Freemasons 300th anniversary plaques

Blue plaque to be unveiled in Leicester on Saturday 29th April

Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons will mark the 300th Anniversary of the formation the first Grand Lodge of England, by installing commemorative blue plaques on Masonic Halls marking the first activity of Freemasonry in the area.

The plaques will be unveiled by the Provincial Grand Master of Leicestershire and Rutland, David Hagger, during the next year. The first plaque will be unveiled by the Provincial Grand Master on the outside of Freemasons' Hall, Leicester on Saturday 29th April 2017 at 9.00am.

Masonic Halls in Leicester, Loughborough, Hinckley, Syston, Melton Mowbray, Lutterworth, Market Harborough, Coalville and Ashby de la Zouch will each carry a unique plaque showing when the first Freemasons' lodges were formed.

On 24th June 1717, four lodges, which had existed for some time in London, formed the Grand Lodge of England which has since continued to administer lodges across the country including the 76 lodges and it's 3,000 members in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Freemasonry developed from the stonemasons who built the cathedrals to the modern day society aimed at self-improvement and its notable charitable work. The earliest records of a masonic lodge in Leicester was in 1739.

Traditionally, lodges met in taverns and inns before expansion resulted in purpose built halls.

The first Masonic Hall in Leicester was situated on Halford Street and was built in 1859. It moved to its current location at 80 London Road in 1910 after the initial hall was deemed too small when the popularity of Freemasonry rose.

Lodges in Oakham and Uppingham, which currently meet in Oakham School and the Upper Cricket Pavilion, will have plaques erected at their original meeting places at Victoria Hall and the Falcon Hotel.

David Hagger, said: "Freemasonry has been a long established fraternity in the local communities and we wish to celebrate our history by installing these commemorative plaques to mark the historic occasion of our 300th anniversary."

He added: "We'll also be holding several public events throughout 2017 including opening the doors to our Masonic Halls during the Heritage Open Days for everyone to see inside and an exhibition at Newarke Houses Museum in Leicester on Freemasonry highlighting the contribution of Freemasons to our local communities. We hope this will lead to further interest and a better understanding of our historic fraternity."

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT Andy Green - Communications Officer, Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons Tel: 07717 822 282 Email: