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Reading Quaker Meeting House and Burial-ground

Heritage Open Days 2022

Sat 10 Sep, 10:00-16:00

The Meeting House and burial grounds are a place of peace and beautiful simplicity in the centre of Reading. Quakers have occupied this site, a former orchard off Church Lane since 1715 and the current building is late Georgian.

Visitors to the Meeting House in the centre of Reading find here a strikingly spacious and peaceful interior. The emphasis on functionality over ostentation is seen in the original features, such as the minister's gallery, sounding cove and remains of a partition mechanism. It is a building which truly speaks of the Quaker values of peace, simplicity and equality, which continue to this day.

Also on this site, which once was an ancient orchard, is a tranquil burial ground and garden. The uniform rows of simple grave-stones and absence of grand monuments symbolise the equality of all people. This includes the Victorian Quakers who made an enormous contribution to the industrial, social and political life of the town, such as the Huntley and Palmer families.

We have an exhibition on the history of Quakerism in Reading and Quakers will be here on the Open Day to talk about our history and enduring faith.