We asked you five questions about Kent. Here come the answers!
- Kent’s motto is Invicta, the Latin for “undefeated”. Whose invading forces failed to conquer Kent?
William the Conqueror. Legend has it that William’s forces were on their way to Winchester (the Saxon capital of England) via London but were forced by the ferocity of the Kent peasantry to hasten their progress rather than subduing the county on their way. An alternative version says that a deputation met William and offered peace as long as he recognised their ancient rights, which he agreed to do.
- What inedible bakery product is linked with the names Eliza and Mary Chulkhurst?
Biddenden Cakes. The story goes that conjoined twins Eliza and Mary were born in the village of Biddenden in 1100, died in 1134 and left five plots of land, the income of which were to be used to buy bread and cheese for the poor. Biddenden Cakes have been baked since the late 18th century, initially as part of the dole but now as more or less permanent souvenirs not meant for consumption.
- Britain’s oldest brewery is based in Kent. What is its name? For a bonus point, in which town is it? For another, in what year was it founded?
The Shepherd Neame Brewery, founded in Faversham in 1698. The original owner was a Captain Richard Marsh, who left it to his widow in 1727. Her daughter sold it to Samuel Shepherd of Deal in about 1741, and the Neame family joined the business in 1864. Its strong ale Bishop’s Finger, named after a signpost to Canterbury on the Pilgrim’s Way, has been brewed since 1958 and has Protected Geographical Indication status.
- Which 19th-century author, born in Portsmouth, spent his childhood and later life around the Medway Towns?
Charles John Huffam Dickens. When he was nine, Dickens’ father showed him Gads Hill Place on the outskirts of the village of Higham and told him that if he worked hard he would live in the house or something like it. He bought it 35 years later in 1856, intending to let it as an investment, but changed his mind and used it as his country retreat. He died there, of a stroke, in 1870.
- What’s the difference between a Kentish Man/Maid and a Man/Maid of Kent?
Definitions vary, but the most commonly accepted one is that the Men and Maids of Kent are born in East Kent, while the Kentish Men and Maids are born in West Kent. However, some say it’s the other way round; some say that to be a Man or Maid of Kent you have to be born there; and some say that “Man/Maid of Kent” is a term of honour reserved for distinguished people, whereas the “Kentish” are just run-of-the-mill everyday types.