Hawkshead – Colthouse Quaker Meeting House

 

Location : Hawkshead
Ordnance Survey – SD 359982

 

Colthouse Meeting House.

Colthouse Meeting House.. Photo by Humphrey Bolton from the Geograph project

 

The hamlet of Colthouse near Hawkshead, has one of the oldest Quaker Meeting Houses in the “Birthplace of Quakerism”, built in 1688. It is well preserved and maintained, amd set in its own walled gated grounds.

 

The Quakers were once strongly in evidence about this area and could not have failed to have had some influence on William Wordsworth’s formative years, as he went to school at Hawkshead.

 

Quaker meetings consist of a period of silent contemplation. Colthouse Friends Meeting House being rural, is ideal for this, as there are no intrusions apart from latecomers.

 

There is modernisation with toilets and a kitchen, giving refreshments afterwards. The 2 seater earth closet has been retained. A separate Quaker burial ground is nearby, which pre-dates this building. The land was bought in 1688, and the meeting house was erected in the same year. A year after it was built, Quakers were no longer persecuted when the Act of Tolerance allowed Quakers to meet, and not be in a “steeplehouse”.

 

Sources: Donald A Rooksby The Man in Leather Breeches, A People to be Gathered, And Sometime Upon the Hills.

 

Colthouse Meeting House.

Colthouse Meeting House.. Photo by Humphrey Bolton from the Geograph project

 

Colthouse Meeting House.

The small Quaker burial ground. The gravestones are of the standard Quaker type, a simple slab with a rounded top. Photo by Humphrey Bolton from the Geograph project

 

Other Places with Quaker connections :
Fox’s Pulpit Firbank Fell 97: SD 619937
Swarthmoor Hall Ulverston 96: SD 283773
The Quaker Tapestry Exhibition Kendal Stramongate
Pardshaw Meeting House Cockermouth 89: NY 104255

 

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