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England facts and history in brief

Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Folkestone is a coastal resort town in the Shepway district of Kent, England. Hovercraft and ferry services formerly connected the town to both Boulogne and Calais in France, together with the still present Channel Tunnel.
Satellite towns include Capel-Le-Ferne, Cheriton, Hythe and Hawkinge.

Folkestone was a Norman stronghold on, or near the site of a Saxon fort and became known from its connection with the priory of St. Eanswythe.

Archeological finds from a 1st Century cemetery were discovered in 1948 at Cheriton, to the West of Folkestone, but the name of the town of Folkestone in Kent has its origin in the late 7th Century as 'Folcanstan', in all probability referring to the ‘stone of Folca’, a common old English name.
In about 635 AD, King Eadbald built a priory on the western cliff at Folkestone, for Eanswythe, his daughter, and her nuns.
This was the first Christian community for women in Britain.
Her name lends itself to the parish church of St. Mary's and St. Eanswythe where her mortal remains are believed to be interned.

Viking raids were common to the area and left extensive damage to the settlements at Folkestone up until the 10th Century, and even after Edward the Confessor came to the throne in 1042, the village was again put to the torch by Earl Godwin of Wessex, after being exiled by the king.

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I Folkestone contained about 120 houses.

Folkestone Railways
The railway reached Folkestone on 28 June 1843, although the building of the Foord viaduct delayed further extension until the following year, when what was to become Folkestone Junction station was opened.
Once the line was opened to Dover, and the town’s prosperity (which meant growth westwards), further stations were opened at Folkestone West (originally named Shorncliffe Camp) in 1863, and Folkestone Central in 1884.
‘’’Folkestone Harbour’’’ station was used to trans-ship whole trains: the line from the junction was very steep and needed much additional locomotive help.

Folkestone as a holiday resort
Between 1848 and 1868, Folkestone grew apace.
Much of such development was intimately linked to the Radnor family, which owned, and still owns, a significant amount of land in the town and its surroundings.

A rare surviving example of a Victorian water-powered lift remains in operation at the Leas Cliff promenade and offers access from the Leas to the seafront and Coastal Park Amphitheatre, and the Rotunda Amusement Park (under threat of closure).

Folkestone has suffered much deprivation since the end of the Second World War.
The rise of foreign holiday destination, added in no small way by the package holiday, damaged Folkestone tourism business, as with most British holiday resorts.

The likelihood that domestic services will be able to use the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, placing Folkestone less than one hour from London by High Speed Train is expected to contribute to a revival of Folkestone's fortunes.

Near Folkestone is the 'Battle of Britain Museum' on Aerodrome Road at Hawkinge. (Tel: 01303 893 140).
It is claimed to house the "most important collection of Battle of Britain artifacts on show in the country: aircraft, vehicles, weapons, saucepans, flying equipment, prints, relics from over 600 crashed aircraft."

A Russian submarine(U-475) was on display at the harbour but was moved in 2002.

External links

For a more information about Folkestone see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folkestone) November 2005
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).

About Wikipedia

This information was correct in November 2005. E. & O.E.

Sarolta and I visited this place during our trip around the British Isles in 1978.

You can click on these photos for an enlargement.


Folkestone Folkestone Folkestone Folkestone

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