Tuesday 12th July – 27th meeting of 2016
Our plan today was a 12 o’clock tour of The Freemasons’ Hall in Great Queen Street so a usual meeting at Charing Cross and coffee in St Martins Crypt. Holidays and Grandmother duties meant there were fewer of us today.
Lovely sunny weather made the walk along the Strand to the beautiful building a pleasure. Built in 1933, Freemasons’ Hall is the headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England and is a classic example of Art Deco architecture in the heart of London’s Covent Garden.
When we arrived we went into the reception only to find out that tours were not operating today because of a private function but we could go into the museum and library. Although, we, as a group have visited before, I was not there, so found this building amazing. The art decor style is my favourite so I was very pleased to see the lovely ceilings and decor.
The museum room gave a good insight into the whole mystery of Freemasonry with a history of its origins. Although when, how, why and when Freemasonry started are not exactly known the general consensus is that it was in The Middle Ages amongst the operative stone masons who built great cathedrals and castles. It was in 1717 four lodges met at the Goose and Gridiron tavern in St Paul’s Churchyard forming the first Grand Lodge in the world. Today it is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political charitable organisations.
The items on display ranged from clothing, the stone mason apron very prominent, books, historic documents, pottery and porcelain, glassware, silver, and furniture. One very striking piece was the enormous Grand Master Chair. The Grand Master is a member of the Royal family and at present is Duke of Kent.
We looked at the room where the lodge meetings take place. This is full of meaningful items. The floor in a certain pattern and the chairs laid in a particular form. We spoke to one of the guides who was full of fascinating stories about the items in the museum.
A fascinating day which we enjoyed and it gave us a little insight into the mysterious world of Freemasonry!
A pleasant walk through the streets of Covent Garden back to Charing Cross for our trains home and for me a lovely morning in the most amazing building!