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Archive for the ‘Domesday Villages of England’ Category

Just popping in quickly to share a photo from this morning’s sunrise.

I’m currently in South Devon, started a new booking today, but travelled here on Monday and spent 2 nights and a day in Paignton, with a visit to Torquay and Brixham and a walk along the South West Coast Path (more on that to come).

Meanwhile I went down to the seafront at 6am to watch the sunrise and I was not disappointed

You can just see the 2 cruise ships to the middle and far right

I’ll write soon about the trip….

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Last week I ventured into a different part of Croydon than I’d been before.

There’s some super cool street art that I could see. Dome days I wish I had more time to explore. The top 3 images are of The Hospital of the Holy Trinity founded 1596. Wowww. K thought Croydon was a ‘new’ purpose built town, but no, it’s got history going back as far as 960AD!!

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Right then, after years and years of thinking about it, I’m now in the actual planning stages of walking the Thames Path – from sea to source.

Edit: 09/03 – I realized I should have titled this post as ‘Walking the Thames Path’, not river…I don’t have the right shoes for walking the river πŸ˜‰

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was keen to walk it for my birthday; that comes up in April. So since the government have decreed (at this juncture), that from 12th April: UK domestic holidays away from home permitted….I’m off!! I’m also grateful to note that hairdressers will be opening too….I really need to chop my hair off, it’s working on my nerves, mostly because it has no style due to the fact that I HAVE been chopping it off for the last 15 months!! LOL

Anyway, back to the Thames Path. When I finally decided to do this walk, I bought the book and immediately started reading. Unfortunately the guide takes us from sea (almost) to source and not the other way around. So to that end (as mentioned in said earlier post), I have decided that I shall temporarily, purely to suit the occasion, reinvent myself as an adventurer who has stumbled across this great big river and want to find the source….a bit like Levison Wood except in reverse…and he of course explored the Nile….at 6,650kms, that’s a different kettle of fish (no pun intended). The Thames’ 346kms is just a Sunday stroll in comparison.

So, what is the River Thames!? According to Britannica: “River Thames, ancient Tamesis or Tamesa, also called (in Oxford, England) River Isis, chief river of southern England. Rising in the Cotswold Hills, its basin covers an area of approximately 5,500 square miles (14,250 square km). The traditional source at Thames Head, which is dry for much of the year, is marked by a stone in a field 356 feet (108.5 metres) above sea level and 3 miles (5 km) southwest of the town of Cirencester.

However, there is some dispute, and apparently, “some think a tributary, the River Churn, has a better claim to being the source; it rises near the village of Seven Springs (700 feet [213 metres] above sea level), just south of Cheltenham”.

Seven Springs features in the long-running argument over the true source of the River Thames. Two plaques at the site read “Hic tuus o Tamesine Pater septemgeminus fons” (Latin for “Here, O Father Thames, is your sevenfold spring”). Seven Springs is further from the mouth of the Thames than the medieval-preferred source at Thames Head near Kemble. In 2012 Coberley Parish Council posted a notice, on site, that “Seven Springs is certainly one of the sources of the River Thames and is held by many to be the ultimate source.” ref wikipedia

So, I guess I shall have to visit both…or shall I walk there? Hmmm. I think I’ll decide closer to the time depending on how footsore and weary I am after walking for 14 days – with a backpack. It’s an extra 33+kms which will add an extra 2 days to my journey, and the River Churn on google maps looks quite small, but after visiting google earth last night I determined that there are pathways pretty much along the whole length, barring a few farmers fields, some roads and a the odd house that appears to border the river….If I decide at the time to walk that extra 33kms (20.6 miles), then I’ll just go and deal with whatever confronts me when I get there – pretty much like I do on all my walks….just go! Of course that sometimes requires detours etc, but it’s the journey…

Meanwhile, I’m putting in loads of walking by following my Conqueror Challenges, and reading up on the route. There are loads of fantastic villages and towns along the route, some of which I have already visited and of course as mentioned in that article I have walked a large section of the Thames Path, the tidal section between Gravesend and Teddington Lock and further afield to Hampton Court.

