History

A Brief History Of The Chatham Masonic Hall

 

Chatham Masonic Hall

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The building, which stands on the steeply rising Manor Road in Chatham, was constructed  in 1904 by the important Chatham firm belonging to Alderman Charles E Skinner who was a member of Lodge 20 and can be seen in the picture featured below. The centre was designed by the celebrated local architect George E Bond who also designed some of Chatham’s most famous landmarks. These include The Theatre Royal which is now sadly worse for wear and The Town Hall.

It was built solely for the purposes of Freemasonry  and was opened in 1905 . Bond designed it in the ornate “English Renaissance” style which was very popular during the Edwardian period. The exterior is of light brick and complemented by Monk’s stone dressings.

The ground floor was devoted primarily to social matters with a bar, a smoking room and a reading room with separate rooms for card playing and billiards.

The building of the temple

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Access to the building was gained by a side entrance via the first floor. This level was for Masonic purposes and was dominated by the temple  with fluted pillars, and a banqueting hall complete with an alcove for musicians. A servery and an ante room were attached, connected to the basement kitchen and wine cellar by dumb waiters.

A three bedroomed apartment was located on the second floor and was for the live in Steward.

The Centre now supports a diverse range of Lodges, Chapters and side degrees. It not only caters for their regular meetings and the associated festive boards and festivals but today is also enjoyed by many different organisations, and available for wedding banquets, birthdays and the like.