Masonic Architecture – Freemason Lodge Buildings

While about 15% of the approximately 950 Masonic Halls under the Jurisdiction of the Grand Loge of England have been purpose-built for Masonic the remainder of them have been converted from other buildings. Nevertheless with buildings dating from the late 1700’s many still retain important architectural features.

About 330,000 Freemasons meet in over 8,500 lodges in in the 47 Masonic provinces of England & Wales. Some Masonic Halls only one lodge room where two or three lodges meeting in the building while in others, in major towns, can have many lodge rooms where 60 or 70 lodges meet.

The interiors of many of these Masonic Halls are quite spectacular. A few Masonic Halls, like the one in Cheltenham, are specifically built to reflect Masonic ritual, but most are converted from schools, court houses, theatres and churches, telephone exchanges etc. The most spectacular is Grand Lodge in London, built in Art Nouveau style which has been used for the backdrop of many films, concerts and even fashion shows.

Interestingly, although the United Grand Lodge of England was formed in June 1717 it did not build a purpose built Masonic Hall until 1865. The present building on the same site was built in 1937.

Purpose Built Masonic Lodges

While very few have been specially constructed, and reflect the Masonic ritual. Many are the result of buildings, with some architectural interest, which have been rescued from demolition, or taken over from a previous use.

So far research has indicated that the three oldest Purpose Built Lodges are Sunderland 1785

Purpose Built Lodges are Sunderland 1785


Weymouth Masonic Hall in 1815. Weymouth Masonic Hall in 1815.


Cheltenham in 1820 Built in 1820/23 by George Underwood (1793 –1829), who constructed many buildings in Cheltenham and Bath.


Other Notable Lodges

Beamish Lodge County Durham

Beamish Lodge County Durham

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