History, Local Produce, Gardens And Walks
The pretty market town of Faversham lies to the east of Swale, roughly halfway between Sittingbourne and Canterbury.
Faversham is mentioned in the Doomsday Book and by the 1900s the area became the centre of the nation's explosives industry and manufactured gunpowder for the battles of Trafalgar and Waterloo. Nearby, Oare Gunpowder Works Country Park gives a fascinating insight into these eras, providing a perfect combination of heritage and nature.
In 2015, Faversham took part in the national commemoration and celebrations to mark the 800th Anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta at Runnymede on 15th June 1215. A fascinating state of the art exhibition ‘Faversham Magna Carta Rediscovered’ was staged in the town, with the centrepiece the 1300 Faversham Magna Carta the last reissue with King Edward I’s seal. Faversham Town Council will be creating a new exhibition space in Market Place premises, where the Faversham Magna Carta and charters will be available to view in the future.
There are over 400 listed buildings in Faversham, recording its extraordinary industrial past. Today you can browse the range of independent shops, inns and tea rooms.
The Fleur de Lis Heritage Centre in Preston Street provides a full history of Faversham from the early Iron Age settlements right up to the vast prosperity of Elizabethan times.
The town is home to Britain's Oldest Brewer - Shepherd Neame, which has been brewing beer since 1698 (however, history suggests that the drink was produced in Faversham for several centuries before that). The Brewery has a Visitors Centre and offers guided tours which include an exciting tasting session.
Faversham's street market is now held in the town centre around the Guildhall in Market Place and Court Street on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, from 8.30am to 4.00pm.
The market offering varies during the three days, with a variety of stalls selling household essentials, clothes, trinkets, fresh plants and flowers, fruit and vegetables; with many local food producers in evidence particularly on Saturdays. In addition to the regular markets, speciality markets are also held under the banner Best of Faversham. Local produce can also be found at award winning Macknade Fine Foods.
Not far from Faversham is Brogdale Farm, home to the National Fruit Collection which offers visitors a great day out.
There is a choice of three gardens to visit in the area. Mount Ephraim Gardens is a mature Edwardian garden with topiary and a Japanese rock garden. Doddington Place has a wonderful woodland garden with azaleas, whilst Belmont House offers a true glimpse of 18th Century style and Lord Harris' clock collection - one of the finest in Britain.
Explore the fascinating sites of Faversham whilst being told stories and tales about residents of more than 400 listed buildings located in the town. Faversham Town Walks offer guided 90 minute tours which start at the Fleur de Lis Museum. If you prefer to follow a map and go on an adventure, admiring the landscapes of Faversham at your own pace, why not have a look at the many Food Trails on offer?
Filming in Faversham
Faversham has been featured on camera a number of times in the past. Further information can be found at the Kent Film Office, which lists some of the programmes including: Great British Story a Peoples History', 'Ade in Britain', 'Southclifffe' and 'Great British Railway Journeys (2014).
Faversham Town Council and Faversham Area Tourism Association have produced a handy guide, Visit Faversham Area Guide 2016, which can be downloaded as a PDF file (just click the link).
Sign up to the Faversham visitor newsletter to receive regular updates on events and places to visit in and around the Faversham area of Swale. Newsletter produced by Faversham Town Council and Faversham Area Tourism Association.