Temple Bar Lodge

Lodge Number: 1728
Consecration: 4 January 1878
Meeting Place: The Masonic Hall – Royston
Meeting Dates: 4th Tuesday January (Installation)
4th Tuesday March
4th Tuesday October
4th Tuesday November

 

The history of the Temple Bar Lodge No. 1728 started in 1877 when ten London Freemasons petitioned His Royal Highness, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), Grand Master of the Most Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons of England, to form a new City Lodge to be called “The Argosy”. The St Martins-le-Grand Lodge No. 1538 would sponsor this new Lodge – although none of the Petitioners would come from this sponsoring Lodge.

It was shortly after this Petition was approved that the ten petitioners were leaving a meeting held within sight of Sir Christopher Wren’s old Temple Bar – which was being readied for its removal from the historic site where it had stood since 1672. The plight of this fine old structure so moved the Petitioners that they immediately moved to change the name of their new Lodge to the Temple Bar Lodge. Fortunately this request was granted and the Warrant for the Temple Bar Lodge No. 1728 was issued on Thursday the 8th of November 1877. The Temple Bar Lodge No. 1728 was consecrated on Friday the 4th of January 1878 at “The London” a hotel then located at 191 Fleet Street in London.

The Temple Bar Lodge No. 1728 would go on to celebrate its Centenary as a City Lodge at the Piccadilly Hotel in 1978, before transferring to the Province of Hertfordshire on Wednesday the 12th of December 1990 where we now meet at the Royston Masonic Centre. This relocation was ironic coming one hundred and one years after the Temple Bar itself first left London to be relocated at Theobalds Park in the Province of Hertfordshire in 1889.

It was at the Royston Masonic Centre that the Temple Bar Lodge No. 1728 celebrated its one hundred and twenty fifth anniversary in 2003 – at the same time the Temple Bar itself was being readied for its journey back to the City of London where it will be situated in Paternoster Square next to Sir Christopher Wren’s other masterpiece – St Paul’s Cathedral.
Lodge News

Lodge News – New Logo

The updated design for the Temple Bar Lodge No 1728 has been adopted following its approval by the Grand Master.

It was designed by Past Master Andrew Gill following the lodge’s 125th anniversary year in 2003. Not a designer by profession, but a marketing manager, Andrew says he was fortunate to work in an environment which lets him dabble in design when he get bored with the day job.

Thanks go to W Bro Colin Clarke who as Lodge secretary was responsible for doing the hard work of getting approval from the other members of the Lodge and submitting the design for approval by the Grand Master

The re-dedication of the Temple Bar in Paternoster Square.

Rededication of Temple Bar

On Wednesday the 10th of November 2004 the relocation of the Temple Bar from Hertfordshire to Paternoster Square in London was completed and the Temple Bar re-dedicated by the Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Robert Finch.

We were lucky in managing to obtain two invitations to the re-dedication ceremony for the Temple Bar, which was held on a beautiful clear morning, and began at 11.20am when Alderman Robert Finch, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, walked the short distance from the nearby Chapter House, in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral, to the Temple Bar.  He was accompanied by The Lady Mayoress, Mr Alderman and Sheriff John Hughesdon and Mrs Hughesdon as well as by the Sheriffs and Members of the Court of Common Council.

Upon his arrival at Temple Bar the Lord Mayor first gave a short speech to the three hundred and fifty invited guests, plus many more interested spectators who had arrived to view the historic ceremony.  In his speech the Lord Mayor said that it gave him great pleasure to return “Wren’s great gateway alongside Wren’s cathedral masterpiece for London: it is fitting that the Bar should be placed here as a symbol of London’s history together with its modern role.  I hope that Temple Bar will continue to bring pleasure to visitors and to act as a symbol of the City’s welcome to the world for the centuries to come.”  The Lord Mayor then unveiled a plaque to commemorate this historic event, this being the first time that such an important monument had been re-located twice in its history!

The guests were then invited to process through the open gate and move from the new Paternoster Square development through to the ancient Crypts of St Paul’s Cathedral where, following the completion of the dedication ceremony at the Temple Bar, a reception was held for those with invitations to the ceremony.

The brethren of the Temple Bar Lodge No. 1728 were also very fortunate in being able to obtain two tickets out of the three hundred and fifty for the event from the Office of the Remembrancer in the Corporation of the City of London.

These tickets were distributed in a raffle following the meeting of the Lodge held on Tuesday the 26th of October 2004 – this being as close as possible to the date of the rededication ceremony.

The two brethren from the Temple Bar Lodge No. 1728 who were thus able to attend this historic ceremony were W. Bro. D. S. Miller, PPAGDC and W. Bro. A. D. Gill.  In this way, there has been a preservation of the historic link between our Lodge and the famous monument from which we took our name.  Further details and images can be found at www.thetemplebar.com or on the City of London website.

Temple Bar Lodge No. 1728 presented with two Ashlars cut from the stone of the Temple Bar.

