by Janis on 1st September 2020 / 0 comments

Discover Faversham’s quays, brewery and ancient lanes

Gary and I live in Kent, and we’ve visited Faversham a few times over the years. And no, not just to frequent its historical brewery (though that is a good reason) but, also to stroll its ancient Chartered covered market, delightful lanes and winding tidal creek.

However, today was a bit different, we’d decided that we weren’t just going to visit our usual stomping ground. We’d be more inquisitive and dig a little deeper into Kent’s oldest market town.

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Where is Faversham?

How to get to...

- By Train
Catch a high-speed train from St Pancras International, London to Faversham, and it only takes around 1hour 10 minutes.

- By Car
Faversham is a 1.4miles/2.3km from junction 6 of the M2 Motorway. There are various fee-paying car parks around town.

A little bit of history on Faversham

Gunpowder, a Cinque Port and sooo many ancient inns

Faversham truly has some history, it dates from pre-Roman times and is mentioned in the Doomsday Book, as land owned by the King.

The picturesque town is located just off of the A2, which was an old Roman road connecting the Kent coast to London via the striking Cathedral city of Canterbury.

From the 11th-century, Faversham enjoyed the privileges bestowed on them from being one of the King’s Cinque Ports and was a limb of Dover.

Boats moored up alongside converted warehouses on Faversham Creek.
Faversham Creek

What I love about Faversham is that it is a genuine locals’ town, with residents coming and going, and just getting on with their day to day lives.

However, with over 300 listed buildings and so many of them are eye-catching half-timbered dwellings, it’s a town that shouldn’t be taken for granted. We even spotted one pub dating from 1409, The Bull Inn.

A close up of the historic Bull Inn in Faversham, that is said to date from circa 1409.
The Bull Inn c1409 in Tanners Street

Faversham was once renowned for its gunpowder mills and explosives factories in the UK. Its original gunpowder plant was built in 1573. Faversham continued to grow its factories over the following centuries and manufactured gunpowder to be used in the Battle of Trafalgar and Battle of Waterloo.

In April 1916 an explosion occurred in one of the factories, killing over 100 people. All the factories were closed by 1934, due to the impending threat of the Second World War.

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It’s in my Kentish blood

There's still time to turn my hand to hop-picking amongst the vines
I have to be honest here, I do also have a family connection with Faversham or more to the point with Oare, which is just north of Faversham Creek. My relatives on my father’s side had a farm in Oare for decades. My Dad and Grandmother would regularly visit from Greenwich in London and spend time on the farm and also make the annual pilgrimage of hop picking.
A black & white picture from the early 1960's of Janis's family out hop picking in Kent
The Tubbs family hop picking

If you're intrigued by Kent's weird and wonderful history, or all unusual stories around the county, then take a peek at "Kent's Strangest Tales".

You won't be able to put it down, you can pick it up for your Kindle or in good old paperback.

Kent's Strangest Tales Cover

Discover Faversham Guildhall

The eye-catching centerpiece of the medieval Kent town
Whether you visit Faversham on one of its bustling market days or when the lanes are quieter, it is a charming place to wander around.
The pale green historic Faversham Guildhall stands proudly in the centre of the Market Square displaying a Union Flag fluttering on a bright sunny day.
Faversham Guildhall in Market Place
The stilted Guildhall is where you will be inevitably be drawn to, as it is so striking. The original Guildhall was built on this site in 1603. However, due to a fire around 200-years later caused by unruly celebrations for one of Wellington’s victories in the Napoleonic Wars, it then needed to be rebuilt.
A view of Faversham Guildhall from Court Street) with tables & chairs outside cafe's on a bright sunny day
Faversham Guildhall from Court Street

It was redesigned by Charles Drayson into the beautiful arched colonnade building you can see today.

It is in and around the sturdy wooden pillars and the well-trodden paving stones that Faversham Charter Market is held every week.

Faversham’s Markets

Faversham’s Charter Market is held on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays every week, selling a range of local produce, collectables and other interesting items.

In addition, there are two monthly markets, ‘Best of Faversham Arts, Crafts’ and a ‘Food Market’ on the first and third Saturday of the month.


Faversham Antiques and Vintage Market is held on the first Sunday of every month, except September.

