Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Freemasons Hall
    Whenever I am in London I attempt to visit a place I have never been to before. Freemasons hall is the latest of those visits, located a few minutes walk from Covent Garden tube. It is a very imposing (grade II listed) building.

    The interior is stunning (as one might expect) and has been used for films and TV series such as Poirot, the recent BBC Sherlock Holmes, Spooks and the Bond films, ie pretty much anything where some mahogany 'corridors of power' are required. 

    The building has some 200+ rooms, a museum of Masonry and a library. Masonry is also known as 'the craft', and that is certainly the term one should use in relation to the beautiful quality of the items on show, regalia, certificates, furniture, lodge implements and the like. Give yourself at least an hour to peer at them.

      Sadly I didn't notice a card index to rifle through and thus see the complete library holdings though much of it is listed here, they have some interesting Crowley items for example

    We also took one of the (free) tours.  Our guide was informally informative, and besides giving us the history of the building construction (14 years from conception to final dedication) also elucidated some of the symbolism used as well as give some impressive statistics. Both were most impressively applied to the huge 1 1/2 ton bronze doors leading to the main hall itself.

    The ceiling of the great hall had a fourteen foot high cornice which at first glance looks to have been painted but is actually a mosaic and took three years to complete.

    The whole building is a curious mix of the arcane married to cutting edge (for the time) design, built to the highest standards so there is much to enjoy on many levels. Highly recommended. Website here.