Local Quaker History

The first permanent Meeting House for Clitheroe Meeting was at Sawley and dated from 1743 when an existing building, thought to be an old mansion house, was used. This was replaced by the present building in 1777 when the land was given by a local Quaker farmer. The cost of building was met by subscriptions from surrounding Meetings and individual Quakers.

The building comprised of a Meeting House and a Wardens Cottage which was extended in 1907 when the original accommodation was thought to be inadequate.

The building, which is Listed Grade II, is built in a vernacular style, having much in common with some local barns and farm buildings. The older portion is built from limestone with sandstone quoins (corner stones) and window and door frames. The roof is made of sandstone flags.

The stones on the front and end walls of the older part are ‘watershot’. This means that they are rectangular stones laid with a slope down towards the outside to help prevent the penetration of rainwater along the joints.

All these materials were available locally from the many old quarries in the RibbleValley.

The extension was designed by a local architect and blends in with the older part It is constructed out of brick and has been given imitation quoins and a rough render.

The interior of the Meeting House contained original pitch pine woodwork with raised benches at one end to accommodate the Elders of the Meeting (a practise now discontinued). At the other end is a gallery or loft which was used for the Women’s Business Meeting at a time when they were held separately (also discontinued). The shutters on the gallery can be raised to increase the capacity of the Meeting Room. .

The moveable benches were of simple construction and are similar to those in many other Meeting Houses although they are somewhat more upright than most!

However, due to the ever changing requirements this Meeting House was sold in December 2016 and a more suitable building aquired in the center of Clitheroe.