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MEMBURY - THE QUAKER MEETING HOUSE

 

BLABLABLA

The Quaker Meeting House and Burial Ground at Membury

 

From an article first published in 1882:

 

THE QUAKERS' MEETING HOUSE AND BURIAL GROUND, MEMBURY, DEVON.

 

There is an interesting old meeting house and burial ground, belonging to the Quakers, at Membury, near Axminster. The meeting house is a strong stone but somewhat rude building, entered from one of the lanes, and is quite devoid of ornament. Two small windows, and a doorway face the road, and at one end outside, a flight of stone steps lead up to the entrance to the gallery; inside all is dismantled, but a portion of the gallery remains. It is now used as a farmer's storehouse.

The burial ground is some distance from the meeting house, toward the top of the hill ; a narrow lane leads to it* and it is formed of a small triangular enclosure taken out from a field, fenced off by an ordinary hedge. Inside are two or three decaying stones, The following inscriptions are all readable:

 

" Here lyeth the Body of Ann the wife of Edward Smith of Clockham near Axminster who died the 17 of October, 1717. aged 72 years, mother of the two children mentioned on the other side."

" Here lyeth the body of Thomas ye son of Edward and Anne Smith, who died ye 26 of October, 1779(?) in ye 51 year of his age."

" Here lyeth ye body of Ann the wife of Joseph Gillett of Chard, and dautur of Edward and Ann Smith of Cloakham who died June 17 - She was during her marriage state a prudent wife, and in her whole life a dutiful child, and died most lamented by her affectionate parents, her husband and brother. "

The peculiarity of this stone is, it has an inscription D on each side, a sort of palimpsest. The little burying ground is greatly neglected and overgrown.

Cloakham House is beautifully situate on an acclivity finely wooded, overlooking the Axe, close to Axminster ; it appears to haye been erected by (the above ?) Edward Smith about the year 1732. His niece bronghtthe pro- perty by marriage in 1773 to William Kennaway, Esq. It is now the property of Mr. Henzy Knight. R.

 

 
 
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