Quakers

The Friends have been active in this area for 300 years. There is a beautiful old Meeting House in Long Sutton, where today's Friends meet. For some years the Somerton Quakers met at The Lynch (now Lynch Cottage), a house at the end of North Street belonging to Mrs Eliza Peddle , but this was sold in 1836 to the Parsons family, who had built the large Georgian house just behind it. There were no Quaker families in Somerton by then.

In the mid-19th century many Quakers came here from Lancashire to work in the collar factory, set up in Broad Street by Welsh and Clarke, to provide work in Somerton which at that time was very depressed after losing the coaching trade.  In 1876 a new Meeting House was built in New Street by Welsh & Clarke. It had a lively Meeting during the years when the collar factory flourished but closed in 1935, soon after the factory closed. The building was later used as an Evening Institute and as classrooms for children evacuated from London in World War II.  It is now a private house.

This photograph was provided by Reg Schooling.