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Reflections  >  A visit to Quaker country

An attender
Quaker country

In July 1998 a friend invited me to go on a walking holiday in northern England. We stayed in a 17th century farmhouse called Cold Keld, in a valley between Sedburgh and Kirkby Stephen.

This area is in wild country - between the limestone hills of the Pennines and the steeper volcanic fells and small mountains of the English Lake District. It is a hard land. The hills attract heavy rain in summer, snow in winter. Even in August we needed wet weather mountain clothes and strong boots. The sound of rivers and streams is always near. But when the sun shines the hills and dales (valleys) are incredibly beautiful and peaceful.

I remembered that the early Quakers lived somewhere in the north of England but didn't know much history. I didn't realise how close I was going to be. Just before we arrived at the farm we passed a notice saying Quaker Burial Ground. I was curious. Two days later I cycled 8 miles down the valley to Sedburgh and found a bookshop. There I found three books by Donald Rooksby about The Quakers in North West England. They are a rich source of information about the early days of the Quaker movement, where they lived and where George Fox visited - all I needed to know for a short visit.

By a fortunate coincidence I found myself in the heart of Quaker country.

Dai Williams
Emsworth Meeting UK, October 1998.

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