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Quaker Meeting House

A Grade II Listed Building in Salisbury, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.0727 / 51°4'21"N

Longitude: -1.8076 / 1°48'27"W

OS Eastings: 413572

OS Northings: 130393

OS Grid: SU135303

Mapcode National: GBR 516.RSN

Mapcode Global: FRA 7638.TW2

Plus Code: 9C3W35FR+3W

Entry Name: Quaker Meeting House

Listing Date: 12 October 1972

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1243327

English Heritage Legacy ID: 447057

Location: Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Salisbury

Built-Up Area: Salisbury

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Fisherton Anger St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

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Summary


Quaker Meeting House, built as a villa in the mid-C19; later nurses’ accommodation for Old Manor Hospital; altered and converted to use as Meeting House in 2003-10.

Description

Quaker Meeting House, built as a villa in the mid-C19; later nurses’ accommodation for Old Manor Hospital; altered and converted to use as Meeting House in 2003-10.

MATERIALS: painted stucco over brick, under slate roofs. Extension in reconstituted stone.

PLAN: L-plan, with main range to the north and long range to the east end extending to the south.

EXTERIOR: the building is single storey to centre and right of the main elevation, with a two-storey section to the left. The two-storey range has a bowed, projecting bay with overhanging first floor, carried on Tuscan columns. The bay has a hipped, slate roof with flat eaves, and a rectangular brick ridge stack behind. The windows are pointed margin-glazed casements, one to the ground floor and three to the first floor in moulded flush-pointed frames. Extending westwards is an irregular three-bay, single-storey range with a low-pitched, hipped slate roof, the wall carried up on the wide, western bay into a parapet with moulded coping. The two central bays have paired sashes in a moulded four-centred arched frame, and to its right, a door in similar surround, with fanlight. To the right, a timber, canted bay window, which is later, but with similar arched lights. The wide bay to the west end has a single light, of similar type. The western return parapet is panelled, and is swept to the corners, with three rectangular gable end stacks. It has two cambered-headed sashes with glazing bars. The rear, south elevation has a canted bay window with a parapet to the left, and a central section with two round-headed full-length sashes with glazing bars. A glass pentice roof carried on tapering iron columns extends across the central section. The eastern return extends southwards in two storeys, with a modified central section and an early C21 extension to the southern end, in reconstituted stone. The fenestration is irregular and includes a doorway and entrance to the flats within the modern extension.

INTERIOR: the main interior spaces are a large entrance lobby filling the centre of the building and the meeting room which occupies the west end. This is a wholly modern space with windows in two sides and skylights in the raised centre of the ceiling. The first floor of the two-storey section is arranged as a flat.


History

The Quaker movement emerged out of a period of religious and political turmoil in the mid-C17. Its main protagonist, George Fox, openly rejected traditional religious doctrine, instead promoting the theory that all people could have a direct relationship with God, without dependence on sermonising ministers, nor the necessity of consecrated places of worship. Fox, originally from Leicestershire, claimed the Holy Spirit was within each person, and from 1647 travelled the country as an itinerant preacher. 1652 was pivotal in his campaign; after a vision on Pendle Hill, Lancashire, Fox was moved to visit Firbank Fell, Cumbria, where he delivered a rousing, three-hour speech to an assembly of 1000 people, and recruited numerous converts. The Quakers, formally named the Religious Society of Friends, was thus established.

Fox asserted that no one place was holier than another, and in their early days, the new congregations often met for silent worship at outdoor locations; the use of members’ houses, barns, and other secular premises followed. Persecution of Nonconformists proliferated in the period, with Quakers suffering disproportionately. The Quaker Act of 1662, and the Conventicle Act of 1664, forbade their meetings, though they continued in defiance, and a number of meeting houses date from this early period. Broad Campden, Gloucestershire, came into Quaker use in 1663 and is the earliest meeting house in Britain, although it was out of use from 1871 to 1961. The meeting house at Hertford, 1670, is the oldest to be purpose built. The Act of Toleration, passed in 1689, was one of several steps towards freedom of worship outside the established Church, and thereafter meeting houses began to make their mark on the landscape. Quaker worship has always been conducted in a modest architectural environment with no diverting display, meaning that the adoption of buildings not designed for worship has remained part of the tradition of meeting houses, alongside purpose building.

Quakers were active in Salisbury from the 1650s. A meeting house and burial ground were acquired in 1692 and registered in 1702. Another site in Gigant Street was acquired in 1712 for a purpose-built meeting house with a burial ground attached. The meeting was discontinued in 1826 and the meeting house sold for other uses. The meeting re-opened 1934 and in 1962 Friends bought a house in Rectory Road, which provided a meeting room with a flat above. The building presently used as Salisbury Quaker Meeting House was adopted by the Society of Friends in 2003, and opened in 2010.

The meeting house was built in the mid-C19 as a detached villa in a large plot, on Wilton Road, in Fisherton, on the western edge of Salisbury. The footprint of the house is not shown on the tithe map of about 1840, though the accompanying apportionment describes the plot as being occupied by a house, garden and brick field, indicating that it was under construction at this time. The plot lay alongside the Fisherton House Asylum, later known as the Old Manor Hospital; the owner is given as Richard Greenup MD, who likely was involved at the adjacent hospital. The small picturesque villa was, in the second half of the C19, extended by the addition of a single-storey range to the west. It is shown on the first edition Ordnance Survey map as Pembroke Lodge, a private house in large gardens. In 1923, the house was purchased by the hospital for use as a convalescent home for ladies. It was later re-named Kennet Lodge, and used as a nurses’ home. The hospital was absorbed into the National Health Service in 1954; it closed in 1997, after which Kennet Lodge initially lay empty while the rest of the hospital was redeveloped. In 2003 Friends acquired the derelict Kennet Lodge, which was enlarged and adapted for use as a meeting house with ancillary spaces and a flat above. An earlier extension to the rear of the eastern range was demolished and replaced with a two-storey block. It opened as a meeting house in 2010.

Reasons for Listing

The Quaker Meeting House in Salisbury, built in the early C19 as a suburban villa, and converted to a meeting house in 2010, is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:
* as a good early C19 suburban villa in Picturesque style, well-proportioned and with good massing.

Historic interest:
* for its part in the history of the expansion of suburban Salisbury in the early C19, and the development of the adjacent hospital, for one of whose doctors it was built;
* for its evolution, from a doctor’s house to nurses’ accommodation and latterly, in 2010, conversion to a Quaker Meeting House.

Group value:
* with a group of other mid-C19 suburban houses: 26-28 Wilton Road, 1 and 2 The Paragon and 3 and 4 The Paragon, all listed at Grade II.

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