Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Masonic Related Locations in York

The ancient city of York in the north of England, once the bastion of the independent York Grand Lodge during the eighteenth century, is full of Masonic related locations, such as Masonic Halls, taverns where lodges met, and buildings that were built through the interests of local Freemasons or had links to local Freemasons.

This first photo is of the Assembly Rooms in York, designed by Lord Burlington, close friend and benefactor of Dr Francis Drake, Drake becoming Grand Master of the York Grand Lodge in 1761. The Rooms were used for civic meetings and the architecture being based on the 'Egyptian Hall' of Vitruvius.

Second photo is of the sign of the Black Swan - the meeting place for the Old York Lodge in 1725. The pub itself is now demolished. The black swan figure above is now in York Castle Museum.

Third photo is of the Merchant Adventurers' Hall, location of Dr Francis Drake's famous Oration during a meeting of the York Grand Lodge in December 1726. This meeting was the first time the term 'Grand Lodge' was used for the 'Yorkists'.

Fairfax House above was once owned by the Fairfax Family. A member of this extended Yorkshire family - Admiral Robert Fairfax - served as Deputy President for the Old York Lodge in 1721. Almost opposite is Castlegate House - one of the two Masonic Hall's in York.

There are many more buildings and features related to Freemasonry and Freemasons in the ancient city of York, the Minster itself has countless references to Freemasonry, both operative and speculative. This beautiful city has some of the best architecture in England, and is well worth a visit.

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