Lecture given at Lodge of Research on the Dedication of Foundation and Memorial Stones by Freemasons in Leicestershire

At the meeting of Lodge of Research No.2429 held on the 23rd January 2017 at Freemasons’ Hall, Leicester, W.Bro. Andrew Green delivered a lecture on the instances where Freemasons of Leicestershire and Rutland assisted in the laying of foundation stones of new buildings.

W.Bro. Andy Green said: “Such dedications has been a personal curiosity of mine since being captivated by the large black and white print of the ceremony being undertaken at the New Town Hall, Leicester in 1874 which is on display in the Leicestershire and Rutland Provincial Library and Museum. This prompted many questions as to how many stones in the counties were actually laid with Masonic honours, when they were laid and what entailed in the actual dedication.”

Laying the Foundation Stone of the New Town Hall, Leicester 1874

His paper explored the ceremonies held in Leicestershire representing a time span of 144 years, the first of which was St. George’s Church, Leicester in 1823 and the last was Devonshire Court in 1965. The full list of stones laid with Masonic honours in the county are:

  • St. George’s Church, Leicester – 1823
  • St George’s Chapel, Swannington – 1825
  • Freemasons’ Hall, Halford Street, Leicester – 1859
  • Stamford, Boston & Spalding Bank, Market Harborough – 1860
  • St. Paul’s Church, Leicester – 1870
  • St. Mark’s Church, Leicester – 1870
  • St. Peter’s Church, Leicester – 1872
  • Town Hall, Leicester – 1874
  • Children’s Hospital, Leicester Royal Infirmary – 1888
  • New Cottage Hospital, Ashby-de-la-Zouch – 1897
  • Diamond Jubilee Cottage Hospital, Hinckley – 1899
  • Freemasons Hall, London Road, Leicester – 1909
  • Orthopaedic Department, Leicester Royal Infirmary – 1909
  • Masonic Hall, Coalville – 1927
  • Freemasons Hall, Hinckley – 1928
  • Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (RMBI) Home Devonshire Court, Oadby – 1965

To conclude his lecture, a short film was shown of the laying of the Foundation Stone of Devonshire Court by the M.W. the Grand Master the Right Honourable The Earl of Scarbrough in 1965. This event was originally filmed on 8mm film by Bro. Richard Dilworth, Past Master of the Lodge of Research which has recently been digitised and for the first time in over 50 years was once again shown to members of the lodge.

The Master of Lodge, V.W.Bro. Michael Wilson, thanked W.Bro. Andy Green saying; “Your lecture was excellent and you kept your audience most attentive.”

The next meeting of the Lodge is on Monday 27th March at 6pm at Freemasons’ Hall, Leicester where W.Bro. Anthony Wood on ‘Interesting Freemasons in Leicestershire and Rutland’.

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