Faversham is a market town in Kent, England, 8 miles (13 km) from Sittingbourne, 48 miles (77 km) from London and 10 miles (16 km) from Canterbury, next to the Swale, a strip of sea separating mainland Kent from the Isle of Sheppey in the Thames Estuary. It is close to the A2, which follows an ancient British trackway which was used by the Romans and the Anglo-Saxons, and known as Watling Street. The name is of Old English origin, meaning “the metal-worker’s village”.
There has been a settlement at Faversham since pre-Roman times, next to the ancient sea port on Faversham Creek. It was inhabited by the Saxons and mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Favreshant. The town was favoured by King Stephen who established Faversham Abbey, which survived until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538. Subsequently, the town became an important seaport and established itself as a centre for brewing, and the Shepherd Neame Brewery, founded in 1698, remains a significant major employer.
The town was also the centre of the explosives industry between the 17th and early 20th century, before a decline following an accident in 1916 which killed over 100 workers. This coincided with a revival of the shipping industry in the town. Faversham has a number of landmarks, with several historic churches including St Mary of Charity, Faversham Parish Church, the Maison Dieu and Faversham Recreation Ground. Faversham Market has been established for over 900 years and is still based in the town centre. There are good road and rail links, including a Southeastern service to the High Speed 1 line at Ebbsfleet International and London.