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Friends Meeting House, Heyside
in the County of
-- Lancashire --

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Members of the Society of Friends (also known as Quakers) broke away from the teaching of the established Church of England in the 1650s. Along with other dissenting Protestant groups they were persecuted and were forced to gather illegally in each others' homes. In Heyside one such place was a loom house at the top of Turf Lane, where they met until the Act of Toleration in 1689 gave them the right to legally registered premises.

Although the Quakers did not have a purpose-built Meeting House for the first 120 years, they did have a burial ground, as dissenters were not allowed to be buried in consecrated ground. Until the 1930s, the land at the corner of Turf Lane was the Quaker burial ground for the Oldham area. The first Meeting House built for the purpose was constructed next to the burial ground in 1794. It served Friends from nearby towns like Rochdale and Ashton, until a new Meeting House was built in the centre of Oldham in 1869. Despite the small membership remaining at Heyside the old Meeting House was rebuilt in 1884, however, it was only ever used for the occasional funeral and as a School for local children.

The building was demolished in 1939, but the burial ground has been retained as a small park maintained by Oldham Council.

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