Isle of Sheppey

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The Isle of Sheppey is an island in the Thames Estuary, in the county of Kent, south-east England. It is separated from the mainland by the Swale, crossed by a rail and road bridge. The main town is Sheerness, founded as a naval port in the seventeenth century; other centres include Queenborough, founded in the late fourteenth century for Edward III's queen Philippa, and Leysdown. The terrain is flat, and much of the land was used for grazing sheep (the name Sheppey means 'sheep island'). Land reclamation in the eighteenth/nineteenth centuries led to the incorporation of another island, the Isle of Harty, into Sheppey.