Links to Places in Kent associated with Jane Austen

Canterbury

Deptford

Dover

Godmersham

Goodnestone

Greenwich

Hythe

Margate

Nackington

Rowling

Kent is a maritime county, at the south east extremity of the kingdom, being separated from Flanders and Holland by the Straits of Dover.

During the Saxon heptarchy, this county was an entire kingdom; and its kings kept their court at Canterbury, which now is an archbishoprick, and the primary of all England. It is in the dioceses of Canterbury and Rochefter, and is included in the Home circuit.

Its form is an irregular oblong, 65 miles long from east to west, 37 broad from north to south, and 595 miles in circuit, containing 15oo square miles, divided into laths, which are subdivided in 62 hundreds; comprizing 418 parishes, and 2 cities, viz. Canterbury, the seat of the metropolitan see, which sends 2 members to parliament; and Rochester, the see of a bishop, that sends 2 members also to parliament; 35 market towns, viz. Maidstone, the county town, which sends 2 members to parliament, and gives the title of Viscount to the Finch family; Chatham,which gives the titles of Earl and Baron to the family of Pitt, and is one of the completest arsenals in the world for naval stores; Queenborough, which sends 2 members to parliament ; Dover, a cinque port, where the packets are stationed for France, &c. and gives the title of Baron to the Yorke family; Sandwich, another cinque port, which gives the title of Earl to the Montagu family; Romney, also a cinque port, which gives the title of Baron to the Mastham family; Hythe, likewise a cinque port; each of which, as cinque ports, sends 2 members to parliament ; Tunbridge, remarkable for its medical waters, gives the title of Viscount to the Nassau de Zulestein family; Fordwich, that of Viscount to the Cowper family; Folkstone, that of Viscount to the family of Bouverie; Aylesford, that of Earl to the Finch family; Greenwich, distinguished by its Royal Park and Observatory, and a noble Hospital for superannuated seamen, gives the title of Baron to the Townshend family; Dartford, that of Viscount to the family of Villiers; Ashford, that of Baron to the Keppel family; Woolwich, eminent for its dock-yards, elaboratory, &c. and being the mother dock of the royal navy of Great Britain; Deal, where Caesar landed in his descent on Britain; Gravesend, whence all shipping from London take their departure for foreign voyages ; Milton, remarkable for its oysters sent to London; Appledore, Feversham, Bromley, Cranbrook, Eltharn, Goudhurst, Lenham, Lidd, Mailing, Sevenoak, Smarden, Tenterden, Westram, Wrotham, Wye, Northfleet, and Eleham among the numerous confiderable villages, Chislehurst gives the title of Baron to the Townshend family; Sundridge that of Baron to the Campbell family; Lewisham that of Viscount to the Legg family; Eastwell that of Baron to the Finch family; Leas Court that of Baron to the family of Watson; Camden, which gives the titles of Earl and Baron to the Pratt family; Holmsdale the title of Baron to the family of Amherst; Shurland, in the Tile of Sheepy, that of Baron to the family of Herbert; Wingham that of Baron to the family of Cowper; and the Isle of Thanet gives the title of Earl to the Tuston family. Its rivers are the Thames, Medway, Stour, Rother, Darent, Tun, Ravensbourne, and Wantsheim. The most noted places are the North and South Forelands, Dungeness, Oxney,Thanet and Sheepy Isles, Isle of Grains, the Downs, Godwin Sands, Sheernefs Fort and several castles, more particularly that of Dover, and St. Margaret, Hope, and Hythe Bays, &c &c.

It produces cattle, sheep, wild-fowl, iron, corn, hops, wood, cherries, and all other fruits and vegetables, excellent fish, chalk, timber, sand for the glass manufactories, &c. &c.

The most remarkable places are Shooter’s Hill, Mount Zion, Mount Ephraim, Idle Hill, Camphurst and Randall Woods, Blackheath, where is Morden College, with Greenwich Park, Romney Marsh, Weald of Kent, &c. &c. It has a great number of Roman, Saxon, and Danish encampments, and other antiquities; and the waters of Tunbridge are much resorted to by invalids.

In the large space that this county covers, there is a great diversity of soil.

It sends 18 members to parliament, 2 for the county and 16 above as shewn;pays 22 parts of the land tax, and provides 960 men to the national militia.

Text and Map: A New and Correct English Atlas (1797) by John Cary.