A brief history

1761

Sheffield's first permanent lodge warranted by the Ancient Grand Lodge.

1765

This lodge switched it's allegiance to the Premier Grand Lodge, becoming Britannia Lodge No. 139.

1772

Ancients lodge No. 72 is formed.

1793

Some members of Lodge No. 72 leave to form Royal Brunswick Lodge No. 296

In their early years, accommodation was a constant problem for these Sheffield lodges.

A school room above an 18th-century terrace in Paradise Square was designed for use as a masonic hall, but its upkeep was expensive, and taverns proved cheaper and more convenient.

1839

Spanish political refugee, Mariano Martin de Bartolomé, a doctor who had become a mason while a medical student in Edinburgh, was scandalised to find the Royal Brunswick Lodge meeting in a public house.

He persuaded the Sheffield lodges to take rooms at the Sheffield Music Hall in Surrey Street. As the lodges grew, these rooms became increasingly inconvenient.

1861

Sheffield lodges bought an old Savings Bank at the corner of Surrey Street and Eyre Street which was then converted into a masonic hall.

1876

The converted Savings Bank was demolished and replaced by a new purpose-built hall, designed by the firm of Scargill and Clark. The new hall was, like many other masonic halls, financed by the formation of a Masonic Hall Company, whose shareholders were all freemasons, so that the lodges were ‘virtually…their own tenants’.

1913

The Surrey Street hall was extended and remodeled in 1913. The architect on this occasion was A. E. Turnell, a Sheffield mason. Turnell’s alterations included a new entrance incorporating copies of masonic decoration from the 18th-century meeting place in Paradise Square.

1964

A new Sheffield Masonic Hall was opened in the west of the city at Tapton Hall. The building in Surrey Street was converted into a pub with a health club attached. The pub was called the Surrey; the health club the Fringe. Today the building is The Graduate.

2017

Sheffield Freemasons helped celebrate the formation of the Grand Lodge of England 300 years ago.