Market Lavington Museum

Sunday School in the old Quaker Meeting House

In the 17th and 18th centuries the Quaker movement was strong in Market Lavington, despite extensive persecution. The Quaker ‘House of Friends’ in Market Lavington was certainly built and in use by 1716 but the movement tended to fade away locally and in 1799 the meeting house was sold.

The Independent Church, as it moved towards Congregationalism was able to take over the old Quaker chapel and the members had it in use by 1809.

In 1892 they opened the new and much bigger church almost directly opposite the old ‘House of Friends’ but they retained the previous building for a Sunday School and as a hall and it remained in use as such until the second half of the 20th century.

Just recently, a rather rare photograph has been given to the museum (with thanks to Keith and Gina). It shows children attending a meeting in the old chapel – the former Quaker House. It is thought that the picture – not the sharpest ever seen – dates from the early 1950s.

Children attend Sunday School in Market Lavington's former Quaker Meeting House - 1950s

The chapel has (and has now it is in private ownership) a balcony and we assume the hefty pillar helps to support it.

Many of the youngsters and adults in the photo have been named.

1)    Mrs Enda King
2)    Mrs Isabel Burt
3)    Janet Burt
4)    Stella Oram
5)    not yet known
6)    Gina Gibbs
7)    Sheila Ellis
8)    Ada Hopkins
9)    Jean Izatt
10)  Maureen Coventry
11)  not yet known
12)  George Reid
13)  Eric Burt
14)  Roger Cox
15)  not yet known
16)   Maureen Gibbs
17)   Audrey Thompson
18)   Margaret gale
19)   ? Cooper
20)   David Burt
21)   Ivan White
22)   Alan Smith
23)   not yet known
24)   Jean Hiscock
25)   Barbara Ellis
26)   Florrie Isherwood
27)   Mary Burt
28)   Jenny Wells
29)   not yet known
30)   not yet known
31)   not yet known
32)   Brian Coles
33)   Joanne Huish
34)   not yet known
35)   ? Smith
36)   Paul? Wells
37)   Marcia Cox
38)   Marlene ?
39)   ? Smith
40)   ? Cooper
41)   Edmund Gibbs
42)   Wendy Merrit
43)   Glen Mills
44)  Clive Askey