Quakerism began to attract support in the North York Moors soon after its emergence after the Civil war in the mid-17th-century. Almost every dale would have its populace often sizeable and with their industrious philosophy, many soon became highly successful farmers. There is a record of George Fox, the founder of Quakerism, visiting Danby Dale. Their graveyards can still be found, in quiet corners of dales and villages, unassuming and plain. Great Ayton’s Quaker graveyard is overlooked by the old Friend’s School, now converted to residential but originally established in 1842 as The North of England Agricultural College for the children of Quakers who had married non-Quakers and where boys were taught agriculture and girls domestic skills.
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