county SE England bordering on Strait of Dover; one of kingdoms in Anglo-Saxon heptarchy ∗ Maidstone area 1493 square miles (3867 square kilometers), pop 1,485,100
Administrative (pop., 2001: 1,329,653), geographic, and historic county, southeastern England. It lies along the English Channel. The Romans ruled the area from AD 43, using Canterbury as a base. It was invaded by Jutes and Saxons in the 5th century and became one of the kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon Britain. The king of Kent welcomed St. Augustine's Christian mission in 597; St. Thomas Becket was murdered in Canterbury cathedral in 1170. It has long been known as the Garden of England, and such crops as apples, cherries, barley, and wheat are widely grown.