Dartford, town and borough (borough), administrative and historical county located in Kent in southeastern England. It lies on the south bank of the River Thames and borders the Greater London Area to the east. It used to be a trading center in ancient times. The channel that crosses the River Darent between London and Canterbury gave Dartford its name. Dartford is associated with many events in British history as it lies on the main road connecting London to mainland Europe. Henry III's sister, Isabella, married there in 1235 on behalf of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor. Henry VIII, his wife Anne of Cleves, and Elizabeth I owned private mansions in Dartford.
Some of the first paper-making experiments in England took place in Dartford in the 16th century. This industry declined and came to a halt in the district, as did chalk quarrying and cement production. Economic activity is currently concentrated in high-tech industries and other light industries and warehousing. Industry and housing are concentrated in the northern part of the city. The southern part of the county near the North Downs is still relatively rural.
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