The Society of Friends emerged in the 1650s, a time of great religious turmoil. It was rooted in Christianity, but its founder George Fox and other early Friends rejected creeds and church teachings. They believed in a personal faith, not needing a priest as intermediary, and available to all regardless of whether or not they had even heard of Jesus.
There is a local legend that John Firth of Shepley, one of a number of men of that name but all of different and unrelated families in that place, was ordered to act as a guard to George Fox in Nottingham Castle during the early 1640s. It is said that John Firth deserted in 1642.
Back home in Shepley he began to talk about George Fox and his ideas. Since what he
was doing was illegal under the Conventicle Acts (which required, amongst other things,
that everybody had to attend services in their local church every Sunday) he had to find a safe place in which to work. He is said to have arranged meetings in the barn that later developed into the Meeting House in High Flatts. If the legend is true then High Flatts must be one of the earliest regions involved in Quakerly developments.
By the early 1650s, Meetings were certainly being held in the barn. Much of the back wall of this building stands on the original barn’s walls. The hamlet, which had already acquired its local name ‘Quaker Bottom’, expanded as the local Quaker farmers extended their interests in various trades such as milling, tanning and iron-founding.
The Meeting House is a wonderful place to visit, with lots to see and learn.
If you know anything more about the heritage of this site and would like us to include it here please contact us.
Address: 9 Quaker Bottom, High Flatts, Huddersfield, HD8 8XU
Opening Times: Please contact us to arrange a group visit.
Contact: 01484 607716 or email@example.com
Directions: M1 J37. Take A628 towards Penistone. At 5th roundabout turn right onto A629 Halifax Road. Follow through Ingbirchworth and into High Flatts. Take second lane on right after Denby Lane, and follow down to Quaker Bottom.
Grid Reference: SE 210 072 GB Grid
The text has been written by volunteers from the site, more information can be found when you visit in person.
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