Folkestone & Hythe District

Folkestone & Hythe is a local government district in Kent, England, in the south-east of the county. Its council is based in the town of Folkestone. The authority was renamed from Shepway in April 2018, and therefore has the same name as the Folkestone and Hythe parliamentary constituency, although a somewhat narrower area is covered by the district.

Most of the population live in the coastal towns of Folkestone and Hythe. The north of the district mainly consists of landscape villages interspersed with woods along parts of the North Downs, while the south features a coastal expanse of lower lying, periodically reclaimed villages in less forested Romney Marsh, which has a number of communities extensively built in the medieval period and 17th century as centres of the Romney Marsh wool trade. The district's economy is influenced by the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and the M20 motorway, while the tourism and allied retail sectors provide key sources of employment.

Folkestone & Hythe District
Folkestone & Hythe shown within Kent
Folkestone & Hythe shown within Kent
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth East England
Non-metropolitan countyKent
StatusNon-metropolitan district
Admin HQFolkestone
Incorporated1 April 1974
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyFolkestone & Hythe District Council
 • LeadershipLeader & Cabinet (Conservative)
 • MPsDamian Collins
 • Total137.7 sq mi (356.7 km2)
Area rank113th (of 317)
 (mid-2018 est.)
 • Total112,578
 • Rank210th (of 317)
 • Density820/sq mi (320/km2)
 • Ethnicity
97.3% White
1.5% S.Asian
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code29UL (ONS)
E07000112 (GSS)
OS grid referenceTR2233835912


The modern district covers roughly the same area as the Lathe of Shepway, which contained the hundreds and liberties of Aloesbridge, Bircholt, Folkestone, Ham, Heane, Longport, Loningborough, Lydd, Newchurch, New Romney, Stouting/Stowting, Street and Worth. Its 1861 population was 51,826.[1] The lathe originated as the territory of the Limenwara, one of the regiones of Jutish Kent,[2] but had become obsolete by the end of the 19th century, before reappearing in its present guise in 1974. Windmills served to assist pumping of water as well as grinding of corn, barley, rye and wheat in the district.

The Royal Court of Shepway, which met near Lympne at a place called Shepway Cross, was the principal court of the Cinque Ports Federation.[3] Folkestone & Hythe District Council uses the Folkestone White Horse as a logo.


The district was formed as Shepway on 1 April 1974 by the merger of Folkestone, Lydd and New Romney [Municipal] Boroughs along with Elham and Romney Marsh Rural Districts.

First tier

This consists of town councils in Folkestone, Hythe, New Romney, Lydd and Hawkinge; and the following parish councils:[4]

(M) Parishes marked thus are served by a parish meeting, not a parish council


Folkestone & Hythe occupies the most southerly part of Kent. It is bounded on the north by Ashford and Canterbury Districts; on the east by Dover District and on the south by the Strait of Dover. The Romney and Walland Marshes cover a good deal of its area to the west; where the North Downs begin to reach the sea there is much more in the way of settlement. Four out of five towns in the District are located along the coast. The district area is the same size as the similarly named Folkestone & Hythe parliamentary constituency, but leaves out the Saxon Shore ward from the neighbouring Borough of Ashford.


Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year-round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).[5]


Folkestone & Hythe was an ancient division of Kent and originated, probably in the 6th Century, during the Jutish colonisation.[7] It was originally named Lympne, but by the thirteenth century its name was changed to Shepway. It was one of the seven original lathes of Kent and remained after that number was reduced to five. Like the other lathes it contained several hundreds.[8]

Shepway changes map
Map showing Shepway in 1900 compared with Shepway in 1974, with the parishes now in Dover and Ashford Districts so indicated

The lathe was an important administrative, judicial and taxation unit for 600 years after the Domesday Book. The Sheriff toured the county twice yearly attending on the lathes, however the lathe court became anomalous as it fell between the hundredal courts below and the Justices of the County (in petty and quarter sessions) above.[9] When the lathe and division of the lathe were used as the basis for meetings of local justices of the peace in monthly or petty sessions, Shepway became the unit for this purpose, however a group of hundreds in the middle of the Lathe of Scray, centred on Ashford, were for convenience attached to the Lathe of Shepway for petty sessional purposes. These were the four Hundreds of Felborough, Wye, Calehill, and Chart and Longbridge, with the township of Ashford.[10]

