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


Response from Cleve Hill Solar

Thanks again for getting in contact and providing your detailed feedback on behalf of The Faversham Society. I have since been in contact with our environmental and technical team and can provide now you with some more information regarding your feedback.


Regarding the Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) the site lies within, although the ESA will not be addressed directly (as it is not a planning designation), as part of the DCO process a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be undertaken, which will include a number of environmental surveys and assessments relating to wildlife designations and the biodiversity of the area.  The impact on the existing agricultural land use will also be assessed. The findings of these surveys and studies will inform mitigation and enhancement measures. We will consult on these measures with statutory environmental authorities and local interest groups. We are in ongoing conversations with Natural England, RSPB and Kent Wildlife Trust regarding our bird data collated over the past 4 years and discussing mitigation proposals. Moving forward, we will continue to consult with stakeholders on our proposals to develop a strategy to ensure that adverse effects on birds as a result of the proposals can be appropriately mitigated. The drainage ditches currently in place will remain, and in some areas, the ditch habitat areas will be enhanced where possible.  The agricultural land classification is relevant to the consideration of future land management provision within the site during the operational phase, and the potential for continued agricultural use (e.g. livestock grazing) is under consideration for the project.


Regarding footpaths, all your comments have been noted. We are open to the idea of enhancing or upgrading public rights of way in the area and have been receiving input from members of the public on this during this consultation period.


Regarding the shoreline and potential flooding, we have met with the Environment Agency to discuss our proposals and have commissioned a detailed flood modelling exercise to inform our project design. When we have received the flood modelling results, we will produce a project design which takes these results into account to ensure a safe and appropriate layout. Cleve Hill Solar Park Ltd are engaging with the current consultation exercise on the Medway Estuary and Swale Strategy which will conclude in February 2018.


Regarding traffic, your comments have been noted. We will be producing a comprehensive Construction Traffic Management Plan (CTMP) to control traffic movements throughout the construction period. The local community will be given the opportunity to comment on the CTMP before it is finalised. There is also some flexibility in how the solar park is constructed, e.g. quickly, with higher traffic volumes over a short period of time, or more slowly, with lower traffic volumes over a longer period of time. There are various influences on this, including wildlife, impact on local residents and likely weather conditions.


Regarding potential landscape and visual impacts, we are currently in consultation with the Council’s landscape consultants to seek agreement on the viewpoints which we will present and assess in our Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA). As we obtain more information on the project design, we will begin to model the visibility of the solar park from key viewpoints.  This work will feed back into the project design, which will evolve to respond to the LVIA work undertaken.


The deadline for this first phase of consultation ends today. Once all comments are received we will be analysing the feedback and reporting this in an interim consultation summary, which will be circulated to our distribution list of over 12,000 local homes, businesses and interest groups. All feedback received to our proposals will also be reported in the final Consultation Report, which will accompany the Development Consent Order application for the scheme.


We are pleased that The Faversham Society is engaging with our proposals, and providing us with feedback. We will endeavour to keep you updated on our proposals and welcome your member’s valued input into how we can develop our proposals. Whilst the first phase of consultation ended on 22 December, all our lines for feedback are still open and we will continue to welcome the views and suggestions of your members.