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12 Market Place, Faversham, Kent ME13 7AE

Key Dates

Key dates are the milestones of history, pinpointing landmarks in time, giving us a sense of direction as we look back at our past. Every nation, every place has its own.

Some of Faversham's are just of local significance, but no less important for that. When the town won its first recorded charter in 1252, it was a sign that it was a place to be reckoned with.

Cinque Ports CharterWhen the town was awarded its eighth charter, in 1546, it was a sign that it had reached civic maturity. It had become a city-state in all but name.

Other dates in Faversham's history shed light on national, even international, history. In about 1553 it was the birthplace of John Ward, a pirate who settled in Tunis, converted to Islam, and built up the most powerful fleet in the Mediterranean.

In 1588, Faversham was fitting out the Hazard to fight the Spanish Armada.

Exactly a hundred years later, King James II was held prisoner in the town while trying to escape to France after the arrival of the future William III at Torbay.

In 1729 - perhaps earlier than most people imagine - the existence of electric current was first demonstrated just outside the town.

In 1847, the world's first high explosives were manufactured in Faversham.

Raw dates, it's sometimes said, are meaningless. Not ones like these, though. Underlying each one is a powerful image - of a vibrant seafaring town capable of breeding a villain like Ward and of contributing to the defeat of the Armada; of a community not over-impressed by royalty; of a cradle of scientific research; and of a place keen to pioneer new technologies.
Use the menu on the right to learn more about some of the key dates in the Faversham area's long history.