Friends Meeting House, Marazion Sarah Smith

Marazion Friends Meeting House

The oldest Quaker Meeting House in Cornwall built in 1688, overlooking St Michael's Mount, Mount's Bay.

Marazion, Cornwall

Opening times

Closed for refurbishment until April 2022.


Beacon Road
TR17 0HF

Some religious buildings impress us with their grandeur or opulence, but Marazion Friends Meeting House relies upon its sheer simplicity.

As you approach it up Beacon Hill you rub shoulders with the past along the tall and crumbling granite walls that line the narrow street and reach the edges of this ancient town. Nestling behind yet another granite wall is the oldest Quaker Meeting House in Cornwall.

Early Friends did well to hide it from the middle of Market Jew, as Marazion was then known. The ink was not yet dry on the Act of Toleration which permitted the erection of such a building and persecution was still rife. But what sort of building could it be? In 1688 there were no plans available and scarcely any precedents to follow and to have built it any earlier could have been disastrous. So what you see coyly hiding behind a Cornish hedge is the living embodiment of Quaker simplicity.

Sturdy walls of local random granite of many shades and shapes captured in lime mortar stand four square on a rising site. Low slung sashes of multi-paned windows creak beneath their oak lintels, crowned by a Cornish slate roof. The archway with its wrought iron gate invites you into a peaceful garden. The plain and simple gravestones meekly peer from the fringe of wild garlic beside the hedges. Climb the steps in the garden (with care!) and enjoy the view, across the town, of our noble neighbour, St Michael's Mount.

Step inside through the original broad door under the lead canopy, the one concession to Cornish gales, and it all becomes clear at once. The modest, almost square, room with its lofty beamed ceiling forms a simple basic shape. This emphasises the importance of the Elders Bench on its platform at the far end. Sitting behind this in times gone by, the Elders were well-placed to judge the behaviour of the worshippers and their children. Nowadays, it maybe the children themselves who sit there. Come and share the spirit of our peace.

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Famous connections

  • National heritage here

  • Social heritage stories

  • Wildlife haven

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Café within 500m

  • Dog friendly

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Parking within 250m

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Meeting for Worship: Sundays 10.30am to 11.30am.

  • Quaker (Religious Society of Friends)

  • Heritage Stimulus Fund Grant, £63,410, 2021

  • Repairs to roof and windows

Contact information

Other nearby churches

Marazion Methodist Church

Marazion, Cornwall

Built in 1895 this chapel is a fine example of provincial, gothic style with fine stained glass windows throughout.

All Saints

Marazion, Cornwall

Marazion church, across the bay from St Michael’s Mount, is perhaps best renowned for the hymn writer Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847) who wrote ‘Praise my soul, the king of heaven’ and ‘Abide with me’.

St Michael

St Michaels Mount, Cornwall

The abbey is a spectacular sight, perched on a rocky hill and surrounded by blue waters, at low tide, the Mount is approached by a historic stone causeway, used by pilgrims in the Middle Ages.