The handsome Italianate building was built in 1849 after a fire in the previous year destroyed an earlier building dating from 1830. It was designed by a Maidstone architect, Martin Bulmer, architect to the Rochester Bridge Trust and Kent County Architect from 1860-1878. An attractive watercolour by Bulmer dated 1853 of the interior survives.

For many years the Assembly Rooms were a great success, hosting a variety of important events, including a dinner held by the Lord Mayor of London to celebrate the arrival of the railway to the town.

In about 1869 the rooms were hired to the equivalent of the Territorial Army, and by 1911 arrangements were made for the War Office to accept full responsibility for the site. More recently the Assembly Rooms were used by the Faversham Army Cadets and Air Training Corps. (Link to Faversham Life article)

In 2010 a new charitable trust, the Faversham Buildings Preservation Trust, was formed to buy the Rooms and the purchase was made possible with the help of a substantial loan from the Architectural Heritage Fund.

May 2011 saw the launch of a six year plan to restore this magnificent Victorian hall to the splendour reflected in the painting of it in 1853.

Time Line


The first dedicated Faversham Assembly Rooms are built in Preston Street.


The Assembly Rooms burn down.


The newly rebuilt Assembly Rooms open.


Arrival of the railway to Faversham. Rooms used for celebratory dinner.


Threatened with invasion by France, corps of ‘Volunteers’ are raised all over the country. The Rooms are used for local Artillery Volunteers.


The Military take a lease on the building. From then, for nearly 150 years until 2011, the Rooms are used almost entirely for military purposes.


Negotiations begin to purchase the Hall.


Ministry of Defence sell the building, now known locally as The Drill Hall, to the newly formed Faversham Buildings Preservation Trust.


Work starts on securing the Rooms for public use during the planning and funding phase.


Interior Restoration work essentially complete and the Rooms are available for public and private use.