Choices for housing growth in Swale

Swale Borough Council engaged Peter Brett Associates to provide a starting point for developing a longer-term vision for how Swale might deal with choices about the type and location of housing growth.

None of the current represents an agreed political position or
policy in Swale. The views presented are those of the consultant
team only.

This study was commissioned for two reasons

  1. because the planning inspector for the current adopted plan had concerns that the current plan might not be able to support sufficient homes over the plan period. And required an early plan review.
  2. national government is consulting on a new method of calculating housing targets. Emerging numbers suggest that Swale needs to provide more housing permissions – equivalent to around 35% more every year, on top of the number already in the local plan. This is equivalent to 7,500 additional homes by 2037/38.

Choices for housing growth suggests scenarios which could accommodate 15,000 new houses in Swale. Faversham emerges as one of the likely options for very substantial house building.

It provides the context for the Future Faversham meeting on March 8th


Arrangements for access to Preston Fields

Application No:16/508602/OUT

Revised Details Land at Preston Fields, Salters Lane, Faversham, Kent, ME13 8YD

The Faversham Society has some serious generic concerns about the impacts of development south of the A2 on connectivity, safety and congestion. We request that Swale Planners pay particular attention to the road, pedestrian and cycle linkages between developments south of the A2 and the town.

We are particularly concerned that the drawings include a roundabout at the A251/A2 junction an idea about which the Society has serious concerns.

The A2 is rapidly evolving into a residential street in the middle of a town, not a road along the outside of it. This needs to be recognised in individual site plans and in the next SBC development plan. Planning for the new developments south of the A2 needs to recognise the long-term plans for a 20 mph zone across the town

There is a danger that the Preston Fields development will establish precedents which others will follow. In our view that would be very undesirable.

We need to see pedestrian and cycle infrastructure as well as vehicle infrastructure. We want to see light-controlled pedestrian crossings particularly around the periods when school children are going to and from school

There needs to be a footpath along the south side of the A2 and a two-way cycle path on the north side of the A2

The Society wants KCC to develop a plan for the London Road and Canterbury Road that anticipates the full transport needs of Faversham – pedestrian and cycling transport – not just the needs of vehicles.

The History Fair Programme

Faversham Society History Fair
at the Alexander Centre, Preston Street, ME13 8NZ
Saturday 3rd February 10:00-16:00
For anyone with an interest in history 

Entrance Free

Stalls and Talks 


Invicta Seekers Metal Detecting Club
Faversham Society
Faversham Society Archives & Library
Family History
Faversham Society Archaeology Research Group
History Walks
Faversham Society History Research Group
Maison Dieu Museum
Prisoners of War 1914-1918
Rose St Cottage of curiosities
Swale Search and Recovery Club
Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway
Faversham Town Council
A history of Lorenden School + Painters Forstal
Blue Town Remembered
University of Kent


10:15 Dave Lamberton
From Cromwell to Pirates of the Caribbean – what was black powder used for?
From English Civil War to modern-day stage and screen
10:40 Sue Lamberton
“House or Hairnet – what would cost you more?

A whistle-stop tour of early to late Medieval textiles, tools and techniques

11:00 Marika Sherwood

Africans in East Kent – and in Faversham – since c.700AD.

Marika Sherwood has many articles and books published on aspects of this history. Her latest article available on the web is ‘Murder in Notting Hill’, Runnymede Trust, . Her latest book, with three co-authors, is OCR GCSE History  Explaining the Modern World: Migration, Empire and the Historic Environment, Hodder Education, 2016.

11:20 Duncan Harrington

“Depositions from church court records.” 

11:40 Wendy Tait Mayfield
Researching your family history through workhouse .records:  learn how you can use the extensive records kept by Poor Law administrators to understand the lives of 18th, 19th and 20th-century pauper ancestors.
12:00 Dr Will Butler,  University of Kent

Oral history and Kent Communities: Sheerness Dockyard Church and Betteshanger

Recent work with schoolchildren has involved them in unearthing stories and memories of Kent communities and their experiences. This talk will share some of the outcomes and possibilities of pursuing oral history, and Will is happy to talk to local organisations and schools about rolling out the model he is developing in Faversham.

12:20 Mary Thomsett
Minster Gatehouse Museum on the Isle of Sheppey: Containing local archaeology, artefacts, artwork, fossils and memorabilia the museum is housed in the Grade 1 listed 1000-year-old Gatehouse next to Minster Abbey, which is on the site of a monastery founded by Queen Sexburgha in 664AD
12:40 Richard E. Emmett
A canter through the history of Sittingbourne…highlighting the notable aspects and visitors to the town together with the industries that put it on the map.
Richard is a retired police officer and emergency planner.  He has also retired from the Territorial Army after 23 years service, serving both in the Royal Logistic Corps as a movement control officer and as an Army Cadet Force officer”. He is interested in both local and military history and archaeology”.
13:00 Dr Louise Bacon
Ten Burghmote or Moot horns still exist, mainly in the towns of the Cinque Ports, the earliest dating from possibly the 13th century. Analysis of the metal has shown them to be either bronze or brass, with a third category of a ternary alloy of copper, tin and zinc. They exhibit a variety of repairs, some botched, some refined, some tantalisingly strange, some to enable playing. All of them are still blown today and one has even had a piece of music written for it.
13:20 Michael Frohnsdorff     

Mysteries of Early Faversham – further research required.

