The Friends’ Meeting House

In the sparsely populated land between Plenmeller and Coanwood Commons, on the edge of Garbutt Hill is a burn which flows north to feed the southern Tyne.  Across a stone bridge which leads to Burn House, tucked into a fold in the land is The Friends’ Meeting House.  Wandering these lost lanes on a motorcycle, it is surprising what you find.  According to the Historic Chapels Trust, “Coanwood Friends’ Meeting House was built in 1760 not far from Hadrian’s Wall. The almost unaltered interior is a rare and eloquent survival of historic Quaker layout and it powerfully evokes the silence of Quaker worship in this remote place, where the only sound is usually the wind and, in winter, the fast-moving burn nearby”.

I first found the chapel in April but did not venture inside, just assuming the door would be locked.  Earlier this week I returned to its simple, peaceful interior:

The Friends’ Meeting House

The interior

Quaker Faith & Practice

Ordnance Survey Leisure Map

A bit like dogs, motorcycles get you talking. A local, removing moss from the nearby stone bridge, was a disappointed owner of a Harley. The conversation moved from bikes to Chapels and the equally interesting, if more ornate, ancient Church at Beltingham set in the centre of the tiny village. This is where I will head next.

Opposite the Friends’ Meeting House – that large screen has been replaced.


  1. Tish Farrell · July 18, 2018

    Resonating peacefulness in the meeting house photos, Robin.

  2. Su Leslie · July 18, 2018

    That shot of the Meeting House is beautiful.

    • northumbrianlight · July 19, 2018

      Many thanks Su – it’s a “gum bichromate” effect in ON1 B&W

      • Su Leslie · July 21, 2018

        🙏 thanks for that. I will have to experiment.

  3. J.D. Riso · July 18, 2018

    There’s something so serene about these chapel photos. The Quakers are intriguing, fascinating in their simplicity. Good to see you taking advantage of your motorcycle🙂

    • northumbrianlight · July 19, 2018

      Thanks Julie – I don’t know enough about Quaker philosophy, it’s time I did except there is so much else to do – bikes, golf, photography, writing etc. This probably doesn’t make me an ideal candidate for conversion 😉

  4. sustainabilitea · July 18, 2018

    Simple and peaceful indeed, Robina, and the building (and photo of it) are beautiful.


    • northumbrianlight · July 19, 2018

      Thanks Janet, it’s a lovely building in avery out-of-the-way place.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s