Faversham's many natural advantages attracted settlers from earliest times. The surrounding farmland is most productive with fruit and hops grown in vast quantities. Both crops are still significant and the town is proud to be the centre of Kent's brewing industry. Of national importance is a collection of over 4,000 fruit varieties at Bogdale. Brick making is another local speciality, though albeit on a much smaller scale than a century ago. Haulage of these heavy loads to mainly London markets was by Thames sailing barges. Today a galaxy of fine country houses lie hidden close by in scenic countryside. While in the town centre the main streets are fine examples of effective conservation. Much credit goes to the townspeople who resisted town planners' inappropriate schemes with a true appreciation of their valuable heritage.