The corporation of Romney Marsh, although within Shepway, possessed its own quarter and petty sessions (separate from the county).[11]

Although not formally abolished, Shepway fell out of usage at the end of the 19th Century, only to reappear on 1 April 1974 as a merger of the boroughs of Folkestone, Hythe, Lydd and New Romney, along with Elham and Romney Marsh Rural Districts.[12] Some parishes along the northern boundary of Shepway were left out when it was revived as a local government unit in 1974, principally those that were in the Hundreds of Ham and Bircholt (Barony). Also omitted were some parishes in Folkestone Hundred, just east of the town. Nevertheless, Shepway was the last of the five lathes of Kent that recognisably continued as a principal local government unit of the county.[13]

On 17 January 2018 a proposal to rename the local authority was passed by councillors, with the new name of Folkestone and Hythe District Council being implemented with effect on 1 April 2018.[14] The council claimed that after 44 years there was still some confusion as to where Shepway was.[15]

Housing and architecture

Saltwood Castle
Saltwood Castle
Ivychurch Kent church tower

The layout of the main towns is one of Victorian streets interspersed with apartment blocks, including a few tower blocks with otherwise housing in the district formed of low-rise apartments, semi-detached, terraced or (less often) detached homes with typically smallholdings or small gardens.

The number of listed buildings in the district exceeds 200. This includes 18 churches listed in the highest grading in the national listing system (Grade I). Three castles or their bailey towers survive from the medieval period.

An examples at Grade I is Davison's Mill, a large windmill set by a green rolling lawn.


In economic terms, Folkestone & Hythe is the third most deprived area in Kent, after Thanet and Swale. Like them, it has a high rate of unemployment; poor educational attainment figures; and with the majority of businesses being small operations.[16]

The major source of economy is, however, tourism. Events and venues are widely publicised.[17][18]


The M20 crosses the north of the District to end at Folkestone, carrying traffic from London, M25 and Maidstone to the district.

Also following the M20 is the A20 which goes by nearby villages in the district. The A20 also continues onto Dover.

The A259 south coast road starts at Folkestone via Hythe, Kent and Romney Marsh in the district to Rye, East Sussex, Hastings, Bexhill-on-Sea, Eastbourne, Brighton, Worthing, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis and Chichester to Emsworth near Portsmouth.

The A260 leaves Folkestone to the A2 for Canterbury.

The A2070 links the Romney Marsh to Ashford and the M20.

Stagecoach in East Kent operate all local buses in the district to Dover, Canterbury, Hastings, Maidstone and Ashford. Stagecoach also run coach route 021 to London from the district on behalf of National Express.

The South Eastern Main Line and High Speed 1 both cross the district. Domestic trains are provided by Southeastern and serve the stations of Westenhanger, Sandling, Folkestone West and Folkestone Central in the district. Trains go to London Charing Cross via Ashford International and Tonbridge to the west and Ramsgate via Dover Priory to the east.

The western end of the Channel Tunnel is at Cheriton, just west of Folkestone and trains that carry cars are provided by Eurotunnel. The tunnel is accessed by the M20 and the A20. Eurostar also use the tunnel but its nearest station to the district is next door in Ashford at Ashford International.

There is no longer cross channel ferry services in the district but there is lots out of the Port of Dover, down the road in Dover.

The Royal Military Canal starts at Seabrook, near the sea at Sandgate, and runs through Hythe town centre and the northern edge of the Romney Marsh.

The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway is a miniature steam railway that from Hythe to Dungeness via Dymchurch and New Romney and some more little stations.

Kent Long Distance Footpaths
The North Downs Way, and the other Kent long-distance footpaths.

Several long distance footpaths cross the District, including the Saxon Shore Way and the North Downs Way; shorter walks include the "Elham Valley Walk" and the "Royal Military Canal Path".

Lydd Airport is also in this district which handles small passenger flights to Le Touquet in France and Cargo flights to Ostend, Belgium. The Airport is served by routes 11 and 101.


