Description: Friends Meeting House and the Nook
Date Listed: 20 February 1958
English Heritage Building ID: 324881
OS Grid Reference: SD9030359208
OS Grid Coordinates: 390303, 459208
Latitude/Longitude: 54.0288, -2.1495
SD 95 NW
3/4 Friends Meeting House and The Nook
A Friend's Meeting House of one storey with a gallery at its east end and an atttached two-storey cottage known as The Nook. The meeting house was built by William and Alice Ellis in the late C17th/early C18th. A modern single storey, flat-roofed extension to the corner of the porch is not of special interest.
MATERIALS: Slobbered stone rubble with quoins and stone dressings beneath a stone slate roof.
PLAN: The building is linear in plan with its long axis running north east - south west.
EXTERIOR: Meeting house entrance is on the south east face and consists of a doorway with chamfered jambs and arched lintel inscribed `WEA 1700' beneath a stone slab hood supported on heavy shaped brackets. Three lower windows and one lighting the gallery are of two lights with straight-chamfered mullions. The east gable is plain and is topped by an ashlar chimney stack with water tabling. The north west face is pierced by an early C19th window and a small single-light window. The gable end has a square-headed arch attached from which a simple stone bench, pierced by an entrance to the burial ground, runs parallel to the meeting house's gable end and south east face. The Nook has a two-light ground floor window with a three-light window above on its north west face together with a gabled entrance porch with coping, kneelers, small round-headed window and doorway with chamfered jambs. A modern single storey, flat-roofed extension to the corner of the porch is not of special interest. The Nook's west gable end contains four casement windows of differing sizes, two to each storey. The chimney stack is of ashlar with cyma cornicing topped with a modern pot.
INTERIOR: The meeting house has simple wooden panelling to the dado, a raised panelled wooden bench or Elder's stand at its western end, and a simple gallery with stair at the eastern end with hinged shutters below, each with its original fastenings which, when closed, enabled the building to be sub-divided into two separate meeting rooms. There is a plank door to the under stair. Beneath the gallery there is a stone fireplace with a plain chamfered shelf into which a C20th fire grate has been inserted. On the gallery above there is a simple blocked fireplace. Some windows have C20th attachments. The interior of The Nook appears to have been altered.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: The burial ground walls and the former stable attached to 'The Nook' contribute to the integrity, coherence and the special interest of the complex as a whole.
HISTORY: Originally a barn, this building was regularly used as a Friends Meeting House from 1658, and is therefore one of the earliest. It was converted/refurbished by William and Alice Ellis in the last few years of the C17, and the datestone of 1700 above the door relates to the purchase of the building from the Lambert Estate in this year. The refurbishment included the introduction of oak wall panelling and an oak divider screen with drop shutters, which is a characteristic feature of many late C17 and C18 Quaker Meetings Houses. William Ellis moved to Airton about 1679 and founded his own linen hand-loom weaving business. He later commenced his second career as a travelling preacher and visited east Yorkshire in 1686, the south of England in about 1690, Ireland in 1694, and North America in 1697, returning home in 1699. In 1710 a small stable was replaced by the attached building known as The Nook, although some features of the stable may be incorporated within this building. At this time the roof of the Meeting House was also raised to align it with that of The Nook, and a new chimney stack was built. A large early C19 window has also been inserted into the meeting house's north west wall overlooking the road. Between 1911-33 a new tiled grate was inserted into the meeting house fireplace and the chimney stack was rebuilt. At an unspecified date the fireplace on the gallery was blocked. Two families of evacuees from Liverpool were accommodated in the meeting house for a period during World War II and about this time new glazing was inserted into some of the meeting house windows. Shortly after the end of the war the meeting house woodwork was repainted, although this was removed in 2005. In 2005 the meeting house's stone roof was reset. The meeting house's timber floor is an addition, the wooden seating is not original and a bench was brought in from the meeting house at Newton-in-Bowland. Other benches, and pendent lights, have been brought in from the Methodist chapel and schoolroom in Airton, which were closed in 2004. At unspecified dates what was formerly a four-light ground floor window on the north west face of The Nook has been altered into a two light window, and a single-storey flat-roofed extension was added to the building's western corner in the C19.
SOURCES: Royal Commission On The Historical Monuments Of England, Nonconformist Chapels and Meeting-houses In The North Of England (1994) p. 230.
R. Harland & L. Phillipson, The Quaker Meeting House at Airton and some of the Friends who worshipped there. 2007 (locally produced pamphlet).
Individual Case Details, Airton Friends Meeting House The Nook, Case ID 163711, List Entry UID 324881, 20-02-1958.
L. Phillipson, Quaker Meeting House, Airton, Malhamdale. Letter of 10 June 2007.
L.Phillipson, Friends Meeting House, Airton. Letter of 25 June 2007.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION: Airton Friend's Meeting House and the associated cottage known as The Nook is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* They are late C17th/early C18th buildings erected by William and Alice Ellis, prominent figures in the development of Quakerism
* The meeting house retains some original features including its early largely unaltered raised gallery and shuttered internal partition wall
* The building is a good example of the rudimentary vernacular architectural style and decoration associated with the Quaker movement.
Listing NGR: SD9030359208
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.