Folkestone

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Coordinates: 51°04′52″N 1°09′58″E / 51.081°N 1.166°E / 51.081; 1.166

Folkestone (pronounced /ˈfoʊkstən/) is the principal town in the Shepway District of Kent, England. Its original site was in a valley in the sea cliffs and it developed through fishing and its closeness to the Continent as a landing place and trading port. The coming of the railways, the building of a ferry port, and its growing importance as a seaside resort made the town grow. However, business has declined. The beginning of high speed rail services for commuters on the HS1 line to London St Pancras has cut the journey time from London to less than an hour. Folkestone now has the only sandy beach ["Sunny Sands"] and coastal park within an hour of north London.

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Toponymy

Although Kent was the first part of the British mainland to be conquered and settled by the invading Angles, Saxons and Jutes from the middle of the 5th century AD onwards, after the departure of the Romans, it was not until the late 7th century that the spelling Folcanstan appears. One suggestion is that this refers to Folca's stone;[2] another suggestion is that it came from an Old English personal name, with the addition of stone, possibly meaning, in this context, "meeting place". It was not until the mid 19th century that the spelling of "Folkestone" was fixed as such, with the Earl of Radnor requesting that the town's name be standardised (although this tendency towards standardisation in the 19th century is true of English place names generally). Folkestone is often misspelt, variants including Folkston, Folkstone & Folkeston.

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