  1. ^ John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales,pub 1870-72 (quoted by
  2. ^ Brooks, Nicholas (1998), Anglo-Saxon Myths: State and Church, 400-1066, London: Bloomsbury Publishing, p. 59, ISBN 0826457924, retrieved 2014-06-21
  3. ^ The Cinque Ports: Royal Court of Shepway
  4. ^ Details of town and parish councils
  5. ^ Climate Summary for Folkestone & Hythe, UK
  6. ^ "". Weatherbase. 2013. Retrieved on July 9, 2013.
  7. ^ Dartford Country - The Story Of The Hundred Of Axstane by Geoff Porteus, 1985,ISBN 9780860232032 (page 13)
  8. ^ Vision of Britain: Lathe
  9. ^ Dartford Country - The Story Of The Hundred Of Axstane by G. Porteus (page 32)
  10. ^ Edward Hasted's The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 7 (1798), pp. 262-263)
  11. ^ The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU, (see section of Petty Sessions)
  12. ^ Local Government Act 1972 (1972 c.70)
  13. ^ See list of parishes by lathe and hundred in the census tables in Victoria County History, Kent Volume 3 (publ.1932, ed William Page, ISBN 9780712906081), along with the list of parishes on the official web sites of the local authorities Kent ( Shepway (
  14. ^ Shepway District Council news release
  15. ^ "Council Changes Name Because No One Knows Where It Is". The Guardian. 2018-01-18.
  16. ^ "Choose Shepway": Economic Regeneration Strategy, 2007-2017
  17. ^ Community website for Folkestone & Hythe
  18. ^ Tourist information and community website for Folkestone & Hythe

Coordinates: 51°4′43.86″N 1°10′28.61″E / 51.0788500°N 1.1746139°E

2007 Shepway District Council election

District Council elections were held in Shepway in 2007.

CT postcode area

The CT postcode area, also known as the Canterbury postcode area, is a group of 21 postcode districts in England, which are subdivisions of 13 post towns. These postcode districts cover much of East Kent, including Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone, Birchington, Broadstairs, Deal, Herne Bay, Hythe, Margate, Ramsgate, Sandwich, Westgate-on-Sea and Whitstable.


Saint Eanswith (Old English: Ēanswīþ; born c. 614, Kent, England. Died c. 640, Folkestone, England), also spelled Eanswythe or Eanswide, was an Anglo Saxon princess, who founded Folkestone Priory, the first Christian monastic community for women in Britain.

Earl of Radnor

Earl of Radnor is a title which has been created twice. It was first created in the Peerage of England in 1679 for John Robartes, 2nd Baron Robartes, a notable political figure of the reign of Charles II. He was made Viscount Bodmin at the same time. Robartes was the son of Richard Robartes, who had been created Baronet in July 1621 and Baron Robartes, of Truro, in the Peerage of England in 1626. All three titles became extinct on the death of the fourth Earl in 1757. Anna Maria Hunt, great-niece of the fourth Earl, married the Hon. Charles Bagenal-Agar, youngest son of James Agar, 1st Viscount Clifden of Gowran. Their son Thomas James Agar-Robartes was created Baron Robartes in 1869. For more information on this title, see the Viscount Clifden.

The earldom was created for a second time in the Peerage of Great Britain in 1765 when William Bouverie, 2nd Viscount Folkestone, was made Earl of Radnor. The Bouverie family descends from William des Bouverie, a prominent London merchant. He was created a baronet, of St Catherine Cree Church, London, in the Baronetage of Great Britain in 1714. His eldest son, the second Baronet, represented Shaftesbury in the House of Commons. He was succeeded by his younger brother, the third Baronet. He sat as Member of Parliament for Salisbury until he was raised to the Peerage of Great Britain as Baron Longford and Viscount Folkestone in 1747.

His son, the second Viscount, also represented Salisbury in Parliament. In 1765 he was made Baron Pleydell-Bouverie, of Coleshill in the County of Berkshire, and Earl of Radnor. The earldom was created with remainder, failing heirs male of his body, to the heirs male of his father. Both peerages were in the Peerage of Great Britain. He was succeeded by his son, the second Earl. He was Member of Parliament for Salisbury and served as Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire. The second Earl assumed the additional surname of Pleydell after succeeding to the estates of his maternal grandfather, Sir Mark Stuart Pleydell, 1st Baronet (see Pleydell Baronets). His son, the third Earl, represented Downton and Salisbury in the House of Commons. On his death the titles passed to his son, the fourth Earl. He served as Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire.

