A stoa, in ancient Greek architecture, was a covered walkway or portico typically found surrounding the market place (or 'agora'). Early stoae had columns lining the sides of the building, but with open-access, creating an enclosed, protective atmosphere. They were usually designed in the Doric style.
Later examples of stoae had two stories, with a roof supporting the inner colonnades where shops or sometimes offices were located. These later designs often followed the style of Ionic architecture.
Stoae were freely open to the public and under its roof merchants would sell their goods, artists would display their artwork, religious gatherings could take place and philosophers would discuss the latest ideas.The market place in Faversham is similarly designed as a open-sided, covered area supported by columns. This seems to reinforce the appropriateness of naming a philosophy group in Faverham 'The Stoa'.