I’ve kinda toyed with the idea of ‘maybe’ skipping out the tidal section since I’ve ‘been there, done that’, but it doesn’t feel right somehow…so I guess I shall just have to plan to walk the whole thing. I often read about people who do some walks, like the French Camino, in sections over the years, but I just know that’s no good for me…I likely won’t get back to finish off. There’s always something else to do. Mind you having said that, I did finally manage to complete The Pilgrim’s Way, but only because I made a spur of the moment decision to just do it….or else it would still be outstanding….which is was… outstanding that is 😁

So a little more about the River Thames:

The River Thames is England’s longest river at 346 kms (216.25 miles) – (albeit disputed coz of the tributary) the River Severn at 354km is the longest in the United Kingdom. So if they did add the River Churn’s 33kms (20.62miles), the Thames would indeed be the longest.

The River Thames flows from the source at Thames Head near the hamlet of Kemble in an easterly direction and after 366.4 kms (229 miles) it flows into the North Sea into the Thames Estuary near Southend-on-Sea. Now, kindly note that I am not about to walk from Southend-on-Sea as this adds on an extra 20km which would require ANOTHER 2 days….and I don’t have all the time in the world. I’ll simply add that section to when I walk the Essex coast (which as a matter of interest is 560 kms (350 miles).

The River Thames flows through 8 counties: Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Surrey, Essex, and Kent.

Besides all the smaller towns, the River Thames flows through or alongside: Lechlade (where you can find the famous Father Thames sculpture), Oxford, Reading, Henley-on-Thames (famous for the annual regatta), Maidenhead, Windsor (where the Queen sometimes lives) and Eton (famous for it’s posh totty school), Molesey (near Hampton Court). Including the smaller towns and villages…26 in all.

In Greater London the Thames passes Hampton Court Palace, Surbiton, Kingston Upon Thames, Teddington (where the tidal Thames ends at the lock), Richmond, Kew, Chiswick, Barnes, Hammersmith, Fulham, Putney, Wandsworth, Battersea (where my paternal grandfather was born) and Chelsea.

Continuing through central London: Pimlico, Lambeth, Vauxhall, it then passes the Palace of Westminster and the London Eye amongst many other landmarks of the City of Westminster, then between The City of London and Southwark till it reaches the world-famous Tower of London.

Into the lower reaches: the river passes through some of the most historic areas: Bermondsey, Wapping, Shadwell, Limehouse, Rotherhithe (from whence the Mayflower carrying pilgrims to the New World set sail), Millwall, Deptford, Royal Greenwich (where Henry VIII was born – the Palace of Placentia as were his daughters Mary & Elizabeth, while his son was born at Hampton Court Palace) and home of the Prime Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time, then Blackwall, Charlton and Silvertown and finally through the Thames Barrier – which is where the Guidebook starts the journey, and onto the the sea. The Thames Barrier is the largest moveable flood barrier in the world.

The River Thames is crossed by over 200 bridges, 27 tunnels, six public ferries, one cable car link, and one ford. There are 30 bridges from Tower Bridge to Teddington Lock – arguably the most famous of those being London Bridge (the first bridge to cross the Thames built by the Romans in 50 AD which was a wooden structure), and Tower Bridge (often misnamed as London Bridge).

There are around 180 islands altogether on the Thames, 45 of which are inhabited – some of the islands have animal, bird or food names; Monkey Island, Frog Island, Lower Horse Island, Buck Island, Swan Island, Heron Island, Raven’s Ait, Ham Island, Eel Pie Island (I briefly lived in a gypsy caravan on Eel Pie Island in Richmond in 2011), there’s even a Pharoah’s Island and Queen’s Eyot, and the famous Magna Carta Island.