Explore West Street in Faversham

Delightful local stores and centuries-old inns
If you can drag yourself away from the quaint Market Place, then head down West Street. This narrow pedestrian street is full of striking architecture. Centuries-old timber-framed dwellings lovingly cared for, charming homes with their overhanging upper levels all with so much character.
Diners sitting outside restaurants at the top of West Street in Faversham.
West Street, Faversham
The view up the pedestrianised West Street in Faversham, towards Market Square, lined on either side by Tudor half-timbered buildings.
Looking up West Street
Looking up at the historic 14th-century pub Sun Inn pub on West Street, Faversham
The Sun Inn 14th-century pub
Along West Street, you’ll find traditional butchers, charming local stores, galleries, cafés and the Sun Inn which has been welcoming patrons since the 14th Century.
The exterior of MB’s Food Hall along West Street in Faversham
MB’s Food Hall along West Street

Where to stay in Faversham

- The Sun Inn - If a historic stay is what you are after, then the 14th-century Sun Inn is for you. Inglenook fireplaces, charming courtyard garden and cask ales from the local Shepherd Neame brewery.
- The Judds Folly Hotel - This comfortable hotel is located 5-minutes’ drive from Faversham in peaceful off-road surroundings. An on-site restaurant is available and also free parking.

Visit some of Kent’s Historic Towns, Villages & Cities

Kent is not short of picturesque historic towns & villages,  Why not check out our posts on those we've visited with tips & inspiration to get the most out of your visit?

Visit Shepherd Neame Brewery

They know a thing or two about brewing
Yep, Faversham is home to Shepherd Neame, Britain’s oldest brewer since 1698. The Faversham Brewery has been family-owned since 1864 and pride itself in the local community that it supports.
The rear gate of the Shepherd Neame Brewery in Faversham, Kent
Shepherd Neame, Faversham Brewery
The magnificent sailing barges that are dotted along Faversham Creek were once used to import the malt into their riverside wharves. Then they would transport the final product up to their inns in London. Before motorised transport became widespread, horse-drawn drays were used to move the Brewery's ales throughout Kent.
The Shepherd Neame Brewery visitors centre in a historic half-timbered building in Faversham, Kent
Shepherd Neame Shop and Brewery Tours
As you stroll around the streets and lanes of Faversham, you’ll be stumbling upon one of Shepherd Neame’s inns or alehouses around nearly every corner. Why don’t you pop in for a bite to eat and sample of their local seasonal ales?
Brightly coloured tables & chairs outside the Shepherd Neame owned Albion Taverna along Faversham Creek.
 Albion Taverna along Faversham Creek

Escape for a few days

Are you looking for that ‘perfick’ holiday hideaway to relax in while you discover the Garden of England?

After a day exploring the Kent coast and its many historic castles enjoy one of the handpicked properties and unique retreats at Holiday Cottages.

Stroll down Abbey Street in Faversham

Once welcomed the footsteps of noblemen
Strolling from Court Street you effortlessly saunter into Abbey Street, this historical road is full of charming Medieval dwellings. Overflowing hanging baskets, passion-flower creeping through the hedgerows and half-timbered houses you’ll immediately fall in love with.
A medieval, half-timbered house on Abbey Street, Faversham, Kent
Medieval homes along Abbey Street
Globe House, a half-timbered building on Abbey Street with its flagstone paths and traditional street lighting.
 Ancient timbered houses forming part of Abbey Street
This little region of Faversham was once the home of Faversham Abbey, founded by King Stephen in 1148. The abbey itself was demolished in 1538 due to Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries.
The beautiful Arden House on Abbey Street in Faversham, Kent
 Arden House once the outer gateway to Faversham Abbey

A bit more info?

If you like to find out more about Faversham, its festivals, market days and history, take a look at the Visit Swale website.

Relax at Standard Quay in Faversham

The medieval Kent creek still bustling with life
Standard Quay was the captivating part of Faversham that we had never discovered before. As we strolled to the end of Abbey Street, which almost looked like we had come to the end of the line, we turned left into Abbey Road. This led us down to the quayside, and I was dumfounded.
The old brick Oyster Bay House on Standard Quay in Faversham, Kent
Oyster Bay House, Standard Quay 

I never realised that this Medieval Creekside quay was there and not only that, it had been transformed into a charming oasis to visit.

