William the Conquerer’s Domesday Book recorded that Faversham was a royal manor, with a market and two salt-houses.
The entry for Faversham roughly translates as "In Faversham Hundred King William holds Faversham. It answers for 7 sulungs. Land for 17 ploughs. In lordship 2. 30 villagers with 40 smallholders have 24 ploughs. 5 slaves; a mill at 20s; meadow, 2 acres; woodland, 100 pigs from woodland pasture, 31s 2d; A market at £4"
Faversham’s parish church was rebuilt in Romanesque style, with an aisled nave and central tower.
The great Abbey of St Saviour at Faversham was founded by King Stephen and Queen Matilda. It was built just to the north of the town centre and overlooking the creek and intended to be the burial abbey of a new dynasty, but only Stephen, Matilda and their son Eustace were buried there.
The huge abbey dominated the town, and the abbot became lord of the manor of Faversham. This led to a fiery relationship with the townsfolk as he had the power to demand taxes, tithes and penance.
Davington Priory, a nunnery with a Romanesque church, was founded by Fulke of Newnham, near Faversham.
The Maison Dieu was founded at Ospringe, to serve as a royal lodge, pilgrims’ hostel and home for retired members of the royal household.
Now looked after by English Heritage, it is managed by the Maison Dieu Museum Trust. Visit their website for opening times: Maison Dieu Museum Trust
1252 & 1260
Faversham’s first two surviving charters gave it powers of self-government and independence from the rest of Kent.
VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE
12 Market Place, ME13 7AE
10am to 4pm - Monday to Saturday
10am to 1pm - Sunday (opening hours may vary)
FLEUR MUSEUM - FREE ENTRY
12-13 Preston Street, ME13 8NS
Open Fridays & Saturdays 11:00 to 15:00
11 Preston Street, ME13 8NS
10am to 3.30pm - Monday to Saturday
Off Stonebridge Way, ME13 7SE
Now closed until April 2024