The Thames has frozen over at least 23 times between 1309 and 1814, and on five occasions the ice was strong enough to hold a fair on the river, the first known ‘frost fair’ on the River Thames was in AD 695. There are a few famous paintings depicting the frost fairs on the Thames in London from the 17th century.

The River Thames is also known as the River Isis in Oxford.

Many species make the River Thames their home; birds, fish, eels, seals (Thames estuary)and even dolphins

A number of famous painters have depicted the Thames in their paintings: Turner, Monet, Canaletto and Whistler, amongst others.

The River Thames began its life in the Jurassic Period – between 170 and 140 million years ago, has changed it’s course over millenia and once flowed into the River Rhine in Germany. Courtesy of wikipedia: For most of the Early Pleistocene the Ancestral Thames was the main river with, at its maximum extent, a catchment area that extended into Wales alongside the Chiltern Hills, through southern East Anglia and finally into Doggerland (now the North Sea), where it joined the ancestral Rhine.

I’m still dithering about whether to start my journey at The Thames Barrier or from Gravesend. If I do start from Gravesend it will mean adding on an extra 2 days, whereas I could rather add on those 2 days at the end to follow the River Churn to Seven Springs. I’ve already walked from Southwark to Gravesend when following Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales route to Canterbury…..so, I need to make a decision and soon… my start date is 19th April!!

I’m really looking forward to discovering more about the places along the river from Hampton Court onwards to the source.

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My time in Salisbury is now over, but fear not I shall return – when I start travelling with my grandson, Salisbury, Old Sarum and Avebury are on my very extensive list of ‘places to go on Granny and Jamie’s Adventures’. But I couldn’t leave without sharing what is, next to the Cathedral, the best aspect of the city…..The River Avon, in Salisbury, Wiltshire, such a beautiful space.

Synonymous with Shakespeare and Stratford Upon Avon, the Avon rises east of the town of Chipping Sodbury in South Gloucestershire, just north of the village of Acton Turville.

The river itself runs from a spring in Naseby in Northamptonshire, through Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Worcestshire and finally to the River Severn in Gloucestershire, passing through Bath and Bristol, the last big city on its route and beneath the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge.

The River Avon is an exceptionally meandery river with lots of small tributaries and channels breaking away, leaving hundreds of little islands in its wake enroute to the sea…I tried to follow it on Google maps but gave up πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

Running a somewhat circular path, the river drains east and then south through Wiltshire. Its first main settlement is the village of Luckington, two miles (3 km) inside the Wiltshire border, and then on to Sherston.

At Malmesbury it joins up with its first major tributary, the Tetbury Avon, which rises just north of Tetbury in Gloucestershire.
This tributary is known locally as the Ingleburn, which in Old English means ‘English river’. Here, the two rivers almost meet but their path is blocked by a rocky outcrop of the Cotswolds, almost creating an island for the ancient hilltop town of Malmesbury to sit on. Upstream of this confluence the river is sometimes referred to as the ‘River Avon (Sherston Branch)’ to distinguish it from the Tetbury Branch.
Information ref wikipedia with thanks.

In Salisbury the river twists and winds within sight of the cathedral as it rushes past ancient inns, Norman churches, alongside meadows green and watery alive with wildflowers, butterflies, bees and swans, it splits into a multitude of channels and smaller tributaries around the city, with 2 distinct channels in the city rushing furiously through the millrace at the Maltings then flows fast beneath a 15th century bridge; Crane Bridge

The Maltings
Crane Bridge

Pretty much wherever you are, you are within a short walk of the river.

The chalk soils around the River Avon filter and purify the water, making the river a special place for wildlife. The Avon and its tributaries make up one of the largest chalk river systems in England, and is a source of clean drinking water.

Although I’ve been to Salisbury a few times, its always been a short visit and mostly spent in the cathedral or at Old Sarum (which is a fantastic place btw – a must visit), but I’ve never had the time to just meander and explore. Its been fantastic. I shall of course return someday in the future….

