Faversham Commemorative Wall Plaques

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Faversham Wall Plaques

TR0161 : Abbey Street Plaque, Faversham by David Anstiss

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.
TQ9961 : Faversham Town Sign by David Anstiss TR0161 : Street market, by Faversham Town Hall. by Colin Park TR0161 : West Street, Faversham, during the Hop Festival by pam fray TR0161 : Music on Faversham Creek by pam fray TR0161 : Night view of Faversham Guild Hall by David Anstiss TR0161 : New entrance to Faversham Tesco's by David Anstiss
The Faversham Historic Society then put up plaques around the town.

See LinkExternal link for details about the people of Faversham.
See LinkExternal link for details about the places of Faversham.
See LinkExternal link for details about the plaques.

Town Centre

1. TR0161 : Plaque on No 12 Market Place, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : No12 Market Place, Faversham by David Anstiss 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. TR0161 : Plaque on No.15 Market Place, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : No.15 Market Place, Faversham by David Anstiss 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. TR0161 : The Ship Hotel  plaque, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : Alleyway beside the Ship Hotel by David Anstiss 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 LinkExternal link for more details about the saints.

4. TR0161 : Swan Pub Sign and plaque, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : The Swan, Faversham by Oast House Archive The Swan Inn, Market Street

5. TR0161 : Close-up of the plaque on No.10 Market Place, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : No.10 Market Place, Faversham by David Anstiss 10 Market Place

6.TR0161 : Close-up of Plaque on the Star Inn, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : The former Star Inn, Faversham by David Anstiss Former Star Inn. TR0161 : The New Royal cinema, Faversham by Rod Bacon
Royal Cinema, Middle Row, Faversham’s wonderful ‘Tudorbethan’ cinema.

7. TR0161 : Plaque on No.8, Market Place, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : 8 The Market Place by Oast House Archive Market Place (Ward & Partners)
Erected in the 1920s, replacing an earlier building of about 1840.

Court Street

8. TR0161 : Plaque on Faversham old fire station by Kevin Hale TR0161 : Small shop, Court St by N Chadwick
The Old Fire Engine House (Shelter Charity Shop)

9. White House (Shelter Charity Shop)
TR0161 : Plaque on Shelter Shop, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : Small shop, Court St by N Chadwick
The site of an old Guildhall where Queen Elizabeth I was entertained.

BRITAIN’S OLDEST BREWERY
TR0161 : Shepherd Neame offices by Oast House Archive

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 LinkExternal link about Shepherd Neame.

10. TR0161 : Plaque on No.18 Court, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : No.18 Court Street, Faversham by David Anstiss 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. TR0161 : Plaque on No 23 Court Street, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : No 23 Court Street, Faversham by David Anstiss 23 Court Street

12. TR0161 : Court Street Plaque, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : Shepherd Neame Brewery Offices, Faversham by David Anstiss Information Panel – Court Street.
Haunt of Brewers and Monarchs

Abbey Street

13. TR0161 : Abbey Street Plaque, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : No 3 and 4 Abbey Street, Faversham by David Anstiss 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. TR0161 : Plaque on Wall of No.89 Abbey Street, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : No.89 Abbey Street, Faversham by David Anstiss 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. TR0161 : Plaque on Arden's House, Abbey Street, Faversham by pam fray TR0161 : Plaque on Arden's House, Abbey Street, Faversham by pam fray TR0161 : Arden's House, Abbey Street, Faversham by pam fray Arden’s House, 80 Abbey Street
Thomas Arden’s house and the Faversham Abbey Outer Gateway.

ARDEN’S HOUSE – SCENE OF A GRUESOME MURDER
TR0161 : Arden's House, Abbey Street, Faversham by pam fray
The play Arden of Faversham immortalises Thomas Arden more than 450 years after his death in 1551. The first English ‘docudrama’ and comedy thriller, the play tells the true and colourful tale of how he was the victim of an eternal triangle. A high-flying wheeler-dealer, Arden was more interested in making money than love to his wife, Alice (granddaughter of the designer of the Mary Rose). He was murdered in his own home at her instigation. First, published in 1592 and still in the repertory, the play may have been a joint effort to which Marlowe and Shakespeare contributed (Marlowe’s father was from just outside Faversham, and Shakespeare, as an actor, appeared in the town). Arden’s home survives, virtually unaltered, and with a garden big enough for open-air performances of the play – the only place in Britain where an Elizabethan drama can be performed in its original setting.

