The weekend began in the early 1960’s as an opportunity for the adults within Ratcliff and Barking Monthly Meeting to enjoy a stimulating weekend lead by a prominent Friend as a Speaker.
High Leigh has strong Quaker roots as the main house and gardens were once owned by Robert Barclay, a member of one of the Quaker families who helped to establish Barclays Bank.
It has proved an enjoyable place to stay over the years with the grounds in particular providing a lot of pleasure, especially for the children who all enjoy exploring the nooks and crannys and climbing the many trees.
The weekend was first known as the High Leigh Conference Weekend but then became the High Leigh Family Conference to encourage families with children to attend. This title then had the effect of appearing to be aimed at those with families only and the name High Leigh All Age Conference emerged and was the title by which it became best known. As time went on the social side became as important as the input of the Speaker. When Beryl Bell (Walthamstow) arrived she felt that it was more of a gathering than a conference and it became the High Leigh All Age Gathering. The name has since been abbreviated to High Leigh Gathering but we hope the weekend still appeals to Ffriends of all ages.