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. Folkestone is the English terminus of the Channel Tunnel.