He was succeeded by his son, the fifth Earl. He sat as Conservative Member of Parliament for South Wiltshire and Enfield and held political office as Treasurer of the Household from 1885 to 1886 under Lord Salisbury. His son, the sixth Earl, represented Wilton (also known as South Wiltshire) in Parliament as a Conservative and served as Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire. He was succeeded by his son, the seventh Earl. He notably held the honorary posts of Keeper of the Privy Seal and Lord Warden of the Stannaries and was made a Knight of the Garter in 1962. As of 2009 the titles are held by his grandson, also William Pleydell-Bouverie, the 9th Earl of Radnor, who succeeded his father in 2008.

Successive Earls of Radnor were governors of the French Hospital from the eighteenth century to 2015.The family seat are Longford Castle, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, and Alward House, near Alderbury, Wiltshire.


Folkestone ( FOHK-stən) is a port town on the English Channel, in Kent, south-east England. The town lies on the southern edge of the North Downs at a valley between two cliffs. It was an important harbour and shipping port for most of the 19th and 20th centuries.

There has been a settlement in this location since the Mesolithic era. A nunnery was founded by Eanswith, granddaughter of Æthelberht of Kent in the 7th century, who is still commemorated as part of the town's culture. During the 13th century it subsequently developed into a seaport and the harbour developed during the early 19th century to provide defence against a French invasion, and expanded further after the arrival of the railway in 1843. The harbour's use has diminished since the opening of the nearby Channel Tunnel and stopping of local ferry services, but still remains in active use. The harbour's use has increased dramatically due to the construction of the 'Harbour Arm' which holds cafés, pubs and bands playing.

Folkestone, Hythe and Sandgate Tramways

The Folkestone, Hythe and Sandgate Tramways operated a tramway service in Hythe, Kent between 1891 and 1921.

Folkestone Academy

Folkestone Academy is a 4–19 mixed all-through school with academy status in Folkestone, Kent, England that was established in September 2007. In April 2017, the school became a part of Turner Schools

Folkestone Central railway station

Folkestone Central railway station is on the South Eastern Main Line in England, and is the main station serving the town of Folkestone, Kent. It is 69 miles 73 chains (112.5 km) down the line from London Charing Cross and is situated between Folkestone West and Dover Priory. The station and all trains that call are operated by Southeastern.

Folkestone F.C.

Folkestone Football Club was the name of two English football clubs based in the town of Folkestone, Kent. It is unclear if the two clubs were connected, but neither has any formal connection to Folkestone Invicta, who took over the Cheriton Road stadium after the demise of Folkestone F.C. in 1990.

Folkestone Invicta F.C.

Folkestone Invicta Football Club is a football club based in Folkestone, Kent, England. There are currently members of the Isthmian League Premier Division and play at Cheriton Road.

Folkestone School for Girls

Folkestone School for Girls (FSG) is an all-girls grammar school with academy status in Folkestone, Kent, England, next to Sandgate Primary School on Coolinge Lane.

The school, in its current form, on its current site and under its current name, started in 1983. Its history goes much further back, however, to 1905 as the Folkestone County School for Girls. There is a Folkestone School Old Girls' Association with further information and some 800 members, including from various of the current school's predecessors, which, along the way have merged. The previous names were various:

The Grange (at Shorncliffe Road)

Folkestone County Technical School for Girls

Folkestone Technical High School for Girls

Folkestone County Grammar School for GirlsThe boys' grammar school is called the Harvey Grammar School.

Folkestone West railway station

Folkestone West railway station is on the South Eastern Main Line in England, serving the western area of Folkestone, Kent. It is 69 miles 22 chains (111.5 km) down the line from London Charing Cross and is situated between Sandling and Folkestone Central, the other station serving the town. Folkestone West and all trains that call are operated by Southeastern.