Meanwhile, here’s a short video showing scenes of the River Avon in Salisbury

I did a lot of walking during my breaks, through Churchill Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, and along the many and varied riverside walks in the city…I went as far afield as the area called Broken Bridges and had a walk along the River Nadder, blissful tranquility, a space of enchantment

Crossing the bridge towards Broken Bridges
River Nadder, so clear you can see the bottom

And that’s it ….goodbye Salisbury, hope your cathedral is open next time I visit, I’d like to see the Magna Carta again 😊😊

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Besides all the most amazing and ancient buildings and houses dotted around Salisbury, there are many beautiful younger places. I was hard put to not photograph just about everything. I’ve scanned through my photos and pulled up the more interesting structures. Some are remnants of an older building, especially in The Close, others are dotted around the city. I hope you enjoy these as much as the others.

Front of the Medieval Hall

You can just see the spire of the Cathedral behind the building and the magical moon. I was lucky enough to work just around the corner from this building.

Back of the Medieval Hall
Not sure who this belongs to, but next door is the Archbishop’s house
Also from the same era,slightly modernised
In The Close
In The Close
In The Close
In The Close
In The Close facing the Cathedral – what a view…
Arundells – in The Close
The gate at De Vaux place
A house I saw in Harnham across the river
Side view of above house. I totally love this house
Alms Houses
Alms Houses
A relic of the ancient city gates 1378
Old School House
A side door of the old school house

A few random houses. The variety of architecture is wonderful, makes for an interesting mix

The Guildhall and War Memorial

And to end off today; the clouds finally blew away and I saw my first sunset since arriving last week Thursday and just in time for my departure tomorrow. Typical

And I couldn’t possibly end this post without a view of the Cathedral…the moon is almost full and it looks stunning

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Good morning πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ So, here we go. Over the last few days I’ve done some extensive walking, all round Salisbury to find you the oldest and most interesting of the buildings. Some of them date back to medieval times, circa 13th century, and certainly the inns date to the 15th and 16th centuries, with lots of renovations, repairs and restoration I’m sure.

I’ve not listed them in order of age, that would take a fair amount of time and I’m short on that atm, so I’ll just post them as I saw them over the last 3 days.

But I will say, there’s something quite extraordinary to be able to touch a wooden post that dates back to 1500!!! I mean seriously…think about how much has happened in the last 500+ years, and how many people have passed by or visited these buildings.

Without doubt I have to start with the Cathedral. Possibly not the oldest building in the area, but certainly the most famous. I know from reading many of the information posts dotted around, especially at the churches, that there are Saxon and Norman remains in some buildings, but mostly that is limited to the churches.

Salisbury Cathedral circa 1220
What I really appreciate about Salisbury is that pretty much wherever you are in the city, you can see the spire of the cathedral…no tall buildings compete.

‘Salisbury Cathedral is the most beautiful structure in England, and the Close around it the most beautiful space’. (‘Notes from a Small Island’ Bill Bryson.)

Starting off with what I do know, this building was part of a larger set of buildings all linked to the Bishops of the Cathedral which if course dates back to the early 13th century; started in 1220. I can recommend reading this article about The Close and its history. https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/wilts/vol6/pp72-79

The Wardrobe housing The Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum. The original building on the site was constructed in 1254. It was rebuilt in the 15th century and was used to store the robes of the Bishop of Salisbury; hence it was known as the “Bishop’s Wardrobe” or “The Wardrobe“.

