Monday, 13 June 2016

Masonic Mysteries in Cliviger, Lancashire

In Cliviger in Lancashire, a stones throw away from the Yorkshire border, is the Ram Inn, a seventeenth century building that gained its current name sometime between 1851 and 1869. Its sign shows a ram - nothing strange about that, but at the top of the sign is displayed a number of Masonic symbols, including the beehive, the sun and the moon, the chequered floor of the lodge room, the two pillars and the arch, and the remnants of the All-Seeing eye at the very top. The same sign is shown in a photograph of the Inn dating from 1899, and it was a popular stopping off place along the old road that goes into Yorkshire through Todmorden and into Halifax. So, did a lodge meet there in the later part of the nineteenth century? Or was the sign itself painted by a Masonic artist who thought he would throw a collection of symbols at the top of it for decoration? I have been researching all week to see if a local lodge met there during the late 1800s, but have had no success so far, though there was Masonic activity in the area as there is a Masonic gravestone in the churchyard opposite. The church is dedicated to St. John the Divine, a saint also referred to as St John the Evangelist, a saint whose feast day on the 27th of December is celebrated by Freemasons. The present church dates from between 1788 - 1794. It remains a mystery so any assistance would be a help on this...

The date stone of the Ram Inn.

The Masonic gravestone of David Herring who died in 1828

     The late eighteenth century church dedicated to St John the Divine, situated opposite the Ram Inn.

The Masonic window in the church of St. John the Divine.

The Freemasons Arms situated in Todmorden just down the road from Cliviger over the Yorkshire border.

All photos taken with permission by Dr David Harrison
© Dr David Harrison 2016

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