The ticket office, in a room on the extensive 'up' side buildings on the London-bound platform, is manned only during part of the day; at other times a PERTIS permit to travel machine, located outside the ticket office, suffices. The substantial 'down' (country-bound) platform building is occupied as offices by Network Rail.

Folkestone and Hythe (UK Parliament constituency)

Folkestone and Hythe () is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament. The MP is Damian Collins of the Conservative Party.

Hastings-class sloop

The Hastings class, also known as the Folkestone class, was a class of sloop which were built for the Royal Navy and the Royal Indian Navy in the interwar period. In total five ships were built, and went on to see service in the Second World War.

K College

K College, also known as South & West Kent College, was an English college of Further Education and Higher Education with facilities across Kent, formed in April 2010, by the merger of South Kent College with West Kent College. In 2014 it was split again, between Hadlow College and East Kent College, with West Kent College being reestablished and the campus in Ashford becoming Ashford College.

The Interim Principal was Phil Frier and the Patron was Lord Mayhew of Twysden.

List of schools in Kent

This is a list of schools in Kent, England.

London 3 South East

London 3 South East is an English level 8 Rugby Union League involving club sides from Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex and the south-east London. It is made up of teams predominantly from London, Sussex and Kent. The twelve teams play home and away matches from September through to April. Each year all clubs in the division also take part in the RFU Senior Vase - a level 8 national competition.

Promoted teams move up to London 2 South East and demoted teams move to Sussex Spitfire 1 and Shepherd Neame Kent 1. Although 2nd XV rugby is part of the Sussex regional system, only 1st XV sides can play in London 3 South East.

Sandgate, Kent

Sandgate is a village in the Folkestone and Hythe Urban Area in the Folkestone and Hythe district of Kent, England. In 2004, the village re-acquired civil parish status.

The civil parish shares the boundaries of Folkestone Sandgate ward, at 2.17 km2 (0.84 sq mi). It had a population of 4,225 at the 2001 census. It is the site of Sandgate Castle, a Device Fort.

H.G. Wells lived at Spade House, and it was also the birthplace of comedian Hattie Jacques.

The Morcheeba song "The Sea" is written about the beachside bar 'Bar Vasa'. Sandgate Hotel appeared on the Channel 4 programme Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares on 27 February 2006. Other pubs include The Ship Inn, The Providence Inne, The Clarendon Inn and The Royal Norfolk Hotel.

Sandgate was an urban district from 1894 to 1934 (having previously been part of Cheriton parish). It was added to Folkestone in 1934.

The Sandgate branch railway line was opened in 1874 and closed to passengers in 1951. Little of the infrastructure now remains, but it is still possible to see the remains of a tall overbridge at the bottom of Hospital Hill.

Sandgate has become known for Dave the Dolphin, seen out in the bay between Folkestone and Hythe.

Sandgate is the location of the Shorncliffe Redoubt, a Napoleonic era earthwork fort associated with Sir John Moore and the 95th Regiment of Foot, known as the 95th Rifles.

St Paul's Church lies next to the Saga building, which is built on the site of Embrook House.

Sandgate Primary School lies on Coolinge Lane between the Folkestone School for Girls and Eversley College. The old school building is located in the village on Sandgate Road close to Spade House.

Folkestone Rowing Club is in Sandgate.

There are a number of pubs in Sandgate, including The Ship, The Providence Inne and The Earl of Clarendon. Inn Doors opened on Aug 28th 2015. This is a micropub offering local beers and ciders.

The Hub bicycle shop closed in 2014. Its premises have now been split between the Loaf coffee shop and the Ship Inn. As of Sept 2015, the half now managed by the Ship was undergoing refurbishment.

The Brisbane suburb with the same name is named after the town. There is also a Brisbane suburb called Shorncliffe, which is adjacent to Sandgate.

The Harvey Grammar School

The Harvey Grammar School is located in Folkestone, Kent, England. It is a grammar school with academy status founded by Sir Eliab Harvey in 1674.

Climate data for Folkestone & Hythe, UK
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8
Average low °C (°F) 3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 38
Source: Weatherbase[6]
East Sussex
Isle of Wight
West Sussex
Local authorities in Kent
County council and unitary
District councils
Towns and villages in the Folkestone and Hythe district of Kent, England


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