The Watch

Abbey Farmstead

Faversham, Kent, United Kingdom

2000 World Monuments Watch

When Faversham Abbey was established as a royal foundation in 1147, Abbey Farm was built as its grange. Four buildings remain on the site--two barns, a farmhouse, and stables. As an ensemble, the structures demonstrate the medieval monastic economy and medieval commerce. The surviving barns are two of only eight such barns left in Kent and one of only two sets of extant twin barns in the United Kingdom. The stables are noted for their early sans purlin roof (rafters without supporting horizontal members) and splayed scarf joint; the farmhouse is a rare example of a domestic building with a scissor-braced roof. Although these sturdy buildings remained in use until 1987, none are now occupied, except for the farmhouse. They have been left to deteriorate and their conditions have been severely worsened by acts of vandalism and arson. A British conservation trust is seeking to conduct a feasibility study and consider new uses for the structure. Depending upon the outcome, the trust would acquire the site from its legal guardians, Wadham College, Oxford, for a symbolic one pound in order to make repairs and preserve the buildings.


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