The Blue Idol, a Quaker meeting house, was originally a farmhouse built in the mid 1600s. It may be named after a small blue ceramic figure found in the garden, or because it was once colour-washed blue and stood 'idle' or empty.
In 1682 William Penn, whose home was Warminghurst Place in nearby Ashington, sailed from England and founded the state of Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia. On his return around 1691, Penn helped to establish a Quaker Meeting house here, where he worshipped. Part of the farmhouse was altered so that it was suitable for Quaker meetings, and it had its own burial ground close by. Penn also attended monthly meetings at Coneyhurst, Horsham and Warminghurst, and was a friend of George Fox, founder of the Quakers, who was imprisoned for his beliefs in Horsham Gaol for over three months in 1655.
This is a depiction, photographed from the plaque in the road outside, of the meeting house as it appeared in 1884.
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