into “world recognition”.
Smallest town in Britain
Kent is home to the smallest town, in terms of population size, in Britain.
Fordwich, near Canterbury, has a population of just 381, according to the census population in 2011.
It even has a sign to confirm this.