Faversham Market Through The Ages

Faversham Market was mentioned in the Doomsday book in (completed in 1086) as one of only 42 places in England that was recorded as having a market.  In 1546 King Henry VIII granted Faversham a Charter of Incorporation, which included the privilege of a market three times per week.  Subsequent monarchs added to this, including the right that a new market town could not be established within the distance it took to drive a herd of sheep to market in one day (approximately 6 miles).  This is still law in England today.

So today, as the market begins to re-open, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the people who visited Faversham, and some of the major events the market has lived through:

  • 1148 – Faversham’s Benedictine Abbey founded by King Stephen and his wife Queen Matilda.
  • 1170 – Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket assassinated.
  • 1252 – Faversham’s earliest charter issued by Henry III. It confirmed a number of rights and privileges enjoyed by the town and clarified its relationship with Dover as its ‘head port’ within the Cinque Ports.
  • 1300 – Magna Carta presented to the Barons and Port of Faversham
  • 1343 – Author of the Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer stays at the Maison Dieu complex during his own pilgrimage to Canterbury
  • 1346 – The Plague (Black Death) arrives in England
  • 1360 – Black Prince Stays at the Maison Dieu
  • 1455 – Wars Of The Roses Begins
  • 1527 – Grammar school founded.
  • 1538 – Abbey dissolved by Henry VIII, the rubble was shipped to Pale Of Calais for defences
  • 1551 – Thomas Arden (Controller of Customs & Mayor of Faversham) murdered.   The incident was recorded in the play Arden of Feversham written in 1592.
  • 1553 – Notorious Pirate John Ward is born in Faversham
  • 1560 – Gunpowder industry starts at Home Works.
  • 1564 – Christopher Marlowe is born in Canterbury, his family originate from Ospringe.
  • 1585 – More corn shipped through creek to London than from any other port.
  • 1587 – New grammar school opens, following a charter issued by Queen Elizabeth I in 1576. Faversham lost its previous school when the Abbey was dissolved.
  • 1588 – Faversham was fitting out the Hazard to fight the Spanish Armada. 
  • 1597 – Shakespeare first performs in Faversham
  • 1605 – Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot discovered. 
  • 1645 – Joan Walliford, Joan Cariden & Jane Hott, convicted as witches and executed in Faversham
  • 1660 – Charles II visits John Trowts’ house at 23 Court Street following the restoration.
  • 1683 – More wool exported through the Creek than from any English Port.
  • 1688 – King James II’s brief imprisonment in Faversham.
  • 1698 – Shepherd Neame founded
  • 1815 – The Battle Of Waterloo
  • 1838 – The Courtney Riots take place in Dunkirk and Hernhill
  • 1840 – Henry Wreight leaves fortune to town 
  • 1858 – Strood-Faversham railway opens, some of the counties most elaborate Jutish treasures where unearthed in Kingsfield during the building works.
  • 1914 – World War 1 breaks out
  • 1916 – Great Explosion at Uplees: 106 people killed
  • 1917 – Pollock’s Shipyard opens.
  • 1930 – Great Britain wins the coverted Cup of Nations for Roller Hockey in a tournament held at Montreux.  The whole team comes from Faversham, despite Faversham’s roller rink burning down five years earlier.
  • 1939 – Start of World War 2 
  • 1965 – M2 to Medway Towns opened
  • 1974  – Faversham Borough abolished, Faversham absorbed into new Borough of Swale.
  • 1975 – Shipyards close
  • 2020 – Covid-19 sees the market temporarily close


Faversham’s Hidden Creekside Gem:

Just a short walk from Faversham’s historic Market Place is the gorgeous Abbey Street – known as the ‘finest medieval street in the South East’ – it actually contains a fascinating selection of properties spanning across the centuries.  Abbey Street provides a beautiful tree-lined approach to Standard Quay, which is located at its far end and nestled alongside Faversham Creek.

Many towns have their hidden treasures and Faversham is no exception.  Although considering the increasing number of people visiting Standard Quay, it’s becoming the worst kept secret ever!

Much of the appeal is its attractive, weather boarded buildings and very special Creekside setting.  Views up the Creek take in the iconic Oyster Bay Building, which features in many visitor photos of Faversham, along with boats and barges moored alongside the Quay.  It is home to classic ships as well as traditional fishing boats, tugs and overnight moorings of all sorts.  

