The home of Irish freemasonry

Freemasons hall, DublinI went to Grand Lodge intending to obtain a trestleboard to catch a meeting. And I was very fortunate to run into the Assistant Grand Secretary, MM. MM was very knowledgeable in the different rites of the world, including Swedish Rite, so that was a nice surprise. He showed me around in the magnificant building, and also proved to have a very interesting personal story. Good man.

One of the unique features of this hall is that they have five rooms, or temples, each serving a different masonic body or ritual, making the them distinctly different from one another. Here are the halls that I was shown, with pictures from the Grand Master’s Lodge website (but I hope to visit again and maybe be allowed to shoot some pictures myself). (There is also a Mark Masons room that we skipped.)

PrincePrince Masons Chapter Room
Home of Rose Croix. This is a very nice hall, not particularly large. On closer inspection some of the decoration is a little worn, and I was told that this is due to the temple having moving location more than once. A few days later I was in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which has a choir for the knights of Ireland – looked very similar.

PreceptoryKnights Templar Preceptory Room
A wonderfully detailed hall with all the Templar trappings you could wish for, lavishly furnished by Queen Elizabeth’s treasury. Even though I have not yet entered Chapter, having the Wardens in the west, the use of stone, rather than wood and leather, as well as the overall imagery reminded me of home.

Grand HallGrand Lodge Hall
Although this hall appears quite magnificant in pictures, it is even more forceful in real life. Large, but still retaining an intimicay. Very traditional, with the paintings and dark wood, but the colours making it quite light. I don’t know, just felt very balanced. And there is a portrait of Edward VII wearing Swedish Rite regalia.

Grand ChapterHoly Royal Arch Chapter
Last stop, another great little room. MM explained that there is a difference in the underlying myths of Irish and English Royal Arch masonry. Also, as is visible here, the GL of Ireland has “the Veils”, a detail that has gone out of practise in the UK. Next year I will join a lodge of St. Andrew, which is the Swedish Rite equivalence of HRA, and I will be able to see for myself.


5 thoughts on “The home of Irish freemasonry

  1. Surfing the net and found your site very interesting. I send you fraternal best wishes for 2008 from all Brethren of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Natal (South Africa) and my lodge in particular Marine lodge No 627 I.C.


  2. Please can you help I am trying to find where this Mark degree and its working came from, I think it was in a JMS Ward book I was reading on line at the time.
    W.Bro John Bird PPJGD Hertfordshire

    An interesting account, not sure I accept it, but then a lot of the origins of our ceremonies
    have been lost in the mist of time
    —– Original Message —–
    From: John Bird CMILT
    To: John Oakley-Smith

    Subject: An old Mark working

    Part of my talk on the wandering of Z, do you know how old this working is. I found it among some degrees I found, and found it quite interesting I think it was JMS Ward who’s work I was rea


    At the building of King Solomon’s temple, the valuable and curious key-stone, containing many valuable coins and the ten letters in precious stone work which Hiram Abif took so much pains to complete, was lost, supposed to have been taken away by some of the workmen, and a reward was offered by King Solomon for the speedy finding or making of another to fit the place. An ingenious Entered Apprentice made one and fixed it in the vacancy in the arch, which, being known to some of the Fellow Crafts, they conceived it a disgrace to the Order to let an inferior degree bear the palm of honour. They therefore, in the heat of jealousy, took it and threw it into the Brook Kedron, adjacent to the temple. A reward was also offered for the finding of this second stone, which excited the brother who had made it, to go with two other Entered Apprentices, in pursuit of it; and when they had found it, they, received equally among them the last reward, and with it the degree of a Fellow Craft. The Brother who made it received the first reward to his own share for his ingenuity, and had the honour with his two Companions to fix it the second time in the arch, previous to which, the brother who made it cut on the under-side the word Amasaphus(Amethyst. In religion, Amethyst is also an affiliate of one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, one of the Twelve Apostles and one of the Angels. Because man has been mining Amethyst for a very long time, the classification of Tribal stones has been translated and the stones represented have been appointed through their modern name. The Tribe that is linked to amethyst is the tribe of Dan. The stone was said to be proclaimed stone of the families that flourished from this tribe. The Apostle Matthias and the Guardian Angel Adnachiel spirits are also coupled with and symbolized by amethyst.); and in addition to his former rewards, he was honoured with the degree of Mark Man, which is done by going round the lodge of a Mark Man putting his hands as a fellow craft to receive his wages. He is desired to state on what ground he claims those honours and having informed them of his discovery and what he had made, they then acknowledge his claim to be just; and he being desired to fetch the said key-stone, he finds it in his way the arch, by kicking against the ring of it concealed underground, the original key-stone that Hiram Abif had made with the proper characters and signatures to it. He is then taught to put in his hands in due form for the payment of his wages, after which he receives the secrets of this degree. This is not quite how the degree is worked today, but the end result is the same of course.

    , This footnote also confirms that this email message has been swept for the presence of computer viruses.

  3. Hi Thomas The veils are worked under Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland and I beleive in Bristol in England as well although one of the English companions would be able to confirm that

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