A QUAKERS' meeting house in Frandley, near Antrobus, has been awarded Grade II-listed status by the government.

The Frandley Meeting House was built in Sandiway Lane in 1881, replacing an early 17th-century building on the same site which had become unsafe.

Frandley has strong associations with early Quakerism. George Fox, the founder of the Religious Society of Friends, was invited to the village in 1657 and preached to more than 2,000 people under an oak tree.

From then on, residents began meeting in houses before moving into a repurposed building donated to the Quakers in 1676. The building that replaced it still hosts meetings each Sunday.

Northwich Guardian:

It is among 17 historic Quaker meeting houses awarded listed status by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England.

Listed status represents a celebration of a building's historic, architectural and cultural importance, and protects them for generations to come.

Ingrid Greenhow, of the Religious Society of Friends, said: “I am delighted that Quaker places of worship are recognised as important elements in our national heritage.

Northwich Guardian:

The meeting house in 1969

"It is particularly heartening to see examples of 19th- and 20th-century meeting houses being listed. Our meeting houses continue to be centres for our faith and witness today.”

The listing comes off the back of a Historic England-commissioned survey of meeting houses still in use.

The Frandley meeting room has a simple form and retains much of its original Victorian wooden panelling and fittings.

It sits alongside a Sunday School, dating from 1726 and separately Grade II-listed.

Northwich Guardian:

Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s chief executive, said: “Quaker meeting houses are precious pockets of calm in an otherwise hectic world, and I’m delighted to see their quiet simplicity celebrated through listing.

"They are a largely unsung group of fascinating and surprisingly varied buildings that reflect the history, attitudes and ethos of the Quaker movement.

"While many still serve their Quaker communities, their historic charm and flexible spaces are also enjoyed by lots of other groups, visitors and passers-by and they deserve to be protected for future generations.”