History

The first report of a Meeting in the Sibfords was in 1668, probably at the home of Thomas Gilkes, a pioneering clock maker.

George Fox (founder of Quakerism) was in the Sibfords in 1670 and again in 1678. He had a Meeting in a barn probably on the site of the first Meeting House, which was built in 1678-81, and a burial ground provided. It was a stone-floored building with a stone roof and stood where the paving stones, in front of the present Meeting House, are now; it faced east-west. It had a lobby entrance and a loft was built over this in 1736, which could be enclosed by shutters so that men and women could have separate business meetings. In 1706 the burial ground was enlarged.

A line drawing of the one-storey stone meeting house in 1863In 1864 the present Meeting House was built partly on the site of the former Meeting House and on land given by John Soden. The reason for building a new Meeting House was that the old one had, since Sibford School opened in 1842, become too small. Originally the new Meeting room was divided in the middle of the room by a large wooden partition, the lower portion of which was at about the height of the seats and between the top of this and the ceiling were two cumbrous shutters which moved up and down like sash windows. This was to allow separate business meetings for men and women. However, the shutters were removed in 1891 when heating was put in and women moved their business meetings to the Mission Room.

Rows of simple unadorned stone gravestonesPhotographs of specific graves are available on request to the Clerk and can be emailed to relatives or those seeking information on burials.