Masonic Museum

July 20, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Posted in General, London, museum, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | Leave a comment
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Set amongst the heart of theatreland is the headquarters of the largest Masonic group in the UK and within its imposing structure is a museum and library.

Masonic Lodge Masonic Lodge

I think we’ve all heard rumour and innuendo about the Masons. They are our overlords after all and will surely censor this if it doesn’t suit them! Right? So I admit to feeling a little trepidation when entering the building (especially in jeans and t-shirt) but the guards were helpful and after being signed in I was directed upstairs to the library and museum. It’s worthwhile to not that they also have guided tours of the building, check their site for more details.

The museum is at the far end of the library and has display cases showcasing the craft works of the masons (both for practical and ceremonial uses) and a description of the formation of the current Mason’s group, symbols and the construction of its headquarters.

I found the craft work detailed and some of the facts interesting (by law all Norwegian Masons are publicly listed) I unfortunately still came away not knowing who the Masons are and why they developed. I get the impression from the museum that being a Mason might be like a philosophy of enlightenment running parallel with your own religion. Of course I could research this further but I would think the museum should provide that brief overview as well.

Then again I may have just missed that display.

The museum is interesting and free but don’t expect the secrets of the Order to be revealed. Perhaps just another (their) perspective on the Mason’s history.

Also currently on display in the headquarters is a free exhibit on the Masons and the French Revolution. Specifically the impact the revolt had on ‘secret societies’ in Britain. It’s reasonable and worth a visit in conjunction with the main museum.

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