Local Quaker History
In 1855 the Quaker burial ground was shut by an Act of Parliament which closed all graveyards in central London for reasons of public health. There was much debate on what future use should be made of the site.
In 1874 a Gospel Tent seating 300 was set up, and prayer meetings were held nightly for two months. A year later an ‘Iron Room’ seating 400 was erected.
Young Quakers J.B.Braithwaite,Jnr and J.Allan Baker then started an Adult School in a room rented in Banner Street. In 1880 the proceeds of the compulsory purchase of a strip of land to widen Coleman (now Roscoe) Street financed the construction of ‘Bunhill Memorial Buildings’.
We have several short publications that describe our history more fully. These are currently out of print and due for revision…
In the meantime they are available here as downloads in pdf format. Please note that any apparent current references may be out of date.
This is the map of the walk ‘Quakers in the City’ which begins at the gravesite of George Fox, you can download the guide below.
The Quaker Gardens consist of the Meeting House Garden, a Quiet Garden, and a Children’s Playground.
There is a neighbouring fenced basketball court. All are open for public enjoyment but the space is small and dogs are not permitted.
Site of the ‘Quaker Burying
Quaker Gardens occupy part of the land which Quakers originally purchased in 1661 and extended over succeeding years for all our London burials and was in use until 1855. Some 12,000 Quakers were buried here including the founder of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), George Fox (1624-1691). It never had gravestones (“as the practice is of no service to the deceased”) but there is one general memorial in the Quiet Garden and some other historic memorials are now mounted on the west wall of the Meeting House Garden.