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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale.
For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay. The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority. The Quaker movement emerged out of a period of religious and political turmoil in the mid-C Its main protagonist, George Fox, openly rejected traditional religious doctrine, instead promoting the theory that all people could have a direct relationship with God, without dependence on sermonising ministers, nor the necessity of consecrated places of worship.
Fox, originally from Leicestershire, claimed the Holy Spirit was within each person, and from travelled the country as an itinerant preacher.
The Quakers, formally named the Religious Society of Friends, was thus established. Persecution of Nonconformists proliferated in the period, with Quakers suffering disproportionately. The Quaker Act ofand the Conventicle Act offorbade their meetings, though they continued in defiance, and a of meeting houses date from this early period.
Broad Campden, Gloucestershire, came into Quaker use in and is the earliest meeting house in Britain, although it was out of use from to The meeting house at Hertford,is the oldest to be purpose built. The Act of Toleration, passed inwas one of several steps towards freedom of worship outside the established church, and thereafter meeting houses began to make their mark on the landscape.
Quaker meeting houses are generally characterised by simplicity of de, both externally and internally, reflecting the form of worship they were deed to accommodate. The earliest purpose-built meeting houses were built by local craftsmen following regional traditions and were on a domestic scale, frequently resembling vernacular houses; at the same time, a of older buildings were converted to Quaker use.
From the first, most meeting houses shared certain characteristics, containing a well-lit meeting hall with a simple arrangement of seating. In time a raised stand became common behind the bench for the Elders, so that travelling ministers could be better heard. In general, the meeting house will have little or no decoration or enrichment, with ery frequently left unpainted. However, the buildings were generally of modest size and with minimal ornament, although examples in urban settings tended to be more architecturally ambitious. Afterit became more common for meeting houses to be deed by an architect or surveyor.
The Victorian and Edwardian periods saw greater stylistic eclecticism, though the Gothic Revival associated with the Established Church was not embraced; on the other hand, Arts and Crafts principles had much in common with those of the Quakers, and a of meeting houses show the influence of that movement. The C20 saw changes in the way meeting houses were used which influenced their de and layout. Seating was therefore rearranged without reference to the stand, with moveable chairs set in concentric circles becoming the norm in smaller meeting houses.
Traditional styles continued to be favoured, from grander Classical buildings in urban centres to local examples in domestic neo-Georgian. Quakerism was established in Alston in and the meeting house was built inwith an attached walled burial ground, funded by contributions from the Friends; listed Grade II List entry: In order to enlarge the meeting house, work was undertaken and completed in to raise the height of the walls, build a gallery, and insert a new two-light mullioned window to light the loft space.
Sometime later, the ground-floor mullioned windows were blocked and replaced by sash windows. Externally, the porch was also added around this date and a lintel dated was re-set from the original entrance. In the meeting was discontinued and the building served a of functions. Eventually the Friends started meeting in Alston again inas a result of new Friends moving into the area. Quaker Meeting House,with C18 and C19 alterations. PLAN: rectangular plan, aligned roughly east-west. It is a tall three-bay, single-storey structure, built of coursed squared rubble stone, laid on a foundation course of rounded boulders that are exposed at the base of the north and east walls.
All elevations display two phases of masonry construction, with the earliest at the base dating to and the finer upper courses belonging to The main elevation faces south over the burial ground and has a central gabled porch built after ; it is entered by a narrow double-door flanked by quoined stone jambs, beneath a re-set flat chamfered stone lintel, dated To the left and right of the porch is a pair of light timber sash windows, with exposed sash boxes.
Two low blocked square windows, with finely tooled surrounds are situated to either side of the left-hand window, and to the upper right of the elevation, there is a blocked two-light stone mullion window that formerly lit the loft. The east gable end is built directly onto Front Street; the outline of the original roof is clearly delineated in the fabric of the wall, and rounded stones mark the flue rising up to a short gable-end stack that has a projecting drip mould.
The west gable is un-fenestrated and lime-rendered. The north elevation is also blind and is predominantly obscured by an abutting two-storey stone building. The graduated stone-flagged gable roof is drained by cast-iron guttering and down pipes. The meeting room is entered from the porch; the room is rectangular in plan and lit by a single window in the south wall. The walls have been plastered and painted and the south and west walls have tongue and groove panelling to dado level.
The east wall is formed of vertical sliding timber panels, with a central door to the ancillary space. The stand is fronted with horizontal panelling and the fitted bench has turned front legs. This building is listed under the Planning Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.
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Advanced Search. Minor Amendments. Download Listing Data. Non-Listed Sites. About The List. Understanding List Entries. Quaker Meeting House Alston. This copy shows the entry on Oct at History The Quaker movement emerged out of a period of religious and political turmoil in the mid-C Legacy The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legal This building is listed under the Planning Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.
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Quaker Meeting House Alston