Thursday 13 July 2017

Faversham Open House : Old Grammar School and Old Pharmacy Courtyard

 Over the last couple of Saturday afternoons I've been stewarding  for the first time  in the Faversham
Society's  Open House scheme, (this is the 48th year!) .  On the 1st July I was at the 'Old Grammar School' which dates from 1587 ( and was in use as a school  until 1879).    

 It's now  a  Masonic lodge but the evidence of it  having been a schoolroom is in the centuries old graffiti carved into the wood panelling which has been preserved!

Seated at the entrance , I was initially puzzled by the number of people walking by with coconuts ( one man gave me a bag of 4 to mind while he went round the building!) .  Turns out they were won at the annual fete  of nearby Queen Elizabeth Grammer School ( the modern day equivalent )  In quiet times between visitors I made drawings in a folded pamphlet  of  the view from my chair.

 I did the same when stewarding on the  8th at the 'Old Pharmacy Courtyard' in the Market place behind the 'Yarn Dispensary' (a pharmacy from the 17th century until the 1980's)

 I'd often walked past this inconspicuous doorway between  2 shops, with it's red plaque with the white horse of Kent little realising what lay behind it.
Down a passageway lined with old timbers and doors that go nowhere  is a remarkably complete mid-15th century timber framed town house!  Almost every visitor  ( over 200!) gasped  at what they saw, it really is a hidden gem .

Not a straight line anywhere!  Stewards perks was a tour of the house itself afterwards  ( 2 flats  with original features lovingly restored  by the current owners).  
 I was particularly taken by the  metre high 'Alice in Wonderland' door which led to a bedroom, even I had to bend over to get through it!
This Saturday I'm at a house in West Street, as seen on our first visit to Faversham.

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