Faversham was built on the 4 ‘Bs’ – Barges, Bangs, Bricks and Beer. Industries like boatbuilding, brickmaking, brewing and explosives (bangs)
flourished in Faversham, a bustling market town resting on the banks of a navigable creek. Offering a wide range of interest to visitors today,
the town of Faversham, with it’s Maritime and Ancient history, the popular Creek and the The Oare Marshes Nature Reserve,
once more sets a flourishing and lively scene.
Myths and Legends are abundant in Faversham and neighbouring Canterbury and have an intrigue and attraction of their own.
Faversham is known and recorded to be the most Haunted Town in Kent and with over 180 sightings per year and ranks
as high as Derby, or Exeter for spooky apparitions. A tour of this ancient market town is available and one thing is for sure,
the allure of Faversham will make it hard to leave!
There are also ghost walks in Canterbury, an entertaining blend of history, humour and haunting amongst the old city.
As the shadows gather, you can meet the ghost hunter for a tour of the spooky side of this magnificent city.
If you would like to read more about ghost stories please see ‘Ghost stories from Faversham’ collected by Griselda Cann.
Faversham has nearly 500 listed buildings, many medieval with Abbey Street considered as England’s finest example
of a medieval street. Faversham also has a magnificent collection of town charters dating from 1252 to 1685,
many of which came to the town. It includes a copy of Magna Carta, acquired independently by the town in 1300.
This is undoubtedly the finest collection of any town in Britain and is still in the physical possession of the Mayor and council.
In June 1215 The Magna Carta was signed (by Royal Seal) and was the first document imposed upon a King of England, King John,
by a group of his subjects, the feudal barons, in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their rights
and to stop the King abuse his power over the people of England. ‘Magna Carta’ means “Great Charter”
and was one of the most important documents of Medieval England.
The remains of the Oare Gunpowder Factory, which started in about 1680, are second in national importance
only to those of the royal factory at Waltham Abbey. King James II was held captive in Court Street in 1688
while trying to flee to France. His release was negotiated by Louis Duras, second Earl of Faversham,
who, though a Protestant, was a confidant of the Catholic King.
The exponential growth of Victorian London would have been impossible without Faversham’s brickfields.
Every brick in the four-mile railway viaduct between London Bridge and Greenwich stations was handmade in Faversham.
Westminster Cathedral’s whole “carcase” is of bricks handmade in Faversham.
Faversham’s Royal Cinema, a listed building, is one of only two surviving “mock-Tudor” cinemas in the UK.
The designer, the London based architect Andrew Mather specialized in cinema with the aim at the Royal to ensure
that the building harmonized with its predominantly medieval surroundings.
Faversham is one of the few places outside London where a King and his Queen were buried. King Stephen (died 1154)
and Queen Matilda (died 1152) were buried in Faversham Abbey. When the Abbey was dissolved by Henry VIII
it is thought that their bodies were thrown into the Creek to be rescued later and buried in St Mary’s Parish cemetery.
Faversham Parish Church is considered one of Kent’s largest churches and is one of only nine UK churches (including cathedrals)
with double-aisled transepts. Davington Priory was never dissolved by Henry VIII (it simply faded away) and so most
of its Norman church (1153) and nuns’ quarters survive. Faversham is also the only town in the UK to use the royal arms
of England as its own. They appear on the town council’s seal, approved by the heraldic authorities.