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Folkestone

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Kent  /  Folkestone
(3.8/5 based on 4,400+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: sightseeing, historic sites, parks
Folkestone is a port town located on the English Channel, in Kent, south-east England. The town lies on the southern edge of the North Downs at a valley between two cliffs. It was an important harbour and shipping port for most of the 19th and 20th century.There has been a settlement in this location since the Mesolithic era and was inhabited during Roman Britain. A nunnery was founded by Eanswith, daughter of Æthelberht of Kent in the 7th century, who is still commemorated as part of the town's culture. Folkestone was one of the Cinque Ports in the 13th century, and it subsequently developed into a sea port. The harbour developed during the early 19th century to provide defence against a French invasion, and expanded further after the arrival of the railway in 1843. The harbour's use has diminished since the opening of the nearby Channel Tunnel and stopping of local ferry services, but still remains in active use.HistoryThe area of Folkestone has been occupied since at least the Mesolithic era. In 2010, worked flints were discovered below the remains of the Folkestone Roman Villa. The East Cliff area was excavated in 1924 and most recently from 2010 - 2011, which has produced artifacts from the Mesolithic period through to the Roman Era. On the East Cliff, an extensive Iron Age oppidum existed, which produced quern-stones on an almost industrial scale. These querns, or stones used for grinding cereals into flour, were traded for continental exports such as pottery and wine. A modest Roman style villa was constructed over the Iron Age settlement sometime during the first century AD, followed by a more luxurious one in about 200 AD. The villa was abandoned sometime during the third or fourth century for unknown reasons.
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