Exploring Southwark and discovering its history
The Historic Southwark plaque on the wall of the Royal Mail Sorting Office in Highshore Road records that the building was formerly the Meeting House of the Society of Friends where many eminent Quakers attended.
In 1725 there were 20 Quakers in the parish of St Giles Camberwell and at the beginning of the 19th century the Friends met in a carpenter’s shop in Harders Road. The Meeting House in Highshore Road, then a part of Hanover Street, was built in 1826 on the site of a pond. It was screened by a row of trees in front and enclosed by a wall and gates.
Probably the most eminent Quaker to attend at the Meeting House was Elizabeth Cadbury, born Elizabeth Taylor and from one of the influential Quaker families in Peckham. She was a determined social worker, not the least in her wish to reduce the high levels of illiteracy in Peckham, and held reading and writing groups at the Meeting House. She later married George Cadbury, one of the brothers who founded Cadbury’s Chocolate, who was a great deal older than herself. Further information about Elizabeth Cadbury can be found here.
The Friends met at the Meeting House in Highshore Road until 1962 and the building was later acquired by Royal Mail. It was Grade II listed in 1972.