Colthouse Quaker Meeting House

Colthouse Quaker Meeting House

 

 

Colthouse Quaker Meeting House:

This Quaker meeting house was built by the Society of Friends (Quakers) in 1688 and has been in regular use ever since.

Through the passing ages, this building has continued to serve as a place of regular worship and contemplation for Quakers and visitors alike.

In the late 18th-mid 19th century Friends ran a school here. William Wordsworth boarded down the road at Green End Cottage (below) for many years at Hawkshead School.

Colthouse Quaker Meeting House

On occasion, during bad weather, his landlady, Anne Tyson, would bring young William and his fellow pupils to worship here rather than walk to Hawkshead church.

Wordsworth retained an appreciation of Quakerism throughout his life.

Beatrix Potter attended a meeting here, recording that she “liked it very much. It is a pretty little place, peaceful and sunny, very old-fashioned inside, with a gigantic key to the door. I thought it so pleasant in the stillness to listen to a Robin singing in the copper beech outside the porch. I doubt if his sentiments were religious”.

Colthouse Quaker Meeting House

Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, a founder of the National Trust, published a sonnet on the cherry poplars that once stood in its garden.

This simple, attractive place of almost total silence remains precious to us, and those who sit in worship take strength from the silence and grapple with our increasingly noisy world.

Colthouse Quaker Burial Ground, a short walk down the road, was purchased in 1658 before the meeting house was built.

A small group of Friends in the High Wray area, needing a burial place, bought this patch of ground from one of their members, George Braithwaite of Town End, Colthouse.

Colthouse Quaker Meeting House

It was built with slate stones protruding from the wall to serve as seats so that meetings of worship could be held there.

The plain headstones and plain memorial tablets on the wall reflect Quaker values of simplicity and equality.

 

 

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