What a fascinating morning I had yesterday. I met with Sir Terry Farrell at his practice in North West London to discuss the work we’re asking him to do in Kent, knitting together all the regeneration activity across the County.
I was fascinated to see the wealth of research which his team have done already. They have unearthed a map of England from around 640AD which shows the “Tribal Hidage” – the Northumbrians, the Mercians and so on – and there in the bottom right corner are “The Kentmen” – more commonly known as the Cantweres, demonstrating the heritage of Kent as a region. I woinder if future historians will see the regionalisation of our nation by Europe as an advance or a disaster?
He also showed me the geological map of Kent (for an example click here), with four distinct bands of minerals – chalk, lower greensand, gault and Weald Clay – running top left (Dartford) to bottom right (Folkestone, New Romney etc) across the county.
What caused my jaw to drop was when we overlayed that geological map on any other for the county. Everything else, from Roman roads, to settlements, up to todays motorways, towns and railways – everything still follows those original geological tracks.
We spend much of our time looking towards the future; indeed KCC Leader Paul Carter and I will launch on 20th January the consultation on our 20 year vision for regeneration in Kent. But unless we keep in mind our history and heritage; the things that separate Kent from London and other Counties, we’re only looking at half the picture.