The Wardrobe
Back of the Salisbury Museum
The Salisbury Museum – The King’s House; the house was referred to as the Court of the Abbott of Sherborne in 13th-century documents. The Abbot of Sherborne Abbey used this house as his prebendal residence in Salisbury prior to 1539, when Sherborne Abbey was decommissioned during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. At that time the house was known as Sherborne Palace
This is the top floors of a house that stands alongside St Nicholas Street on the river
Rose and Crown – 13th century coaching inn
Rose and Crown
The carvings on the facade of this building are stunning
15th century inn; The New Inn
Pheasant Inn circa 1500
The Old Forge…I LOVE this house
A 17th century Grade II listed building
Reminds me of a similar building in Kingston Upon Thames
The Poultry Cross featured in yesterday’s post about the 13th century market
The Old Mill, Harnham – The Old Mill is a 15th century building with features dating back to 1250. After it’s early ecclesiastical beginnings, it was transformed in the 16th century to a paper mill.
The Old Mill is just across the river and meadows from Salisbury proper
Quaint thatched cottages in Harnham

I have images of many other buildings in the city which I’ll share in another post…

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing some of these amazing buildings…have a fab day

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Its extraordinary to realise that Salisbury has had a twice weekly market since 1227!

I popped over yesterday to try find some avocado but unfortunately I didn’t find any nice ones. Instead I did find some local farmers free range eggs and promptly bought a half dozen. I avoid eggs as much as possible because I don’t know their provenance and I do know that the supermarkets ‘free range eggs’ are not truly ‘free range’. I had 2 for my supper and the first one I cracked had a double yolk πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

The market was in full swing when I got there, but not nearly as busy as I would have thought, but with Covid…its to be expected.

The colours on a grey day were a welcome sight, and although my time was limited, I did manage to whizz around and look at all the stalls.

I saw these delicious olives, and was tempted…maybe Tuesday

Yummy

Later during my break, I walked through enroute from here to nowhere in particular, and it looked bereft…hardly anyone about. I guess the weather doesn’t help.

Intrigued by the date, I did a bit of research, and this is what I found. The market has been held in Salisbury since 1219 with the founding of the city, and the cathedral. At the time Salisbury was the largest city in the region and offered an opportunity for farmers and traders to sell their produce and wares.

In 1361, market days were formalised and decreed to be held every Tuesday and Saturday, a tradition that continues until today. In medieval times, the market was much larger than it is today, and even spread down side streets. The streets in the area reflect the types of goods sold during medieval times; Fish Row, Silver Street, Butcher Row and the Poultry Cross.

Poultry Cross
Butcher Row
Silver Street
Fish Row
Salt Lane
This intrigued me πŸ˜„πŸ˜„ Chipper Lane..

I wonder, did they have the equivalent of today’s chippy…?

I’ve been fortunate enough to visit many a market in towns around the country over the years, but even so, the amazement of the history never wanes.

Salisbury was a settlement in Domesday Book, in the hundred of Alderbury, mentioned in the chapters for Wiltshire and Somerset.

It had a recorded population of 102 households in 1086, putting it in the largest 20% of settlements recorded in Domesday, and is listed under 2 owners in Domesday Book.

For more information about Salisbury and The Domesday Book, visit their site

And if that’s not enough history for you….Salisbury Cathedral is home to a copy of the Magna Carta too πŸ˜‰

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Last night I arrived in Salisbury for my next booking. Just 1 week but enough time to enjoy the area and explore. I’ve visited Salisbury and the Cathedral in pre-covid days, and love this area.

Because I only officially started work at 11am today, I was free to go walkabout last night and again this morning…. which I duly did.

I’m working very close to the cathedral and can virtually see it from the front door of the house. Its an incredibly historic area and there’s a medieval hall within walking distance…like about 100 yards. Its amazing.

Because it was quite dark I didn’t stray too far, and didn’t take too many photos…but nonetheless, my camera was busy once again.

Here are a few images to whet your appetite

The main entrance

The original Salisbury Cathedral was completed at Old Sarum in 1092 under Osmund, the first Bishop of Salisbury. In 1220 the foundations were laid for the Cathedral at the site it is today.

Stunning carving of Madonna and child above the entrance

There are an amazing array of sculptures dotted around the cathedral grounds….

