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14th August 2023

Britain’s oldest brewer to join local groups and businesses for the first Open Faversham celebration

Britain’s oldest brewer, Shepherd Neame, will be opening its doors and its heritage to the public as part of the first Open Faversham event next week.

The Faversham-based brewer will be holding a free Heritage and Archives Exhibition at its historic brewery in Court Street from Monday, August 14 to Friday, August 18.

It is part of the first ever Open Faversham, a celebration of the town and what it has to offer, led by the Faversham Society and the Friends of St Mary of Charity Church, which has encouraged dozens of local organisations, businesses, charities and groups to stage events – many of which are free – between Saturday, August 12 to Sunday, August 20.

The aim is to bring more footfall and families into the area during the summer holidays while also raising the profile of the town’s proud history, heritage and cultural offer. A packed programme of almost 50 performances, exhibitions, talks, demonstrations and social events has been put together.

Shepherd Neame’s exhibition has been organised by its archivist and historian John Owen and is free to enter from the brewery main reception between 10.30am and 4.30pm each day from Monday, August 14 to Friday, August 18.

The drop-in exhibition will be signposted from the brewery reception and takes place in the King James Room, which is named after King James II, who was captured while escaping to France by local seamen and brought to the brewery for one day in 1688.

The room was also at the core of the earliest incarnation of the brewery, which looked like the adjoining medieval Visitor Centre until it was adapted and re-fronted over the centuries.

The exhibition will include a sample of Shepherd Neame records and memorabilia, including engravings, plans, photographs, maps, ledgers, caricatures, bottles, spirit flagons and a cast iron safe.

John Owen said: “Shepherd Neame has been at the heart of the port and market town from at least the 16th century. It is a thriving business which is also heritage in action.

“The displays aim to show a little of the development of the business, its extraordinary continuity and hence how today is merely history in another place.”

Between Tuesday, August 15 and Friday, August 18, visitors will also be able to pop to the company’s Brewery Shop, just a few steps away, and buy a souvenir. The shop is open from 10.30am to 4.30pm, with a 30 minute break from 1pm.

Other events which John Owen has organised for Open Faversham, include an open event at Throwley Church on the sculpture and stained glass from Monday, August 14 to Friday, August 18 between 10am and 5pm daily, with free entry, though donations are welcomed.

Throwley Church, four miles from Faversham, has the finest local collection of stone and alabaster carving, most with a profusion of painted heraldry and stained glass examples including by Herbert Hendrie of Edinburgh from the 1930s.

And an illustrated talk, Faversham Streets, Houses, Owners and Occupations, will be held at The Guildhall on Friday, August 18 at 7pm. No booking is required but there will be a small charge of £3. Drinks will be served.

The talk will outline the development of the historic core streets, houses, ownerships and occupations of Faversham during the Georgian period and will be illustrated by a collection of early town watercolours and the earliest known photographs of the town.

To see all the events going on during Open Faversham, visit


About Shepherd Neame

Shepherd Neame has been based in the market town of Faversham, Kent for over 300 years. Perhaps best known for great British classic ales such as Spitfire Amber, which carries the Royal Warrant, its diverse portfolio includes Five Grain Lager, Bear Island East Coast Pale Ale and Bear Island Triple Hopped Lager, and the Whitstable Bay Collection. It also brews international lagers under licence including premium Thai lager Singha. The independent family business boasts an award-winning visitor centre and more than 300 pubs and hotels throughout London and the South East, from the historic heart of the City to the Kent coastline.

Shepherd Neame is not responsible for the content on third party websites.

For further information please contact Communications Executive Angela Cole on 01795 542142 or email or visit

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