The Victoria history of the county of Kent, England
The history and topography of Kent are so peculiarly attractive that many historians have turned their attention to the county and it has thus been supplied with a continuous flow of topographical works from the sixteenth century to the present day. The first of its historians, and perhaps the earliest English county historian, was William Lambarde, who in 1576 published his Perambulation of Kent containing the Description, Hystorie and Customes of that Shyre. Lambarde was born in 1536 and was the son of a draper and alderman of London. He practised law and after publishing some collections relating to the Anglo-Saxon period completed his Perambulation of Kent in 1570. This, his principal work, although not quite on the lines of the more modern county histories, gives most quaint and interesting descriptions of old customs which during the period of change in which he lived were fast passing away. After serving the office of Keeper of the Records for some years he died in 1601. Lambarde's work was followed in 1659 by Richard Kilburne's Topographie or Survey of the County of Kent and John Philipot's Villare Cantiutn, published by his son Thomas Philipot, but neither of these can well be considered a county history. In 1719 Dr. John Harris, a profuse writer, published a History of Kent which, although not of the strictest accuracy, contains much information and is accompanied by a series of plates of great interest by Kyp.
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If our study of the geology of Kent were to be confined to the strata which constitute the surface only, we should find its rock structure so faithfully reflected in its simple physical features that a knowledge of the shape of the ground would almost necessarily convey an idea of the broader outlines of its stratigraphy. The rising ground south of the Thames, composed of the soft Tertiary clays and sands; the bold range of the North Downs, formed by the Chalk emerging from beneath these and terminating southward in a steep escarpment; the hollow at the foot of this range, where the underlying Gault Clay reach the surface; the lower range of hilly ground running parallel to the Downs, composed of the harder beds of the Lower Greensand, which come next in downward stratigraphical succession; the broad plain south of these hills, underlain by the Weald Clay; and finally the pleasant rising ground along the southern margin of the county, where the sands and sandstones of the Hastings Series emerge from beneath the Weald Clay — all these features of the surface are directly due to the character of the strata and to the direction in which the beds are sloping.