Custom House, Faversham (photo)
Fishing boat F57 Melissa E (photo)
Faversham and the Thames estuary (map)
Faversham Creek (photo)
Sideways launch (photo)
Anchor symbol
Anchor symbol
Anchor symbol
Anchor symbol

Uncovering Faversham's Hidden Maritime Heritage

Faversham has a wealth of maritime heritage arising from its location on a sheltered creek with access to the Swale, Thames estuary and the seas beyond. Its earlier prominence as a trading, commercial and manufacturing hub, and the wealth and prestige attained, predominantly arose from shipping. And its rich agricultural surroundings have provided plentiful supplies of cereals, root crops, hops, fruit and wool. The warm waters of the East Swale have provided abundant supplies of oysters for local consumption and export. Local industries have used clays for making bricks for London and hops for brewing which continues to this day - Shepherd Neame is the oldest brewery in the country. Faversham has even been a specialised centre for the manufacture of gunpowder and for Roman cement (a cement which sets underwater).


Today, the historic market town of Faversham still retains its status as a Cinque Port limb; it remains an official Port and vessels can still register here. Whilst the creek is now silted up and commercial trade has ceased, Thames barges, sailing smacks, fishing boats can be admired, moored along the creek. The Faversham Creek Trust and other local interest groups are helping to restore Faversham Creek as a working waterway and to regenerate it as a community resource. They are helping to develop training schemes for shipwrights, to foster traditional boat building skills and to restore access into the upper basin through a new opening bridge. Boat and barge repairs, building of small craft by young and old, and nautical festivals, are all part of Faversham's active scene. And just recently, Faversham and Oare Creeks have gained 'Heritage Harbour' status. There is a great deal to celebrate and record about Faversham's past and present maritime achievements.

More examples (photo)

Find out about Derek's research into the boats, barges and coastal craft of Faversham

Contribute to this fascinating project
Learn about Faversham's rich maritime and industrial heritage
Discover why Faversham is a Port and what this means.

Derek Cox, a local artist, is raising awareness of Faversham's hidden maritime legacy through his maritime paintings of boats, barges and coastal craft that have a direct association with Faversham, and to the ships and industries that have shaped the town. Along with his appealing artwork, Derek is carrying out extensive research as part of a long-term project into the around 3,500 vessels that have direct links with Faversham. You can learn more about this and about maritime Faversham on these pages. Perhaps there is something you can contribute - maybe you do not live in the area, but you may have some specific knowledge of Thames barges, or have maritime stories to tell that link with Faversham, or about local industries and people. On these pages, are examples of the types of information Derek is seeking.