String Quartet
St Anne’s Gate
A bricked in door next to Malmesbury House
History on the wall at Malmesbury House
The Chapter House – outside the cathedral walls
Outside the cathedral walls
I’d love to know how old that house is
Love love this
Salisbury Cathedral looking ethereal in the dark

Salisbury Cathedral, formally known as the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is an Anglican cathedral in Salisbury, England. The cathedral is regarded as one of the leading examples of early English Gothic architecture. The main body was completed in 38 years, from 1220 to 1258.

At 80 acres, the cathedral has the largest cloister and the largest cathedral close in Britain. It contains a clock which is among the oldest working examples in the world. Salisbury Cathedral has the best surviving of the four original copies of Magna Carta. I was lucky enough to see the Magna Carta on my last visit.

In 2008, the cathedral celebrated the 750th anniversary of its consecration.

I’ll post some more photos taken this morning of the sculptures in the grounds, of which there is an amazing array, well as of the river Avon and some of the buildings in the city.

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I had to concede defeat today and had my first Covid vaccine jab. I’m not happy about it, but when you start hearing things like “have you had a test recently, or when will you be having your innoculation?” from prospective clients et al, along with talk of vaccine passports, you know the writing is on the wall. We are but a commodity.

So I just said, to hell with it  and booked an appointment. So many people are still totally ignorant of Covid and its transmission. Having the vaccine is not going to stop me from inadvertently passing it on to someone else in the event I come into contact with it. Its seems that some folk think it’s a magic wand, and once you have the jab you’re safe. You’re not. You’re just less likely to get really ill, and even then it’s no guarantee. Even the scientists are not wholly in agreement about the efficacy and what it means. Ugh. Anyway, it’s done. I can’t afford to not work.

The process itself was painless in all respects, and the system was smooth and flowed easily. Because of previous negative responses to a flu vaccine, I stayed institu for 25 minutes after the jab, just to make sure I didn’t just keel over and die πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ and then I was away…the staff were friendly and well organised and I was impressed with the efficiency of it all. I still, 9 hours later have had no ill-effects. In case you’re wondering, I had the Astra-Zeneca vaccine. πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”

The good thing that came out of it is that I had an unexpected trip to Deal. After the jab, I set off for a walk to Walmer Castle. Its amazing how close the 2 castles are to each other…25 minutes brisk walk. But first I had a most delicious curried vegetable pie from Al’s Bakery on the High Street…totally recommended. If I’d known it would be so yummy, I’d have bought 2.

A quick walk along the pier as well, then back on the train…which remarkably, considering the delays caused by the land slip near Folkestone, arrived at Deal and stopped at exactly 14:32 (I was watching the clock) – even a Swiss train would be hard put to match that!! πŸ˜‰

It’s a very long pier

Oh, and see that arrow pointing to the land in the distance in the next image… that’s the White Cliffs of Dover and last year I walked from Walmer to Dover via the cliffs…awesome walk and really beautiful

Deal Castle
Walmer Castle

Deal is an incredibly historic town with some amazing old houses

Carter House

Although it was wet, cold and blustery, I really enjoyed my walk and as usual could have just kept going….as soon as lockdown lifts, that’s exactly what I’m going to do…

I love these cycle path signs….tempted to follow them one day πŸš΄β€β™€οΈπŸš΄β€β™€οΈπŸš΄β€β™€οΈ

I love this little square

And of course, you can’t visit a seaside town and not stop to look at the boats

A pretty fishing boat

And finally, one of my favourite signs

The Acorn – symbol of the National Trails – England Coastal Path

And today’s walk added another 8kms to my Mt. Everest virtual challenge and takes me to nearly half way through the challenge πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Both Deal and Walmer are mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book :

Deal was a settlement in Domesday Book, listed as Addelam, in the hundred ofΒ CorniloΒ and the county ofΒ Kent. It had a recorded population of 31 households in 1086, putting it in the largest 40% of settlements recorded in Domesday, and is listed under 5 owners in Domesday Book.

