HERTFORD QUAKER MEETING HOUSE
Hertford has a long history of religious significance that is not always obvious. Amongst its claims to fame is the Quaker Meeting House. The first Quaker preached in Hertford around 1655 at which time services were held in private houses. However, the town took to Quakerism and a decision was made in 1669 to spend £243 12s on building a purpose built Meeting House. This was completed in 1670 and today is the oldest purpose-built Quaker building in the world.
George Fox himself visited the Meeting House on at least three occasions. Some damage was sustained to the house around 1683 which was repaired and in 1717 sash windows were installed, which were replaced in 1731.
Charles Lamb wrote ‘A Quakers’ Meeting’ after visiting the Hertford Meeting House early in the 18th Century.
In 1981 the building was in need of serious repair and £72,000 was used to rebuild the structure. Today, as well as continuing to act as a Meeting House for the Quakers, the building is used for various local events and is hidden down a backstreet not far from the bus station.
Photo - Andrew J. Müller
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