9 places, people and items named after Kent
PUBLISHED: 12:24 29 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:02 01 September 2020
Our county has lent its name to a number of different items and places that are now recognised across the world and linked to Kent. Here are some that might surprise you
- The River Kent
The River Kent is a short but stunning river located in the heart of Cumbria. Even though its size is smaller compared to other rivers across the UK, it makes up for it in almighty power as it is supposedly one of the fastest-flowing, spring-run rivers in the country. Starting at Kentmere Reservoir in the valley of Kentmere, it flows through several pretty villages to meet the River Sprint. A mile or so downstream it joins the River Mint and from here these two small rivers join together and form the River Kent. It then continues to flow on, down through Kendal only 20 miles from Morecambe Bay, the largest estuary in the north-west just to the south of the Lake District National Park.
- Duke of Kent
Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent and Duchess of Kent (Katherine Worsely) are members of the British Royal family. The Duke of Kent is the first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. He was born on July 4, 1942 to Prince George, the Duke of Kent, and Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark. Once seventh in line to the throne at birth, he is now 47th in the order of succession. The Royal couple have three children, George Windsor, Earl of St Andrews, Lady Helen Taylor and Lord Nicholas Windsor. Even though he and his wife are not necessary working royals, The Duke frequently appears at public events with the family. There is even a pub named after him, The Duke of Kent in West Ealing.
- Kent Records
Kent Records was originally a Los Angeles-based record label, launched in the 1950s by musical influencers the Bihari brothers as a follow up to the bankrupted Modern Records. It was later brought by Ace Records in London which uses the label name to release Motown and Northern Soul Music. For British audiences, the Northern Soul label is probably more famous than the original American label, which releases a variety of genres including, funk, modern jazz, garage, vocal jazz and gospel. Ace Records is the parent label to Kent Soul, which has released timeless records with some of the biggest musical stars to date, including Aretha Franklin, Joe Hicks, Etta James and Jackie Ross.
- Kent Island
The largest island in the Chesapeake Bay, Kent Island is located on Maryland's Eastern shore in the USA. The fascinating island has deep roots in Maryland history and is a great spot for travellers to soak up the culture in its historic downtown area which still preserves its 19th-century architecture and charm. An ideal place to sample authentic Maryland seafood overlooking the water, with a number of fantastic restaurants and hotels. Plus, there are a variety of fun indoor and outdoor activities to enjoy, including hiking, distilleries and wineries. The island is separated from the mainland by a narrow channel called Kent Narrows, which connects the Chester River to the Eastern Bay and boasts a beautiful waterfront.
- Old Kent Road
A Monopoly metaphor, The Old Kent Road is represented as one of the cheapest stops that nobody wants on the family favourite board game. However, at more than 2,000 years old, it is in fact one of England's oldest roads, tracing back as an ancient route once used by the Celts.
Since Roman times, it has been a major road in south-east London from east Newington to New Cross Gate. Boasting soul, history and true authenticity, it was once known as a place for eels, pie and mash, but today is more recognised for its popular night clubs.
And even though it is minuscule in comparison, The New Kent Road deserves a mention too. Located in the London Borough of Southwark, the 1km road was created in 1751 and is even mentioned in the Charles Dickens classic novel, David Copperfield.
- Kent's influence
Kent is not just a name in the south-east of England. Our county has influenced many towns and cities across the world to name their destination Kent, including Kent County in Rhode Island, USA.
Did you know there are more than 30 places called Kent in the world, including 19 places named Kent in America, seven places in Canada, two places in Sierra Leone, one in Barbados and one in Jamaica? In south Florida, they even have a 'Kent' mango cultivar that was planted in 1933 on the property of Leith D. Kent.
This delicious fruit became very popular, but the its poor shelf life has limited its commercial scale in Florida and it is only grown on a limited scale outside of the USA. However, it is still widely grown as a nursery stock tree for home growing in Florida, where it remains popular.
Kent is believed to be an ancient British Celtic name for someone from Kent. It has been the surname for many prosperous and influential British people over the centuries, including Eadbert II of Kent (King of Kent), footballer Harry Kent, British politician Jack Kent, organist and composer James Kent and cricketer Kenneth G. Kent.
Kent has become the surname for some famous household fiction characters too, including comic character, Ariella Kent from Super Girl. But of course the biggest of all is superhero Superman, aka Clark Kent. He debuted in Action Comics in June 1938 and since then has become one of the greatest superhero characters of all time, appearing in books, films, comics, TV shows and played by huge stars, such as the late actor Christopher Reeves.
- The Kent Group of islands
The Kent Group of islands is one of those mystical boating destinations in Tasmania that is still a hidden gem. It is made of a group of six granite islands in Bass Strait, north-west of the Furneaux Group (a group of around 100 islands located at the eastern end of Bass Strait between Victoria and Tasmania).
The largest island in the group is Deal Island, then descending in size order it's Erith Island, Dover Island, North East Isle, South West Isle and Judgement Rocks. They boast crystal-clear waters, outstanding diving and wildlife spotting (think penguins, wallabies and migratory birds). It's just a shame they're more than 10,750 miles away!
- Ford Kent engine
Many car enthusiasts will be familiar with the Ford Kent engine. Originally developed in 1959 for the Ford Anglia, it's an in-line four-cylinder overhead valve-type pushrod engine with a cast-iron cylinder head and block. The Kent family of engines is divided into three basic sub-families: the original, pre-Crossflow Kent, the most prolific of all versions of Kent Cars; the Crossflow, and the transverse-mounted Valencia variants. Perhaps one of its biggest, most significant achievements is the profound influence on motorsport the Ford Kent engines has had on this particular industry. For example, Lotus used Ford Kent engines on its Lotus MK VII to establish its corporate foundation. It is said many respected racing engine builder/tuners owe their foundations to the Ford Kent-based engines. In October 2009, Ford announced that it would be putting the Kent block back into production in order to supply the historic racing community with spares. I think this says it all.
- HMS Kent
There are no less than 11 ships of the British Royal Navy named HMS Kent, after both the county and the Duke of Kent. HMS Kent (F78) is one of the newest of the Type 23 frigates or Duke Class (the class of frigates built for the United Kingdom's Royal Navy). Built by BAE Systems Maritime on the Clyde, she was launched on 27 May 1998 by Princess Alexandra of Kent, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy (sister of the Duke of Kent). HMS Kent is currently on deployment and its present operation, Baltic Protector, marks the first deployment of the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force Maritime Task Group. She is run by Commander Andy Brown, who took charge of HMS Kent in January 2018. She takes around 185 personnel on board, has a top speed of around 28 plus knots and so far has completed more than 7,800 miles.