Faversham Commemorative Wall Plaques
Colourful people and dramatic events throughout the centuries have contributed to the heritage of Faversham.
Faversham is a market town and civil parish in the Swale district of Kent, England. The parish of Faversham (Feversham) grew up around an ancient sea port on Faversham Creek and was the birthplace of the explosives industry in England.
The Faversham Historic Society then put up plaques around the town.
See Link for details about the people of Faversham.
See Link for details about the places of Faversham.
See Link for details about the plaques.
12 Market Place (Stead & Simpson)
The site of a house where King James II was first detained after his attempt to escape to France.
2. Hugh Place, 15 Market Place
In the 16th century Faversham was a major trading centre and Market Place was ringed with inns providing accommodation for visiting business people. Of these the Fleur de Lis was one. The timber-framed houses in Hugh Place formed part of the inn and overlooked its courtyard which served as an open-air theatre for visiting ‘players’ including Shakespeare.
The Fleur de Lis dedication, a popular one, reflects that until 1820 the Kings and Queens of England also claimed to be Kings and Queens of France, whose emblem was the Fleur de Lis.
3. The Ship, Market Place
Faversham’s principal inn in the 16th century and main centre of its coaching trade. Preacher John Wesley stayed here in 1743. No longer an inn, the building is now shops and apartments.
SAINTS IN FAVERSHAM
Saints Crispin and Crispianus, much mentioned in Shakespeare’s Henry V, were thought to be brothers, probably of Roman origin, who preached in Gaul and made their living as shoe-makers. Tradition has it that, fleeing persecution, they came to Faversham and plied their trade at a house on the site of the Swan Inn. As late as the 17th century local and foreign pilgrims visited the site. There was an altar in their honour in Faversham parish church.
See also TQ7369 : Crispin and Crispianus Public House, Strood and Link for more details about the saints.
4. The Swan Inn, Market Street
5. 10 Market Place
6. Former Star Inn.
Royal Cinema, Middle Row, Faversham’s wonderful ‘Tudorbethan’ cinema.
7. Market Place (Ward & Partners)
Erected in the 1920s, replacing an earlier building of about 1840.
The Old Fire Engine House (Shelter Charity Shop)
9. White House (Shelter Charity Shop)
The site of an old Guildhall where Queen Elizabeth I was entertained.
BRITAIN’S OLDEST BREWERY
Faversham boasts the oldest brewery in Britain – Shepherd Neame, traditionally founded in 1698, but whose history probably goes back at least another 100 years. Still independent, and renowned for beers of distinctive Kentish character, it owes its continuing success to the use of local hops and pure water, drawn from its own well and naturally filtered through the underlying chalk. Always ahead of the pack, ‘Sheps’, in 1790, was the first brewery outside London to use steam power. Faversham has been a major brewing centre for centuries, and as long ago as 1327 no fewer than 84 of its 252 traders (exactly one-third) were ale wives.
See also Link about Shepherd Neame.
10. 18 Court Street
In 1688 this was the home of the mayor, Thomas Southouse. James II was brought here from 12 Market Place and kept under house arrest until a military escort returned him to London.
11. 23 Court Street
12. Information Panel – Court Street.
Haunt of Brewers and Monarchs
4 Abbey Street (Frank & Whittome)
The beginning of one of Britain’s finest medieval streets, saved from demolition in the 1960s when there were plans to use the area for council housing.
14. Abbey Street
Home of Michael Greenwood. Press-ganged in Market Place in 1748, Michael was serving on HMS Lichfield when she was wrecked off the coast of Morocco in 1758. He and other survivors were enslaved by the Moors until ransomed after 17 months by the British government. He kept a diary of his enforced exile, which is now in the possession of his descendants in Queensland, Australia. This is the house he lived in after his return.
15 & 16. Arden’s House, 80 Abbey Street
Thomas Arden’s house and the Faversham Abbey Outer Gateway.
ARDEN’S HOUSE – SCENE OF A GRUESOME MURDER
See Link also for more details about the play.
17. The Old Grammar School
Remarkably complete example of an Elizabethan school built in 1587-88.
Founded in 1527 within Faversham Abbey, the Grammar School was lost in 1538 when the Abbey was dissolved, but was revived at the townspeople’s request by Queen Elizabeth I. The school’s modern buildings stand opposite.
18. Information Panel – Abbey Place. Faversham’s Royal Abbey
63 Abbey Street
Site of 49 Abbey Street (now no. 42)
A hundred years ago Faversham was the centre of the nation’s explosives industry, with three gunpowder factories, a vast high explosives factory (the Cotton Powder Company), a fuse factory and a munitions loading plant. George Trench, the manager of one of these factories, lived in a house on this site.
21. The Anchor Public House
22. The Monks’ Granary, Standard Quay
(Gillett Cook) One of the oldest surviving warehouses in Britain.
FAVERSHAM CREEK – ONCE THE TOWN’S LIFEBLOOD
23. TS Hazard
A town warehouse named after the ship Faversham supplied to fight the Spanish Armada. The
ship was probably an existing vessel converted to a warship and crewed by local men.
24. Information Panel – The King’s Port – on Creek bank
THE BRENTS – INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION SUBURB
25. Bridge House, The Brents
26. The Brents Tavern
Newton Lodge, 7 Newton Road
Home of Benjamin Adkins (c. 1831-1908), architect, who also designed 16-17 Court Street and Davington School.
28. Old Baptist Church, Gatefield Lane (Faversham Club)
Since 1884 the Faversham Club.
Once the home of Edward Jacob, historian.
30. The Alexander Centre
About 150 years ago Faversham was surrounded by brickfields. This house was built on their profits by a ‘brick baron’, Henry Barnes.
A PLACE IN THE HISTORY OF THE MOVIES
31. 19a Preston Street.
Formerly the Gem Picture Palace from 1911 to 1935.
32. Drill Hall
Opened as a suite of Assembly Rooms in 1849.
33. Wreight’s House 50 Preston Street – south side of subway
House formerly belonging to Henry Wreight, solicitor and benefactor.
74 West Street
Home of Albert Smith, an early Hollywood pioneer. His family emigrated to America in the late 1880s. He helped to develop a ciné camera and shot some of the first documentary footage. American Vitagraph was a US movie studio, co-founded by J. Stuart Blackton and Albert E. Smith in 1897 in Brooklyn, New York. By 1907, it was the most prolific American film production company, producing many famous silent films. It was bought by Warner Bros. in 1925.
Stonebridge Lodge, Stonebridge Pond
Originally an armoury for gunpowder workers.
36. Information Panel – Stonebridge Pond.
Pond, Powder & Priory
DAVINGTON – PRIORY, CHURCH & COURT
37. 1 Priory Row, Davington
38. The Old Gate, Old Gate Road, Davington
39. Roman Catholic Church, Tanners Street.
At one time, one of Faversham’s many cinemas.
William Gibbs Court, Orchard Place – off East Street
DISASTER RECALLED IN CEMETERY
41. Faversham Cemetery, Love Lane
Birthplace of Dr. Wilson
b. . The Site of Faversham Institute.
c. Site of the former Cattle Market
d. Chapel Ox Hall and Bucks Light Infantry billet.