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Historic Towns & Picturesque Villages

Housel Bay


in the county of Cornwall

Dittisham houses


in the county of Devon

Pictures of Faversham

a Historic Market Town in the county of Kent

About Faversham

Faversham is an historic town, which for a period of time during the 20th century suffered apparent neglect. Fortunately, someone realised the town was not only losing its way, but also its heritage. A reversal of the situation was quickly achieved by foresight and determination.

There is record of settlements in the area in pre-historic times, it is known that the Romans and the Anglo-Saxons both established villages. These flourished and by medieval times Faversham enjoyed considerable importance.

Today, Faversham takes pride in a collection of memorials testifying to its illustrious past. The people of Faversham are proud of their modern day achievements and look to the future with relish.

Pride of place in the history archives of the town goes to its Royal Charter associating it with the Cinque Ports, this is the oldest of its kind in the country and dates from the 20th May 1260. Visitors can see this displayed amongst what is perhaps the largest collection of municipal charters of any town in the country, at the Faversham Societies annual Open House event, held in the Mayor's Parlour at the Alexander Centre.

There is nothing left today of Faversham's once important abbey which was founded in 1147 by King Stephen and Queen Matilda, save for two historic Barns lying in the picturesque setting of Abbey Farm amongst other listed buildings. The smaller of these dates from 1425, and the larger barn is from 1476. The farmhouse itself has parts dating from the 14th century. Also to be seen is a small building which may have been the Abbot's stable.

Faversham is a town full of interesting features, one of the most fascinating is Arden House, the home of Thomas Arden and his wife Alice. This was one of the earliest scene's of a crime of passion in the country, for it was here on the night of 15th February 1551 that Thomas was murdered by his wife and her lover. Later, in 1592 a play dwelling on the event was published, this is considered to be perhaps the first comedy-thriller of its kind with all the ingredients to capture and enthral. Authorship of the play is questionable, of the times there were several contenders, amongst them William Shakespeare, but to this day this still remains uncertain.

Arden House is a gorgeous timber-framed medieval property, it is a private dwelling house, but the fact that it is included in the annual "Open House" event does mean that each July visitors have the opportunity to look over this lovely historic property.

The church has played an important role in the history of Faversham, St. Mary's has been a place of worship for over a thousand years. This is a magnificent cruciform building containing fine Norman arches and windows, with much Early English work, 15th-century stalls, as well as intricately carved misericords. There is an octagonal pillar adorned with 14th century frescoes and a late 18th century steeple, built as a copy of Wren's St.Dunstan's-in-the-East. St.Mary's is a delightful church with many reminders of its ancient past - no one should visit Faversham without paying a call to the church.

Nor indeed should you miss Faversham's picturesque Market Place, this is a lively place with a history going back over 900 years. It is dominated by beautiful historic properties of the Tudor and Georgian era's, and appears to have changed little since Queen Elizabeth I visited in 1572. Some of history's most colourful characters have visited Faversham Market Place, these include; James II, Shakespeare, and John Wesley who preached here in 1738.

The Market Place is an excellent place to sit and enjoy a drink, be it pint or coffee. Historic doors open-up to reveal a wealth of original features, with pubs and cafe's offering visitors a warm and friendly welcome.

This bustling market town resting on the banks of a navigable creek offers a wide range of interest to visitors. There is much to do with the maritime heritage of Faversham, as well as its ancient history and historic places to explore. The creek, once full of commercial sailing barges is now the lively scene of vessel's built for leisure and pleasure, there is a cruising club overlooking the junction of the Faversham and Oare creeks of the River Swale.

A general look around the town offers excitement and fun, for a more in-depth exploration of the town's folk-lore, traditions and customs you could do no better than visit the Fleur de Lis Heritage Centre, an attractive building which was once a 15th century inn. The museum also celebrates the landscape of the region.

The town centre offers plenty of scope for shoppers, it is crammed full of interesting specialist shops, lining its narrow medieval streets. These offer everything from food, to crafts, antiques, glass, china, dolls and dolls houses, teddy bears and jewellery.

There are plenty of places offering good food and drink, in the summertime cafe's spread chairs and tables on the pavements, giving the town a jaunty continental air! There are excellent hotels, and as this is the home of Kent's premier brewer, there is no shortage of Shepherd Neame pubs on the streets.

This is one place whose charms are surely irresistible, but should you feel the need to look beyond the town you will find an pleasurable mixture of rolling farmland, downs and marshes displaying rich wildlife habitation, plus all the thrills of the sea set along a majestic coastline interspersed by fascinating creeks and rivers.

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