One item of great interest can be found in the minutes of the second regular meeting of the Temple Bar Lodge No. 1728 when a letter was read which came from the City Architect, W. Bro. Horace Jones, who had been Master of the Jerusalem Lodge No. 197 in 1867 and who would later go on to be knighted by Queen Victoria for his services to architecture.  In his letter he stated that he had been instructed by the City Lands Committee of the Corporation of London to forward two blocks of Portland Stone from the structure of the old Temple Bar Monument for use in the new Temple Bar Lodge No. 1728.  These stones were gratefully accepted and formed into Ashlars for use in the Lodge.  Smaller pieces of stone were then presented to each of the Founder members as a memento of the old Temple Bar monument from which the new Lodge had taken its name.

Sadly, over the long history of the Temple Bar Lodge No. 1728, these original Ashlars had become lost to us as a Lodge.  However, the dismantling of the Temple Bar in 2004, before its relocation to London in 2005, gave us an opportunity to replace these historic Ashlars.

However, the dismantling of the Temple Bar in 2004, before its relocation to London in 2005, gave us an opportunity to replace these historic Ashlars.   I therefore contacted the stonemasons working on the project to see if they would be able to help with our request.

Having first obtained approval from the present City Architect, the stonemasons of the Cathedral Works Organisation who were working on the Temple Bar, were able to cut two new Ashlars to replace those which had been lost.  These were then presented to the Lodge on Tuesday the 26th of October 2004.  This was especially noteworthy coming just after our own one hundred and twenty fifth anniversary in 2003.

These were then collected, with much gratitude, from the Site Manager, Gary Collings, of the Cathedral Works Organisation by W. Bro. A. D. Gill on Monday the 16th of August 2004 to be presented to the Worshipful Master W. Bro. Chris Hay and the brethren of the Temple Bar Lodge No. 1728 at the next Regular meeting of the Lodge held on Tuesday the 26th of October 2004.

We are especially grateful to the Cathedral Works Organisation for giving us this opportunity to replace that which was lost, since, once the re-location of the Temple Bar to its new home has been completed – and the site officially opened on Wednesday the 10th of November 2004 – there would be very little chance of obtaining any new stone from this ancient national monument.

It was also very rewarding to be able to see at first hand the most excellent craftsmanship of the stonemasons working on the Temple Bar today – as well as the mason’s marks left by the original stonemasons who built the Temple Bar in 1670.

The 125th Anniversary Meeting of the Temple Bar Lodge No. 1728.
Tuesday the 18th of November 2003

The one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary meeting of the Temple Bar Lodge No. 1728 was held at 5.00pm on Tuesday the l8th of November 2003 at the Royston Masonic Hall, Royston, Hertfordshire and was honoured by the presence of the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, R. W. Bro. Allan Atkinson, who was accompanied by the Provincial Grand Secretary, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies as well as the Provincial Standard Bearer and Provincial Sword Bearer.

It was by a fine stroke of irony that the one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of the Temple Bar Lodge No. 1728 coincided with the start of work to relocate the Temple Bar itself back to its new home in Paternoster Square in London.  In order to help us celebrate these two events Colonel John Ansell, the Administrator of the Temple Bar Trust, was pleased to attend our anniversary meeting where he gave a wonderful presentation of the history of Sir Christopher Wren’s Temple Bar.

The Worshipful Master, W. Bro. A. D. Gill, then called upon W. Bro. R. J. Cook to propose that the dates of all future meetings of the Temple Bar Lodge No. 1728 should revert back to their previous “London” times, that is, on the 4th Tuesday in the months of October, November, January (Installation) and March.  A vote was taken which proved unanimous.  Next the Worshipful Master gave Notice of Motion proposing that the recently installed Right Worshipful Brother Colin Harris, Provincial Grand Master, be elected an Honorary Member of the Temple Bar Lodge No. 1728 at the next regular Lodge meeting.

The Lodge then received congratulations from the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, on behalf of the Provincial Grand Lodge, on our achievement of one hundred and twenty-five years of uninterrupted freemasonry.  He then presented to the Worshipful Master a wonderful certificate from the Provincial Grand Lodge as well as a signed copy of the book “Happy Hertfordshire”.  These were received with much pleasure by all of those Lodge members present.

During the festive board the Worshipful Master took the opportunity to thank W. Bro. A. E. Bird, PPGSuptWks, LGR, SLGCR, PPGSoj, for all of his services to the Temple Bar Lodge No. 1728 in the forty years since his initiation on Tuesday the 26th of March 1963.

Finally, during this festive board, the brethren and guests each received a copy of a Temple Bar Trust publication of the history of the Temple Bar itself.  They were also each presented with a copy of the history of the first one hundred and twenty-five years of the Temple Bar Lodge No. 1728 tracing our development from “The London” Hotel through to our new home here at the Royston Masonic Hall in “Happy Hertfordshire”.

This concluded a highly enjoyable evening and proved a fine way to mark the one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of the Temple Bar Lodge No. 1728.