I've had a few requests to post up some of the photos which appear in my new book The Transformation of Freemasonry, there are quite a few photos in the new book and all relate to the historical events which are discussed, such as how Freemasonry influenced local education, and this is reflected in the Warrington Dissenting Academy which was opened in 1757 and had two Masonic tutors from the local Lodge of Lights, the Academy creating a cultural circle in the developing Industrial town, a circle which included other Freemasons.
I took a number of shots of the old Academy building - one being chosen to go in the final proof of the book. The old Academy building has a certain elegance and Georgian splendour, and is one of Warrington's historic buildings. I have also found a few old photos and prints of the building which also reveal how the building has changed over time. In the 1970s the whole building was actually moved a few feet and then it was virtually rebuilt with an extension constructed on the back which now houses the Warrington Guardian offices. The Academy moved to another larger building in Warrington in 1762, but finally closed in 1786. The statue of Oliver Cromwell now stands outside to the left of the building in the photo.
The book uses local studies in England and Wales to put forward how Freemasonry transformed itself during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and discusses the themes of education, charity and how the local Freemasons assisted in developing their communities, both culturally and in developing civic improvements. More photos from the book will be posted soon.