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In northwest Kent industries include extraction of aggregate building materials, printing and scientific research.
Coal mining has also played its part in Kent's industrial heritage.
Between London and the Strait of Dover, which separates it from mainland Europe, Kent has seen both diplomacy and conflict, ranging from the Leeds Castle peace talks of 19 to the Battle of Britain in World War II.
England relied on the county's ports to provide warships through much of its history; the Cinque Ports in the 12th–14th centuries and Chatham Dockyard in the 16th–20th centuries were of particular importance.
By the reign of Elizabeth I (1558–1603) a small dockyard had been established at Chatham.
By 1618, storehouses, a ropewalk, a drydock, and houses for officials had been built downstream from Chatham.
Kent was traditionally partitioned into East and West Kent, and into lathes and hundreds.
The early medieval inhabitants of the county were known as the Cantwara, or Kent people.Large parts of Kent are within the London commuter belt and its strong transport connections to the capital and the nearby continent make Kent a high-income county.Twenty-eight per cent of the county forms part of two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: the North Downs and The High Weald.In the 11th century, the people of Kent adopted the motto Invicta, meaning "undefeated" or "unconquered".This naming followed the invasion of Britain by William of Normandy.
In the previous year, Augustine successfully converted the pagan King Æthelberht of Kent to Christianity.