For over 500 years Standard Quay was a bustling maritime port with sailors and sea merchants vying for business.

An old sailing barge moored next to the Oyster Bay House on Standard Quay in Faversham, Kent
Sailing Barge along Faversham Creek
Meadowlarks, a bric-a-brak store, in the quayside Corn Exchange, Faversham, Kent
Meadowlarks in the quayside Corn Exchange
Fast forward to today and the ancient Monk’s Granary and Victorian warehouses that would have witnessed the comings and goings of wool, oysters, hops, salt and grain, now have quayside restaurants, antique warehouses and local butchers and fishmongers.
An antique store in the Medieval Monk’s Granary at the Standard Quay, Faversham, Kent
Antiques stores in the Medieval Monk’s Granary
It was incredible to see an area, which in more recent years had seen decline be renewed and utilised for small businesses. Although this is still working quay with boatyards in operation.
The Salt and Spice store on Standard Quay, Faversham, Kent
Salt and Spice along Faversham Creek
We will definitely be heading back to visit the fishmongers ‘Herman’s Plaice’ as the selection of seafood sounded delicious.

Our Kent road trips

If you’ve fallen in love with the county of Kent, we’ve created a few road trips around the “Garden of England” that we believe you will enjoy too.

Explore the lanes of Faversham

With over 300 listed buildings amongst its charming streets

Strolling around Faversham, there are so many interesting snippets of history, tales to be told and thought-provoking facts.

In the heart of Faversham town and in keeping with its surroundings is The Royal Cinema designed in 1936 by Andrew Mather. This lovely cinema has been saved a few times from the brink of demolition and now has a true quirky, old-fashioned feel to it as you step into the foyer. Apparently, it is one of only two Tudorbethan cinemas to exist today, the other is in Salisbury, Wiltshire.

The unique, 1930's design, Royal Cinema in Faversham, Kent
The Royal Cinema
The impressive spire of St Mary of Charity Church, constructed mainly of flint in Faversham, Kent
St Mary of Charity, Faversham Parish Church
The historic medieval church in Faversham is St Mary of Charity, Parish Church. Its 18th-century spire can be spotted from some distance away. It is believed to be the second-largest church in Kent, which indicates Faversham’s importance during the Middle Ages.
The stone plaque to Sir Philip Neame, recipient of the VC and an Olympic gold medal and resident of Faversham, Kent
 Sir Philip Neame, recipient of the VC and an Olympic gold medal

I just have to give this astounding gentleman a mention, and if anyone’s life should be turned into a movie, then it should be Sir Philip Neame.

Not only did this man receive the Victoria Cross through fighting in the trenches in WWI. He went on to win an Olympic gold medal in Paris for shooting in 1924, he was mauled by a tigress in India in 1933. He then fought in the Second World War in North Africa, was taken prisoner of war in Italy in 1943.

In 1946 he was knighted and lived into his 90th year and died in 1978 in Selling, Kent. His medals and awards are held at the Imperial War Museum in London.

The brick-built Faversham Almshouses in South Road, Faversham, Kent
Faversham Almshouses

Along South Road, you’ll come across the delightful Almshouses. Originally built in 1723 for Six Poor Men, it was extended in 1863 and is still kept in immaculate condition today.

Other lanes to stroll around are Tanners Street, the west side of West Street to Stonebridge Pond. Also, cross over Faversham Creek at Bridge Road and take the riverside walk along Front Brents.

The view from the strangely named Front Brents across Faversham Creek to the converted warehouses
View from Front Brents across to Faversham

Check Faversham’s tides as the Creek looks so much better at high tide.

Faversham has so much to offer a visitor whether your heading for a day trip or staying overnight.

English Heritage

Maison Dieu, a 13th-century wayside hospital, is located just outside Faversham in Ospringe. This ancient flint timber-framed medieval hospital is believed to be the oldest village museum in Britain. Check opening times due to social distancing.
 
Click on the banner below to join and gain unlimited access to England’s fascinating past with your annual membership.

Our video of Faversham

Another look at this charming Kentish town

We have created a little YouTube video of Faversham.  Why not take a look?

Also, why not subscribe to our YouTube channel and get the latest clips as we post them?

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