The Maison Dieu, which had become corrupt, was dissolved. In its camera regis (royal suite) it had lodged many crowned heads from England and the Continent.
Faversham Abbey was dissolved as part of Henry VIII’s scheme for the suppression of monasteries. Much of its masonry was shipped over to Calais to reinforce its defenses against the French.
Some elements can still be seen dotted around the town, ‘aquired’ by the local townsfolk.
King Henry VIII presented his Great Charter to the town and appointed John Seth as mayor. This charter provided a framework for the government of the post-abbey town. Faversham was about to enter a period of great prosperity under it’s own control.
Faversham provided a 40-ton ship, Hazard, to join the battle against the Spanish Armada.
An ex-mayor, Thomas Arden, was murdered in his own home in Abbey Street, at the instigation of his wife Alice and her lover. Alice was the granddaughter of the builder of the Mary Rose, who, along with most of her accomplices was later executed.
This shocking crime was the theme of the 1592 play Arden of Feversham, which is still performed today. Recent research has shown that it was at least partly written by William Shakespeare. He appeared as an actor in the town in 1591 – 1593.
The brewery that is now Shepherd Neame was being operated by John Caslock. It is now the oldest in the UK and still brews on its original site.
Thomas Gill, Faversham’s first recorded gunpowder maker, was living in Preston Street. His mill was probably at or near the site of the present Chart Mills, just off Stonebridge Way. It became the nucleus of the Home Works, the town’s first gunpowder factory.
A new market hall was built in the Market Place. This became the town’s third guildhall in 1615, as it remains today. However, the superstructure over the arcades had to be rebuilt in 1814 after a fire.
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 Friday, Saturday & Sunday 8th, 9th, & 10th December. Friday & Saturday 15th & 16th December. Friday & Saturday 29th & 30th December
11 Preston Street, ME13 8NS
10am to 3.30pm - Monday to Saturday
Off Stonebridge Way, ME13 7SE
Now closed until April 2024