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BALLYMURRIN

QUAKER FARMSTEAD

1668

Born with inner light


HISTORY IN THE MAKING

Quakers began to move to Ireland from 1654, after the English Civil War. Ballymurrin Farmstead was built from about 1668. The house has been lived in for over 350 years, much modified but retaining its essential form.

The farmstead and burial ground offer a fascinating legacy, invoking the life and struggles of new settlers in Ireland during a calamatous period for religious communities. This is just one house and it reveals many stories … of the inhabitants, their tight bonds of faith and family in the face of political turmoil, rebellion, persecution, resettlement in New Jersey, famine and finally, how the farm was subject to the Encumbered Estates Court in 1874.


BONDS OF FAITH & COMMUNITY

There is a calm simplicity to these buildings - that eschews materialism and power. Robust, humble, strong and stark … not unlike those that lived here - who farmed hard, fostered tolerance and diligence, and who believed in religious freedom for all. Here, we are informed, the Quakers even hid Catholic priests during the Penal Code. Their adversity in Ireland stemmed from absolute pacifism and a stoic refusal to pay tithes to the authorised Church. This is a faith without priests, set on a strong set of moral and faith principles.

FLEEING PERSECUTION

William Bates, for example, who lived in the house in the 1670s, was imprisoned in the Black Castle in Wicklow for attending Quaker meetings in the town. Upon release, and to escape further persecution, he with his family, emigrated to America. He leased land in Newton Creek, New Jersey, from William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, and an influential Quaker.

Watercolour: ‘The Landing of Penn at Dock Creek, Pennsylvania’ Artist unknown

A PEACEFUL FAITH

The first Quakers did not believe in the divisiveness of religion and had no interest in power politics. To this day the Friends work towards justice, equality and freedom. More can be learned from quakers-in-ireland.ie

Here, at Ballymurrin, we focus on one Quaker farmstead, and in telling the stories of place and people, the social, political, cultural and religious factors of the times come to the fore.

This story from Ireland’s rich tapestry, concentrates on moments rather than movements. That after all, is history experienced ...

350 YEARS OF HISTORY

We are not Quakers … yet living here has introduced a new layer of spiritual understanding into our lives. Through the calm, unadorned beauty of the buildings, and through the Friends we meet we gain an insight into a deep faith that is lived.

It was our great joy in September 2018 to mark 350 years of history at Ballymurrin by inviting the Monkstown Quakers here. It was our first Meeting and truly a memorable, and meaningful occasion.

FOR MORE ABOUT QUAKER BELIEFS ...

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Leave Us a Message

Contact Info

Phone: +353 86 1734560

E: philip@ballymurrinquakerfarmstead.eu

Address: Ballymurrin Quaker Farmstead, Ballymurrin Lower, Kilbride, Wicklow A67 PX56, Ireland



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