See LinkExternal link also for more details about the play.

17. TR0161 : Plaque on Masonic Hall by David Anstiss TR0161 : The Old Grammar School by pam fray 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. TR0161 : Faversham's Royal Abbey Information Board by David Anstiss TR0161 : Information Board on Abbey Place by David Anstiss Information Panel – Abbey Place. Faversham’s Royal Abbey

19. TR0161 : Plaque on No63 Abbey Street, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : No 63, Abbey Street, Faversham by David Anstiss
63 Abbey Street

Faversham Abbey Inner Gateway

20. TR0161 : Plaque on No.42 Abbey Street, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : No 42 Abbey Street, Faversham by David Anstiss 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. TR0161 : Plaque on The Anchor Pub,, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : The Anchor Public House, Faversham by David Anstiss The Anchor Public House

22. TR0161 : Plaque on The Monks’ Granary, Standard Quay by David Anstiss TR0161 : Standard Quay by David Anstiss The Monks’ Granary, Standard Quay
(Gillett Cook) One of the oldest surviving warehouses in Britain.

Near Faversham Creek



FAVERSHAM CREEK – ONCE THE TOWN’S LIFEBLOOD
TR0161 : Faversham Creek at low tide by pam fray
Without the Creek, Faversham would not exist. For early settlers it provided an easy route from Kent’s fertile farmlands and forests to the North Sea and continental Europe. On the strength of it the town became prosperous, and a member of the Cinque Ports Confederation. Where it joined the sea lay oyster beds, harvested until the 1930s by the Faversham Oyster Fishery Company, the oldest company in Britain, perhaps the world. In 1147 stone to build the Abbey was brought up the Creek from Caen in Normandy, then nearly 400 years later, when the buildings were dismantled, exported back to France to strengthen the defences of the Pale of Calais, then still an English possession. No longer viable as a commercial waterway, the Creek still welcomes leisure craft.


23. TR0161 : Plaque on The Training Ship Hasarde, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : The Training Ship Hasarde, Faversham by David Anstiss 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. TR0161 : Faversham: The King's Port Information Board by David Anstiss Information Panel – The King’s Port – on Creek bank

THE BRENTS – INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION SUBURB
TR0161 : Front Brents, Faversham by Paul Harrop
In contrast to the busy Faversham scene on the east bank of the Creek, the west bank remained open farmland until the early 19th century. Then the town needed to expand and the area known as The Brents began to be developed for housing and industry. Most of the houses were small, built mainly for seamen, fishermen and brickfield workers, but Bridge House, rather grander, was the home of the harbour-master in the mid 19th century. Later local supporters of the Temperance movement converted the house into a ‘coffee tavern’ to try to wean addicts off the ‘demon drink’. But with a brewery and half a dozen pubs within 400 yards, you can imagine how successful it was: it closed after just seven years.



25. TR0161 : Plaque on Bridge House, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : The old Coffee Tavern on Bridge Road next to Faversham creek. by pam fray Bridge House, The Brents

26. TR0161 : Plaque on Brents Tavern, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : The Brents Tavern, Faversham by David Anstiss The Brents Tavern

Around the Town

27. TR0161 : Plaque on Newton Lodge by David Anstiss TR0161 : Newton Lodge, Faversham by David Anstiss Newton Lodge, 7 Newton Road
Home of Benjamin Adkins (c. 1831-1908), architect, who also designed 16-17 Court Street and Davington School.

28. TR0161 : Plaque on Wall near Faversham Club by David Anstiss TR0161 : The Faversham Club by David Anstiss Old Baptist Church, Gatefield Lane (Faversham Club)
Since 1884 the Faversham Club.

Preston Street

29. TR0161 : Plaque on Spice Lounge by David Anstiss TR0161 : Spice Lounge, Faversham by David Anstiss Preston Street
Once the home of Edward Jacob, historian.

30. TR0161 : Plaque on the Alexander Centre, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : The Alexander Centre, Faversham by David Anstiss 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
TR0161 : The New Royal cinema, Faversham by Rod Bacon
Three out of four of Faversham’s cinema buildings survive – probably a record for a small town of about 18,000 people. One remains in daily use – the Royal, with the only surviving big screen in Kent. Opened as an Odeon in 1936, it was designed by Andrew Mather, prince of cinema architects. Planned to harmonise with nearby 16th century buildings it is one of only two ‘Tudorbethan’ cinemas left in Britain. Legacies of the first generation of cinemas are the florid-fronted Gem, now a shop, and the Empire in Tanners Street, built as a school in 1861, converted into a cinema in 1910, and then into the town’s Roman Catholic Church in 1937. The Argosy (later called the Regal), now completely gone, stood at 72 Preston Street.



