Local traditions - the Friends' annual meeting for worship

The Religious Society of Friends began to meet in Rossendale in the 1660s in Chapel Hill, about half a mile from Springhill. These meetings were initially in the open air then in various Friends’ houses. This continued until 1715 when the current Meeting House in Crawshawbooth was opened. The burial ground at Chapel Hill continued in use for burials until the mid C19 and 135 people are said to be buried there.

An annual meeting for worship has continued at the Chapel Hill site, certainly in recent years - I’m not sure if this is continuous from 1715 or not. On the last Sunday in June Friends gather from Rossendale and afield and sit quietly in the Quaker tradition until someone is moved to speak. Otherwise the silence is broken only by the wind in the trees, birdsong and ambient noise from the town half a mile away. It is a very peaceful place.

After the meeting the Friends walk the 3 miles or so over the moor to the regular Meeting House for afternoon tea.

Chapel Hill meeting 29 June 2014 thumbnail