This historic site in the Farndale area of the North York Moors is a burial ground of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers.
It was established in 1675 when the Quakers were being fiercely persecuted.
Because they rejected the authority of the church, they were denied churchyard burial. Instead they created burial grounds on private sites like this one.
Between 1675 and 1854, 114 Quakers were laid to rest at Lowna.
The Quakers in the North York Moors
The Religious Society of Friends arose after the English Civil Wars of the 1640s. In the 1650s George Fox, founder of Quakerism, travelled throughout Yorkshire, preaching and gathering followers. Then as now, they believed in the direct individual experience of God and worshipped in silence. Quakers horrified the establishment. They challenged authority, refusing to swear oaths or to doff their hats to lords and magistrates and addressing everyone by the informal ‘thou’.
Early Friends were subjected to fines and imprisonment. Many Quakers from this area died in prison in Pickering and York. After 1689 nonconformists were allowed to meet freely and to build their own places of worship. In 1690 a Quaker meeting house was built in West End, Kirkbymoorside, and Quakers have worshipped there ever since.