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Bingley Quakers

Address: See Map
Meeting Times: Now closed

Location OS grid ref:


Key dates, Start:1958 and end date: 1978

There may be pictures for this place.

Description of the Place:

Their web page:

No modern references found.

History of the place:
Crossflatts, Sleningford Road: in use early 18th century, demolished c.1914
Elm Tree Road: acquired 1753, demolished
Southfield Road: bought 1964, sold 1973 . Last meeting in Bingley 1978.
Sourced Item:
The Society of Friends Although the Society of Friends is now practically extinct in Bingley, it was formerly a rather numerous sect, and there were several local houses in the seventeenth century, notably in Bingley and Crossflatts, where its members assembled for divine worship.* In this district the Society dates from the time of the Commonwealth, and, as befel other dissenting bodies, suffered severe persecution during the reign of religious intolerance that followed. When George Fox, the founder of the sect, visited Skipton in 1658, he held " great meetings," and he tells us that many journeyed from distant places to hear him preach, and became converts. Around Bingley and Keighley many joined the new sect, and eventually under the Toleration Act a Meeting House was erected in Keighley (1690) ; one was built at Skipton in 1693, and another at Bradford about 1712. The Bingley Friends were originally included in the Keighley Meeting, and visited the Skipton Preparative Meeting, ¦(vhich continued to be headquarters of this meeting down to 1858, when it was "arranged that Skipton, Addingham, and Lothersdale comprise the Skipton Preparative Meeting, and that Keighley be included in this meeting, which was to be held at such times and places as may by the members generally be deemed most desirable. At the same time it was arranged to hold the Monthly Meetings as follows : — Bradford 4, Leeds 3, Brighouse 1, Halifax 1, Huddersfield 1, Settle 1, and Skipton 1. This arrangement is at present in force, with the exception that Bentham takes the place of Skipton, where the Society has died out. Bentham in 1853, I may add, was included in the Settle Preparative Meeting, which embraced also Settle, Airton, and Newton. The Quarterly Meetings are now held at York, Leeds, Bradford, and Sheffield, and the Yearly Meeting in London. From the old Minute Books at Keighley it appears a general subscription was opened towards the expenses of
Sourced Item:
The Old Quaker Meeting House, Crossflatts. windows commanded a fine view down the river, and in the building was a fire-place and a cupboard, the door of which bore the owner's initials and date, " W.M., 1760." The property had belonged to a Mr. Jonathan Casson, who got into financial difficulties, and in order to avoid arrest for debt locked himself in this summer-house, and his wife, I am told, used to bring his meals in a basket, which he pulled up by means of a rope through an upper window. 198 On Sundays only dare he walk out, as his arrest on that day could not legally be made. But eventually he gave himself up. The above William Maud married a Waterhouse, of Hill End, who lived to an advanced age. He had a family of four sons : (1) James, a Quaker, who lived at Spring Head, now Myrtle Grove, which had been licensed for public worship. (2) Abraham, who died unmarried, and is buried in Bingley churchyard. He was apprenticed to Timothy Maud, of Gawthorpe, who in the deed of apprenticeship, dated 1st May, 1746, is described as a stuff weaver. He and his younger brother (3) William were also Quakers. (4) Timothy, the youngest, attended the Parish Church, and occupied the family property on Elm Tree Hill. He married Sarah, the youngest sister of Mr. James Murgatroyd, of Greenhill, and died Jan. 26th, 1822. She died in April, 1843. They left two sons ; William, who lived in the old homestead on Elm Tree Hill, and James Murgatroyd Maud. William sold his inheritance at Bingley to Mr. Thomas Jowett about 1847. and settled in America. He married, and left a family of one son, Timothy, who died in Seattle, U.S.A., in 1885, and two daughters, Sarah, the elder, married to Mr. William Moore, and Ann, now living at Seattle. The latter resided at Bingley till she was 24, and has since travelled extensively at home and abroad. In December, 1896, when over 70 years of age, she visited Bingley, when the writer had the pleasure of a few hours' conversation with her ; her recollections of old Bingley being most vivid and interesting, and she imparted most of the information I have here given respecting the old Quaker family of Gawthorpe, &c. It was in the house adjoining the residence of the Mauds on Elm Tree Hill that the P'riends met for divine worship. Miss Maud tells me that as a girl she had always heard it spoken of as the old Quaker Meeting House, and in this house she says the Rev. Dr. Hartley, vicar of Bingley (of the Eldwick Hartleys), was born in 1745. Next to it was Mr. Christopher Hanson's house and furniture shop, shewn in the annexed view. The old 194 Meeting House consisted of one large room, and there was a chamber above it. It was a plain, two-storey building, while the house behind, occupied by the Mauds, consisted of three storeys, owing to its position on the slope of the hill. The lower one was entered by a side door in the yard, while the main entrance was from the hill into the second storey, up a flight of solid stone steps, with a broad landing on the top. The Meeting Ho;ise at Crossflatts is one of several 17th century cottages ; being the oldest block of houses now standing in this neighbourhood. Sixty years ago these old tenements and the houses at Castlefields were the only buildings existing about Crossflatts. All else has sprung up since then. In deeds belonging to Mr. Joseph Poster, of Crossflatts, the names of the tenants are given in 1825, when the property was conveyed to Mr. William Ellis. The old Meeting House has a spacious mullion-window (now modernised) and a small side-window, originally a door-hole, which was kept well bolted, and only opened after dark when suspicious persons were about and the inmates could receive a message or parcel without unfastening the main door. Such precautionary openings were common in houses of this period. Upon entering there was a stout stone partition wall separating the entrance from the lower room (pulled down some years ago), and the meeting-room was upstairs, and originally consisted of one large apartment, with a "speaker's stand." or square pedestal, about twenty inches high, placed at one corner at the head of the stairs, and removed from outside observation at the window. Here the few ardent members of this humble society used to meet in bygone days to worship God in their own simple way. Their burial-ground, as I have said, was close by, but I cannot hear that more than four grave-stones have ever been observed, and one of these is inscribed to a William Lister. Where Mr. Longbottom lives, in the Main Street, next door to Gawthorp's basket shop, seems also to have been occupied by a Quaker family named Walker, and many years ago one or more grave-slabs were dug up in the garden behind the house.

CrossflattsIn use during1750
Elm Tree RoadAcquired1753
Southfield RoadBrought1964
Southfield RoadSold1973
Elm Tree RoadDemolished ???2001

(Please note that any un-titled image could be of any Quaker meeting in the north of England)

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