windermere panoramic
Colthouse Friends Meeting HouseKendal
Nr Hawkshead
Cumbria LA22 0JU
Colthouse is an attractive little hamlet just half a mile to the east of Hawkshead Village.  It is beautifully situated, close to Claife Heights and Esthwaite Water (LA22 0JZ), and is the site of the oldest Quaker Meeting House in Cumbria.
It is rare to find such an early Society of Friends Meeting House complete with its own burial ground.  Built in 1688, it is well preserved and set in its own walled grounds.  The wall is made of huge slabs of slate; the gate is a large stone slab with an iron hinge.
The burial ground is sloped and pre-dates the building by 30 years.  It is approximately 15m by 40m and is enclosed by stone rubble walls. The inner face of the north wall has stone benches and there are remains of similar benches to the inner face of the east wall.  The gravestones are of the standard Quaker type, a simple slab with a rounded top.
Despite persecution, Colthouse was a strong Quaker community and the meeting house was built one year before the Act of Tolerance allowed Quakers to meet, and not be in a "steeplehouse". It is believed that the Founder of Quakerism, George Fox visited the meeting house.
Visitors are Welcome
Visitors are welcome to explore the meeting house where they can purchase a cup of tea and use the modern toilet facilities.  The original two-holer earth closet has been retained but not for current use!
The rural tranquillity of Colthouse is more than conducive to the period of silent contemplation practised during a Friends Meeting.  Meetings for Worship are held on Sunday at 10:30.
Accommodation - Search & Book through Agoda here:
Contact & Further Information
Telephone   +44 (0)1539 436 669
William Wordsworth
Colthouse has another historic connection.  When poet, William Wordsworth attended Hawkshead Grammar School in 1779 he is known to have lodged with Ann Tyson.  The Tysons used to have a shop in Hawkshead but had moved to Colthouse around 1773 and made their living by taking schoolboy boarders.  It was in this quiet rural community that William lived for a short while, and described in his poem The Prelude.
Getting There
Colthouse is just over half a kilometre (.3 miles) from Hawkshead close to the B5285.
Google Map - Colthouse Friends Meeting House


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