Colin Crosby Heritage Tours


Faversham is an ancient market town in Kent, 8 miles from Sittingbourne.

It is situated beside the Roman road known as Watling Street, between Canterbury and Rochester, and at the head of Faversham Creek, leading into the Swale, which separates the mainland of Kent from the Isle of Sheppey.

Faversham was an associate member of the Cinque Ports, being a limb of Dover from 1225. It still has a quay which functions commercially as well as for pleasure craft.

The brewing capital of Kent, Faversham boasts the oldest brewery in the country, Shepherd Neame, which started operations in 1698, and was formerly the headquarters of the Fremlins brewery.

It is also famous for gunpowder mills, the oldest surviving one in England being Chart MIlls, opened in 1760, and as a centre for the packaging and distribution of fruit, being at the heart of the Garden of England.

Still holding a weekly market, Faversham was granted its first charter in 811.

Faversham Abbey was founded by King Stephen in 1147. He had hoped to start a new Royal dynasty and saw Faversham as his answer to Westminster Abbey. His abbey was destroyed during Henry VIII`s reign, but some fragments remain.

Abbey Street, one of the finest streets in England, leads to 17th century warehouses on Standard Quay, built from stone and timbers which were salvaged from the abbey.

Thomas Arden`s House was built using part of the abbey gatehouse. The mayor of Faversham, he was murdered in 1550 at the behest of his wife and her young lover. His story is told in the famous Elizabethan play "Arden of Faversham", written in 1592.

West Street, with a sensational array of timber framed and colour washed buildings, leads out towards Davington.

St. Mary of Charity, a large cruciform church which is partly Early English, has a graceful flying spire, and a monument to Stephen, whose remains were probably transferred here from Faversham Abbey at the Dissolution of the Monasteries. A coloured octagonal pillar is decorated with 14th century frescoes, and there are some superb misericords.

The Catholic church contains the national shrine of St. Jude.

St. Crispian and St. Crispianus, shoemaker brothers who were martyred for their faith, lived and worked at Faversham.

The Guildhall in the Market Place is prettily colonnaded, and the Masonic Hall was originally the Elizabethan Grammar School.

James II, fleeing the country in 1688, was captured by fishermen of Sheppey and brought to Faversham, where they they hoped to collect a reward. They had not realised that it was the king, but realised that he was a nobleman. There is a house in Court Street where he was held.

There are a number of old coaching inns, one of which, the Fleur de Lys, is now used as a Heritage Centre.

Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Faversham for groups.

Places in Faversham

Abbey Farm Barns, Chart Gunpowder Mills, Faversham Station, Provender, St. Mary of Charity

Places in Faversham...