Friends House, Euston Road, London

Hubert Lidbetter
Date Built
1924 - 1928
Between Euston Road & Ensleigh Gardens
The Open House London guide explains that Friends House was, "... purpose-built as headquarters for the Society of Friends who had previously met at Devonshire House, an 18th century building in Houndsditch (now demolished). It had become obvious that larger premises were needed and a committee was set up in 1911 to decide whether expansion was possible or if a completely new site should be found. Discussions went on for several years but it was eventually agreed that relocation was necessary. In 1923 an architectural competition was organized and five Quaker architects invited to participate. The instructions were precise. One of the main requirements was a meeting house to seat 1500 people for the Yearly Meeting and a smaller meeting house for 200 - 300."

Hubert Lidbetter won the competition with his design of brick and Portland stone. The Architectural Review of October 1927 called it,  "... eminently Quakerly, or, in other words, (it) unites common sense with just so much of relief from absolute plainness as gives pleasure to the eye.  The sash windows are reminiscent of the 18th century and the colonnade of Doric columns over the Euston Road entrance has a precedent in the 1830 Friends Meeting House in Manchester."

More views of the exterior.

When the building was upgraded in 2011 the need for changes in the electrical supply required the addition of a sub-station.  To avoid having an obtrusive building in the garden, the sub-station was built below the garden and hidden by the lawn.

A paved footpath in the garden contains a Friends Timeline carved into the stone.

The western end of the building is known as Drayton House.  It was intended that it be let to raise money for the organization.


Inside the building.

The bookshop

The library

The Worship Room

The Courtyard

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