The Friends Meeting House Story

The Friends Meeting House Story



Friends Meeting House



Quakers first appeared in Finedon in the 17th century soon after the society of friends was founded by George Fox. These dissenters were harassed and persecuted and their meetings were held in secluded areas or secretly in their homes. The toleration act of 1689 meant that dissenters were at last allowed to worship in their own way and less than a year after the act, in 1690, the Friends’ Meeting House was  built with a thatched roof and is still the oldest surviving non-conformist place of worship in Northamptonshire.  The Quaker movement was very strong in Finedon and at the time of its construction it was built on the extreme edge of Finedon to be as far away as possible from the Parish Church.

The Quakers were frequently insulted on their way to meetings and pelted once inside. The made no attempt to retaliate but surrounded the meeting room and the graveyard around it with a 10ft high wall ( Just over 3 Metres )to this day.

Reginald Underwood relates in his book, The Pagent of Finedon, that at that time the Meeting room was an adult school. More recently, before the meeting room became the Historical Societies museum, the Friends meeting room was a chapel of rest, indeed my dad laid to rest there before his funeral.