Julius CaesarΒ reputedly landedΒ on the beach at Walmer in 55 BC and 54 BC. It is only one possible landing place, proposed judging from the distances given in his account of the landings in hisΒ Gallic Wars.Β However, recent archaeological research and digs have found that he landed at Pegwell Bay. Walmer is probably the settlement Wealemere listed in the Domesday Book.

As I mentioned….loads of history, and both castles are well worth a visit

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When we first moved to the coast in 2016, travelling from London to Broadstairs on the train, past all the stations enroute, I remember being intrigued by the places behind the names, and excited about the possibility of exploring them all….and that was only those north of my destination. I subsequently discovered many more, south of Broadstairs.

sunrise over Viking Bay, Broadstairs
sunrise over Viking Bay, Broadstairs

I have since then been to all of the seaside towns, either by train or when out walking the coastline, as well as to many of the more inland places. They are all awash with centuries of history, and many of these villages, towns and the City of Canterbury, are mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book. It is just phenomenal and I am constantly in thrall to the many layers uncovered during my research.

Faversham, along with Broadstairs, Canterbury, Sandwich and Dover are my favourite places to go….castles, Saints, Normans, Vikings, abbeys, a cathedral, ancient churches, historic houses, medieval houses, famous people and royal visits and tales of smugglers – who could resist!!

chalk cliffs kent, the tartar frigate pub broadstairs, walks of england, coastal walks of england
a network of smugglers tunnels wind their way below ground in Broadstairs

I first met Faversham on my Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales walk in 2017 (as mentioned in a previous blog), and although the memories are of blistered feet and muddy shoes, I still have fond feelings for the place 🀣🀣

So since I mentioned it briefly yesterday, I thought I should expand on that and tell you more about this ever so fabulous and famous town, a town that missed out on being a city thanks to a small detail….it doesn’t have a cathedral (or a castle for that matter). Oh the semantics…

Faversham; Old English origin, meaning “the metal-worker’s village” lies next to the Swale, a strip of sea separating mainland Kent from the Isle of Sheppey in the Thames Estuary. There has been a settlement at Faversham since pre-Roman times, next to the ancient sea port on Faversham Creek, and was inhabited by the Saxons.

One of Henry VIII’s boats perchance??

Fefresham was held in royal demesne in 811, and is further cited in a charter granted by Coenwulf, the King of Mercia. Coenwulf described the town as ‘the King’s little town of Fefresham’, while it was recorded in the Domesday Book as Favreshant.

Mentioned as Favreshant in the 1086 Domesday Book, Faversham was noted as : King’s land, with 2 salthouses, a mill and a market; a market town and small port.

Faversham was used as a summer residence by the Kings and Queens of Kent, and has many other royal connections; Stephen (1092 or 1096 – 25 October 1154), often referred to as Stephen of Blois, was King of England from 22 December 1135 to his death in 1154 and was buried in Faversham Abbey. However, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538, most of the abbey was demolished, and the remains of Stephen were rumoured to have been thrown into Faversham Creek along with his consort and son who were buried with him. Subsequent excavations revealed empty tombs when they were opened.

Abbey Street was constructed around 1201 in order to provide an appropriate approach to the abbey from the town, and still houses timber framed buildings; described as “the finest medieval street in southeast England”.

Medieval buildings in Abbey Street

A royal visit by Queen Elizabeth I in 1573

Location of the Guildhall during Elizabeth I’s reign
Current Guildhall – built as a market hall in 1574 by the people of the town and nearby parishes, converted into the Guildhall in 1605

Faversham was established as a link arm to the Confederation of Cinque Ports as the (Limb of Dover).