31. TR0161 : Plaque on M&Co Shop, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : M & Co, Faversham by David Anstiss 19a Preston Street.
Formerly the Gem Picture Palace from 1911 to 1935.

32. TR0161 : Plaque on Cadet Force building by David Anstiss TR0161 : Faversham Cadet Force offices by David Anstiss Drill Hall
Opened as a suite of Assembly Rooms in 1849.

33. TR0160 : Plaque on Wreights House, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0160 : Ticklebelly Alley, Faversham by David Anstiss Wreight’s House 50 Preston Street – south side of subway
House formerly belonging to Henry Wreight, solicitor and benefactor.

To the West

34. TR0161 : Plaque on 74 West Street, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : No 73 and 74, West Street, Faversham  by David Anstiss 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.

35. TR0161 : Faversham Society Plaque on Stonebridge Lodge by David Anstiss TR0161 : Stonebridge Lodge by David Anstiss
Stonebridge Lodge, Stonebridge Pond
Originally an armoury for gunpowder workers.

36. TR0161 : Pond, Powder and Priory Information Panel by David Anstiss TR0161 : Information Board beside Stonebridge Pond by David Anstiss Information Panel – Stonebridge Pond.
Pond, Powder & Priory

DAVINGTON – PRIORY, CHURCH & COURT
TR0161 : The church of St.Mary Magdalen, Davington by pam fray
Picturesquely overlooking Stonebridge Pond is the Norman Church of Davington Priory, founded in 1153. The former nuns’ quarters were converted into a private house in the 16th century. On the same plateau, on the other side of Dark Hill, stood a large medieval mansion, Davington Court. Most of this was demolished in the 1630s, the rest in 1968. A relic is the imposing gateway in Old Gate Road, built in 1624 to give access to the mansion’s walled garden. The Latin motto means God made us this place of relaxation.



37. TR0161 : Godfrey Allen Plaque on Cottage on Priory Row by David Anstiss TR0161 : Davington Stores by David Anstiss 1 Priory Row, Davington

38. TR0061 : The Old Gate Plaque, Davington Court, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0061 : The old gate in Old Gate Road by pam fray The Old Gate, Old Gate Road, Davington

39. TR0161 : Plaque on Whitefriars by David Anstiss TR0161 : Whitefriars, Faversham by Penny Mayes Roman Catholic Church, Tanners Street.
At one time, one of Faversham’s many cinemas.

To the East

40. TR0161 : Plaque on William Gibbs School, Faversham  by David Anstiss TR0161 : Former William Gibbs School, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : Orchard Place (2), Faversham by David Anstiss William Gibbs Court, Orchard Place – off East Street

DISASTER RECALLED IN CEMETERY
TR0260 : Mass grave of some of the men killed in the explosion at the gunpowder works in Uplees in 1916 by pam fray
A prominent and moving feature of the town’s cemetery, opened in 1898, is the long memorial over the mass grave where 73 of the 108 victims of the Great Explosion of 2 April 1916 lie buried. With six factories, Faversham was the main centre of Britain’s explosives industry. Despite safety precautions accidents still happened and the Great Explosion was the worst. Fifteen tons of TNT and 150 tons of ammonium nitrate blew up at Uplees, north west of the town centre. Though little damage was done in Faversham itself, because of the lie of the land, windows were blown out in Southend, 14 miles away, and the shock was felt as far away as Norwich. See also LinkExternal link


41. TR0260 : Faversham Cemetery Plaque by David Anstiss TR0260 : Entrance to Faversham Cemetery by David Anstiss Faversham Cemetery, Love Lane

Other Plaques around the town

a. TR0161 : Plaque on Abbey Street House, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : Corner of Abbey St and Church St by N Chadwick Birthplace of Dr. Wilson

b. TR0161 : Plaque on John Anderson Court, Faversham by David Anstiss TR0161 : John Anderson Court, Faversham by David Anstiss. The Site of Faversham Institute.

c. TR0261 : Bob Amor Plaque, Faversham  by David Anstiss TR0261 : Bob Amor Close by N Chadwick Site of the former Cattle Market

d. TR0161 : Congregational Church Hall by David Anstiss Chapel Ox Hall and Bucks Light Infantry billet.
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