A Brief History of Quakers in Swansea

Quakers have been part of Swansea for over 350 years.

John Ap John, one of the first Welsh Quakers, came to the town in 1655 to spread the new ideas of the 'inner light' developed by Quaker founder George Fox, who also visited Swansea in 1657.

John ap John famously challenged the priest in St Mary's Church, and was locked up for his pains, eventually being released when no evidence could be found to justify his further imprisonment.

In 1656, one of his converts, William Bevan, donated a plot of land between the Strand and High Street to build a meeting house.

This became Swansea Quakers' home for over three centuries, in a succession of four meeting houses, until in the 1960s they found it necessary to move elsewhere.

In 1967 Pagefield House was purchased by the family of local estate agent and prominent Quaker, Jno. Oliver Watkins, for the use of Swansea Quakers.

Built in 1858, Pagefield House is a designated Grade II listed building.