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Fox Fell 400

15 July to 20 July 2024

This year we are celebrating the 400th anniversary of the birth of George Fox here at Swarthmoor Hall, the cradle of Quakerism. As part of this year of activity, Quakers in Britain will be having a week of celebration in honour of George Fox and Margaret Fell at the Swarthmoor Hall, gardens and grounds, from Monday 15 to Saturday 20 July.

George made his first visit to Swarthmoor Hall in 1652, meeting Margaret Fell and convincing her to convert to Quakerism. This proved to be a pivotal moment in Quaker history, as the pair formed a long-lasting partnership. She was a brilliant writer and organiser and was key to the early organisation of the Society of Friends (the formal name for Quakers).  George and Margaret served time in prison together, they developed the structures that have sustained the movement for 400 years, and in 1669, they got married. George and many other early Quakers used Swarthmoor Hall as their base in the north, and he visited many times over the course of his life. 

The festival programme

The festival will start with a Quaker Communities Day and is packed full of family activities, walks through the garden and grounds and a series of talks.

All events are FREE to attend


Meet a Quaker from the Future: 1pm | Meeting for worship: 2pm | My Spiritual Journey: 3pm


The Beginnings of Quakerism: 10.30am | Introduction to the Work of Quaker Peace and Social Witness: 11.30am | Quakers in Business: 2pm


Quakers in Business: 10.30am; 2pm | Quakers Today: 11.30am; 3pm


Quakers in Business: 10.30am; 2pm | Food, Fashion and Fatigue: 11.30am; 3pm


Quakers in the Future: 10.30am; 2pm | Food, Fashion and Fatigue: 11.30am | Quakers in Business: 3pm

Monday 15 July

Quakers communities day

Tuesday 16 to Saturday 20 July

Open to all 10am-4pm.
Tour the hall, gardens and cafe. A series of talks and family activities

Also on Thursday 18 July

Experience a Quaker meeting for worship and a Rucksack of Rhymes for under 5’s with Wordworth Grasmere

  • Rucksack of Rhymes 11am-12pm / 1-2pm
  • Quaker Meeting 5:30-6:30pm

Talks and speakers


My Spiritual Journey with Antonia Swinson, Alison Tarpey-Black and Wendy Hampton

How did you become a Friend? What finally pushed you over the threshold of your first Meeting for Worship? What did you think and what made you come back? And how do explain Quakerism to other people? Listen to Friends’ experiences and share your own.

Meet a Quaker from the Future with Bridget Holtom

What might the Quakers of the future think of us today? What gifts can we leave them as our legacy? This participatory activity will get your imagination whirring and inspire hope for the change for the future we need!

Tuesday – Friday

The Beginnings of Quakerism with Wendy Hampton 

Wendy will give a brief summary of early Quaker history, talk about the context in which Quakerism began and the relevance of that to us now.

Quakers in Business with Antonia Swinson

Did you know that Quakers had the monopoly of iron and steel production in the 18th Century? Join Antonia to find out what it was about the Quaker faith and business practices which forged this entrepreneurship. Learn why were they so successful and what businesses can learn from them today.

Quakers Today with Alison Tarpey-Black

Who are the Quakers and how do they live? Join Alison to find out the answers to these questions and hear about Quaker faith and action in the world today.

Introduction to the work of Quaker Peace and Social Witness with Bridget Holtom

What are Quakers doing today to build a more peaceful and sustainable world? Come and hear more about the centrally managed peace and social witness work of Quakers in Britain.

Quakers in the Future with Paul Parker

Paul Parker, Recording Clerk of Quakers in Britain, believes that Quakers are poised to go ‘Whoosh!’ in the 21st century.  He will reflect on the relevance of Quakerism in the modern world, and how Quakers’ simple faith and worship can flourish in the coming century.

Food, Fashion and Fatigue: inside the account books of Swarthmoor Hall with Lucy Saint-Smith

Discover what the Fell’s accounts can tell us about the highs and lows of everyday life at Swarthmoor Hall in the 1670s.


About our speakers

Antonia Swinson is Chief Executive of the Ethical Property Foundation. In her Quaker life she serves as Elder of Richmond Meeting (Surrey) and on the Book of Discipline Revision Committee. Previously, she was a business journalist and her book on business and workplace ethics ‘Root of all Evil? How to Make Spiritual Values Count’ was published in 2003.

Wendy Hampton is the Local Development Worker for North West England. She has been a Quaker for over 30 years and been involved with Quakers in different Yearly Meetings around the world, as well as holding many roles locally. She is a member of Pendle Hill Area Meeting.  

Alison Tarpey-Black is the Local Development Worker for Cumberland and the North East. In this role she helps Quaker communities to thrive. She contributes to the wider work of Quakers in Britain using her experience as a writer, facilitator, and communicator.

Bridget Holtom is Engagement and Faith in Action Lead for Quakers in Britain, working alongside Friends to support Quaker activism. She is an experienced facilitator and often uses her spiritual experience to underpin her work.

Paul Parker serves as Recording Clerk for Britain Yearly Meeting and is responsible for the centrally managed work of Quakers in Britain.

Lucy Saint-Smith is a Library & Archives Assistant at the Library of the Society of Friends. She has carried out research into Margaret Fell and her daughters, and is currently working on a project relating to Sarah Fell’s recipe book.

Want to read more about George Fox?

We have a page and resources dedicated with information about George Fox’s 400 year anniversary and the early life of Quakerism.

Read More