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For centuries the River Medway was the boundary to the kingdom Kent, later on, the kingdom stretched further west into areas that are now part of London. The county boundary has been subject to revision not only due to conquest but latterly for administrative purposes, for instance, in the 1750’s those parts of Kent nearest to London began to develop as suburbs of the capital. The county boundary was adjusted in 1889 when the towns of Deptford, Greenwich, Woolwich, Lee, Lewisham, Kidbrooke, Charlton and Eltham left Kent and joined London.
A smaller adjustment took place in 1900, when Penge was changed from being situated in Surrey to Kent. In 1965, the London Borough of Bromley was created, which included Bromley, Beckenham, Penge, Orpington and Chistlehurst, and at the same time, the London Borough of Bexley was created, which included the towns of Bexley, Sidcup, Erith and Crayford. Further parts of Kent lying between the A21 and M25 were added to London in 1974.
From the 6th century the kingdom was itself divided into Lathes, originally, these were the provinces of the Saxon kingdom, like early political divisions, each with its ‘villa regalis’ or royal manor at the centre and its share of Wealden forest. During the 10th century the Lathes were further sub divided into Hundreds. The concept of the Hundred has two interpretations : to provide 100 fighting men: as capable of supporting 100 families. In the 11th century, seven Lathes are referred to in the Domesday survey ordered by King William
During the 13th century the East Kent Lathes were reduced from 5 to 3. The Hundreds were also reorganised at same time and totalled 63. The Lathes were also subdivided into 14 Bailiwics, each under the jurisdication of a Bailiff. The Hundred is also subdivided into Parishes, these date back to Saxon times and there are around 400 in the county. The county is also divided into two Diocese: Canterbury and Rochester, the division is roughly based on East and West Kent
The towns of Canterbury, Dover, Rochester, Faversham, Sandwich, Fordwich, Seasalter, Hythe, and Romney were boroughs and as such lay outside the normal manorial organisation. The final division was that of the men of Kent and the Kentish Men: the East and the West. The division arose at the time of the Norman Conquest, with those living east of Swanscombe, known as Kentish Men and those living west of Swanscombe, known as Men of Kent.
The local sandstone is known as Sarsen stone and is found in various parts of the country and natural formations can be found in Meopham, Harvel, Horsted, Lenham amongst many others. These megaliths were built during the Neolithic period, principally as a method of burial. The body was placed in a kneeling position inside a chamber made of slabs of stone, like a box, and finally resting a large slab on the top of the four uprights. It is interesting to note their position on the ancient track of the Pilgrim’s Way, which originally went to Salisbury Plain. Unfortunately other megaliths have been lost either through the recycling of the stone or through their destruction in the 17th and 18th centuries when it was not uncommon for them to be blown up and the fragments dispersed if they hindered farming activities or over the centuries during treasure hunts. For instance in the same field that contains Kits Coty, fragments of a sarsen stone was found in a hedge, being a monument known to have been blown up in 1862. This is believed to have been a single stone, similar to the coffin stone and known as The General’s Tomb
Also known as the Chestnuts, these remnants of stones on a hill would form more of an oval than a circle. There were probably originally 20 in number and just north west of these was another heap of 6 large stones.