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The former Quaker Chapel in Lime Avenue with its surrounding burial ground was used by Thomas Kench as a glaziers workshop and scaffold store for many years up until 1965

It was photographed here as it was being demolished. The burials were subsequently exhumed and the bodies re-interred by the Quaker Meeting House in Northampton, along with a commemorative plaque. It subsequently became the site of a house, 20 Lime Avenue. Quakerism took hold early in the village as Thomas Smallbone was one of the earliest Quakers to be imprisoned for his beliefs in 1658. It was probably the same Thomas Smallbone who in 1690 gave the Quakers the top half of his yard to build a meeting house and burial ground. This was licensed the next year and was supported well enough to need an extension building in 1724. The meeting house was described as being stone and thatch, and in 1851 had seating for 90, with a further 27 seats in the gallery. It is difficult to see much of that earlier building here. Clearly the roof line has been alter at some stage to take a slate roof which seems to have reduced it to a single storey height. The semicircular window seems at odds with the Quakers preference for unornamented buildings, but may have been the top half of an entrance door. It is not clear which of the remaining doors and windows were original or inserted later by the Kenches, as although they only bought the building in 1920, they were renting as a builder’s yard from at least 1910.

Photographer Mr David Kench

Former Quaker Chapel

SKU: DK052

Eydon Village Photo Archive

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