The views across the Creek to Faversham Marshes are beautiful – particularly on a lovely sunny day.  When visiting Standard Quay, it’s worth joining the footpath that takes you along the Creekside to Iron Wharf, where you can admire hundreds of boats in and out of the water, many being worked on by local boat builders.

Standard Quay itself contains some very appealing businesses, popular among visitors.   There are a number of antiques and vintage businesses, selling everything from old Beano albums, to dining tables, to vintage tools and everything between.  Pierre & Dom has a fine selection of vintage pictures, paintings, photos and prints and Aladdin’s Cave, as its name implies, includes an eclectic collection including tea sets, vintage clothing, jewellery and more.

There are also a number of shops selling fresh produce including the Butcher of Brogdale, Herman’s Plaice Fishmongers and Salt & Spice, which as well as blending its own spice mixes, sells wonderful fresh fruit and veg.

If you need a break and fancy some breakfast, lunch or tea – then the Secret Garden Café at Standard Quay is a lovely spot to enjoy freshly prepared, locally sourced food.  If the weather is being kind, there’s a peaceful outdoor garden where you can enjoy your meal.  The café is dog-friendly too – ideal if you’re also enjoying a walk along the Creek.

The Anchor Pub at the bottom of Abbey Street is traditional inn with a great atmosphere – cosy in the winter but with a large sunny garden to enjoy in the summer.   It offers a wide selection of drink and food – family plus dogs are very welcome.

For anyone looking for a longer walk around this area of Faversham, the ‘Earth, Wind and Water Walk’ combines the best of Faversham’s countryside and coast and you can easily join the route from Standard Quay.  There are longer and shorter versions of the walk, to suit all energy levels.

Walk details: https://www.visitfaversham.org/site-files/walks/earth-wind-and-water.pdf

Faversham’s tradition of shipbuilding goes back several hundred years and Standard Quay played an important role in Faversham’s maritime history.   Between 1916 and 1969, Faversham built and launched over 1200 ships.   One of Standard Quay’s classic ‘barn’ buildings, dating back to the 18th century, is the temporary home of the Cambria Thames Barge Exhibition.

Parking at Standard Quay is free and many visitors use it as a base to explore Faversham, as the town centre is only a ten minute walk away.  Or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can hire a Surrey Bike and explore the area by pedal-power!

If, after reading this, you fancy spending time at Standard Quay, the Customs House offers luxury B&B accommodation and is located overlooking the Creek and marshes.  https://www.visitkent.co.uk/accommodation/customs-house-45218/

If you’re not staying overnight, Standard Quay is still a lovely Faversham attraction for visitors and day trippers and the perfect place to explore surrounding the countryside and the beautiful market town that is Faversham.

For more information on Standard Quay visit http://standardquay.co.uk/

More information on the history of Abbey Street:  https://www.faversham.org/history/places/abbey-street

Article courtesy of www.visitfaversham.org

WAsted kitchen 4


Delicious dinner with a conscience:

Local food heroes, Wasted Kitchen, are creating delicious meals, cooked from scratch in their kitchens at Monkshill Farm near Dargate.  Their scrummy dishes are freshly prepared each day using surplus, local food that would have otherwise gone to waste.  Their packaging is plastic-free too. 

What a great way of reducing waste, looking after the environment and enjoying wonderful food at the same time!

They currently offer:

  • Friday Meal Bags
  • Friday Freezer Fillers
  • Cakes, sausage rolls and brownies
  • Basics Bag – with a selection of produce

They always include a selection of vegan, vegetarian and meaty dishes.  Some of their food is ready to pop in the fridge and heat when you’re ready whilst other meals are frozen to enjoy at a later stage.

Here’s an example of their lip-smacking menu:

  • Slow Cooked Lamb/ Veggie/ Vegan Moussaka for two.
  • Gigantes Bean and Tomato Stew with/ without feta cheese for two 
  • Greek Style Pickled Red Cabbage
  • Lemon, Garlic & Herb Roast Potatoes 
  • A tub of Wasted Kitchen Hummous
  • Simply Chocolate Whitstable Chocolate Medallions!

They deliver to Faversham, Whitstable, Herne Bay and Canterbury and you can check out their website https://wastedkitchen.co.uk/

Wasted Kitchen is part of Mighty Fine Things which produces drinks, vinegars, mustards, dips and sauces using local produce where possible.  You can order online from their website https://www.mightyfinethings.co.uk/