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Newtown Friends Meeting


Newtown Friends Meetinghouse, ca. 1817, Court Street, Newtown, PA, National Register

Photo: Newtown Friends Meetinghouse, ca. 1817, Court Street, Newtown, PA. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. Photographed by User:Shuvaev (own work), 2012, [cc-by-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed August, 2014.

The Newtown Friends Meeting [1] was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

Newtown Monthly Meeting owes its origin to Edward Hicks, a primitive artist, who in 1815 gathered nearby friends to meet in the empty Court House, Newtown. In 1817 the main part of the meetinghouse was built, permission having been granted by the Bucks Quarterly Meeting of Friends at the earnest request of Edward Hicks and other Newtown Friends. Edward Hicks was the first minister to speak in the meetinghouse. First a sign painter, Edward Hicks turned to easel painting soon after his becoming a Quaker and his move to Newtown. His fame as a primitive painter grew during his years at Newtown; many of his pictures were portraits of religious themes and the founding of "A Peaceable Kingdom: by William Penn in the wilderness. The involvement of Edward Hicks at the Newtown congregation and his guiding influence make the Newtown meetinghouse an important part of his life and work.

The Newtown Meetinghouse is an excellent example of a 19th century Quaker Meetinghouse. Devoid of any but the simplest decoration the meetinghouse shows the clean and uncomplicated style required by the Quakers. In excellent condition, the Newtown Meetinghouse has seen little alteration since its construction and uses most of the original hardware and furnishings. The meetinghouse, horse shed, and cemetery offer a fine example of a 19th Century religious complex so important in the life of its members.

  1. National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Newtown Friends Meeting, Newtown, PA, nomination document, 1976

School District: Council Rock

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Street Names: Court Street

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