The Shippe Inn

Other famous people linked to Faversham (besides me, that is πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ˜‰)

Richard Arden, a 16th century mayor, was murdered by his wife and her lover. Nice πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ

There are some fantastic buildings surrounding the market place

Faversham also lies on the old Saxon Shore Way route between Gravesend on the river Thames near City of London and Hastings on England’s south east coast and known for the ‘Battle of Hastings’ which is when William the Conqueror defeated King Harald in 1066. William the Conqueror is responsible for the ‘Great Survey’ of England; the Domesday Book completed in 1086.

The Saxon Shore Way, a long-distance footpath of 163 miles in England, starts at Gravesend and traces the coast of SE-England as it was in Roman times, as far as Hastings in East Sussex. There are a couple of places where the route runs inland; around what was the Isle of Thanet – once separate from mainland England by the River Wantsum, and again on the south coast past Folkestone.

That’s us, the island on the right πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

Some 5,000 years ago Thanet was separated from mainland Britain by 600 metres of sea – The Wantsum Channel, it is now connected again since the river/channel silted up some time ago.

When the English Channel was formed by the sea breaking through, an island of chalk was left on the east side of the county – now known as the Isle of Thanet.

The Wantsum Channel today

The SSW follows the creek inland from The Swale and into Faversham and then back out again from the opposite bank and once again follows The Swale and into the Thames river at Gravesend. Since I’ve already walked so many sections of the SSW on my various walks, it makes sense for me to actually do the whole route…one day LOL I mean it’s not like I don’t have about 100 other walks to do and I have LOADS of time on my hands ….as if 🀣🀣🀣

Faversham is located on the main road between the City of London and Dover and therefore became an important stop over for travellers between the Port of London and the Port of Dover. As a result of this inns were of paramount importance and today you can see and stay at one at least one such…The Sun Inn. Seriously one of my favourite ‘places I stayed’ on my many walks. It had everything I needed after arriving drenched and in pain. A massive double bed, a huge bath and fluffy white towels. Perfect.

the sun inn faversham
The Sun Inn, Faversham – best room and bath ever
The Sun Inn, Faversham - Day 3 Rochester to Faversham
The Sun Inn, Faversham – Day 3 Rochester to Faversham

Faversham truly is awash with history and I could write up so much more, but this is already quite a long post, so for now I’ll just add one more photo

history of faversham
historic buildings of Faversham

Okay, make it two photos LOL – the architecture is so varied that if you’re a fan of architecture you could spend the whole day walking around and still find more to see

architecture in faversham
architecture in Faversham

I’m sure to visit Faversham again when I start the next section of my insane intention of walking the entire English Coast and of course the Saxon Shore Way….now that my interest has been well and truly piqued. I’ll tell you more about it then…meanwhile…

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read about my adventures, I really do appreciate your time and support. Have a fab day/afternoon/evening wherever you may be in the world. 🌍🌎🌏

In case you’re interested: more about my Canterbury Tales Walk from Southwark Cathedral to Canterbury Cathedral (p.s. please don’t feel obliged to read any of them, it’s just in case you’re interested).

https://notjustagranny.co.uk/2011/02/20/the-start-of-my-pilgrims-journey-in-the-footsteps-of-chaucer/

https://notjustagranny.co.uk/2017/07/06/the-prelude-southwark-to-canterbury/

https://notjustagranny.co.uk/2017/07/07/prelude-day-1-southwark/

https://notjustagranny.co.uk/2017/07/09/prelude-day-2-southwark-and-the-city-of-london/

https://notjustagranny.co.uk/2011/03/10/my-canterbury-tales-12th-february-day-1/

https://notjustagranny.co.uk/2011/03/26/my-canterbury-tales-february-13th-day-two/

https://notjustagranny.co.uk/2017/08/03/arriving-in-rochester/

https://notjustagranny.co.uk/2017/08/08/day-3-rochester-to-faversham-part-1/

https://notjustagranny.co.uk/2017/08/09/day-3-rochester-to-faversham-part-2/

https://notjustagranny.co.uk/2017/08/14/faverham-to-canterbury-the-finale/

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