13:40 Dr Sarah Dustagheer
Shakespeare’s Playhouse: How to do Theatre History
14:00 Prof. Catherine Richardson & Rory Loughnane University of Kent
Arden and his World
14:20 Dr Joanna Labon

“More and More Marlowe”: Why the “bad boy” of Elizabethan playwriting could be Canterbury’s new hope for a heritage renaissance. A short talk with pictures.

14:40 Sheila Sweetinburgh,  University of Kent
Seeing and being seen: medieval religion and the painted
Faversham’s painted pillar offers an excellent way to investigate medieval devotional practices among the laity. The act of seeing was an integral aspect of affective piety and this talk will explore how the pillar may have been central to the devotions of some in Faversham in the Middle Ages.
15:00 Angela Websdale, University of Kent

Robert Dod, Devotion and Donation: the Painted Scheme within the Becket Chapel at St Mary’s Church, Faversham, and the Influence from Westminster.

The exciting programme of Gothic paintings within the Becket Chapel demonstrate that medieval devotional schemes could invoke political meaning as well as spiritual. This paper will look at the meaning of this painted scheme to the donor, Robert Dod, and discuss the influence of the Painted Chamber at Westminster upon Dod’s devotional choices.’

15:20 Dr Ben Marsh, University of Kent
Why local history matters
15:40 Harold Goodwin & Pat Reid

Plans for the Faversham Society History Group

Faversham and St Thomas Becket


While the great Abbey of St Saviour Faversham and the parish church of St Mary would have celebrated events connected with St Thomas we have in Faversham a particular event that involved the grammar schoolmaster, Lawrence Barry, of the town of Faversham in 1420.


On the 7th July 1220 the body of St Thomas was translated from the tomb in the crypt at Christ Church Canterbury, where it had rested since his murder in 1170, to the new shrine in the Trinity Chapel amid great pomp and splendour. Every fifty years the jubilee celebration of his death was attended by an immense concourse of pilgrims some moved by religious fervour, others by promises of indulgences for sin and the hope of a cure of their ailments.


With such large crowds, the Jubilee year of 1370 had been a disaster with extortionate food prices, due to a local famine. Campbell says that 1368-70 was the only instance of a triple harvest failure and the single longest run of below average harvests was from 1364 to 1372.[i] So that at the end of 1420, having secured a successful conclusion to the jubilee, we find a variety of accounts of what transpired.


The papal bull granting the dispensation to hold the jubilee commemorating the death of Thomas Becket in 1170 was not to be found. Apparently, it had been stolen in 1370, so that there was disagreement about exactly what it conferred. Rumours spread among the pilgrims that 1420 was not a proper jubilee year and that it was really due in the next year 1421. Some started to say that the indulgence only applied to the fortnight following the translation, and not the whole twelve-month; and some said that since the papal bull had been lost, no benefits could be obtained at all. Barry set about elucidating the matter and fixed a notice, presumably in English, to the door of the chapel of the Maison Dieu at Ospringe so that the passing pilgrims would know his findings, although one wonders how many would have been able to read it.


At The National Archives, there is a cartulary (mostly concerning indulgences) but also a chronicle concerning the jubilee of the translation of the body of St Thomas the Martyr[ii]. Raymonde Foreville has transcribed, amongst others, pages 45 to 47 of this document, which provides the account of Barry’s actions.[iii] On the notice, he describes himself as ‘Master Lawrence Barry, headmaster of the Grammar School in the town of Fawerscham’. He points out that he had a singular affection to the blessed martyr and having inspected the books in the monastery, wished to contradict the objections of ‘least truth’ that the jubilee was not in that present year. He confirms the indulgence, for those that have truly confessed and are sorry for their sins, is for the whole of the Jubilee year and that the loss of the Papal Bull did not inhibit the indulgence. For a fuller account of the celebrations, which lasted fifteen days from 6 July, see William Somner and by Dr William Urry.[iv]

Duncan Harrington FSA, FSG, LHG.

[i] Bruce M. S. Campbell ‘Agriculture in Kent in the High Middle Ages’ in Later Medieval Kent 1220-1540 edited by Sheila Sweetinburgh (2010) p. 46.

[ii] TNA: E 36/196 pp. 49-50.

[iii] Le Jubilé de Saint Thomas Becket (Paris, 1958) pp. 135-137.

[iv] William Somner, The Antiquities of Canterbury, reprint 1977 appendix p. 51, number XLII; William Urry, Cantium April 1970 pp. 27-29, gives the Somner reference as Corporation of Canterbury MSS Register A. folio 34v. (now CC/O/A/1) and Faversham Grammar School Magazine, July 1948 pp.14-15. (CCA: Pamph/8/34).

Becket 2020

Archbishop Thomas Becket of Canterbury was murdered in 1170 – the 850th anniversary of his death. The Department of History at the University of York has funding to use the Becket story and the anniversary celebrations to drive a transformation in heritage, tourism, education and community engagement. Working with Canterbury City Council, Canterbury Museums and Galleries, The Museum of London, Canterbury Business Improvement District, The Marlowe Theatre, The Diocese of Canterbury, and The Eastbridge Pilgrim Hospital as part of the anniversary preparations.

2220 also marks 800 years since the translation of
his body to behind Canterbury  Cathedral’s High Altar. A candle
still burns continually on this site today.

British Museum Handling Session: Becket & Pilgrimage 

Courtauld Institute of Art ‘Illuminating Becket’

Christ Church University Becket’s Legacy in Canterbury and Beyond