London: the sights

This is the first of three posts on my recent trip to London.

We were four Danes coming over to join S.R.I.A. The weather was great, and the climate is much milder than in Denmark, so we had two wonderful days. Of course, our hosts made the trip even better (not to mention the ritual side of things). We made four distinct stops:

We first stopped by Mark Masons Hall in St. James Street. This is the headquarter of Mark masonry in the UK, as well as half a dozen other different side orders, such as Mark Mariner and Knight Templar Priest. The hall had 8 or so lodge rooms, all quite intimate by our standards; very nice. The really nice thing was the cozy bar, where we hooked up with our host, forum regular ‘Middlepillar’.

Next stop was the temple of the Supreme Council 33° Ancient and Accepted rite (or Rose Croix, as they say) in England, just around the corner. This was where we joined our College, so we didn’t really tour the facility (I believe there are three lodge rooms there), but the large temple, in which we met, was very beautiful, with colourful coats of arm on the walls and a gothic atmosphere. I look forward to going back and perhaps seeing some more of the building.

The day after, we did the obligatory tour of Freemasons Hall in Great Queen Street, the headquarters of UGLE, the ruling body of Craft masonry and Chapter in England. The museum remains awesome, and even though it was the same brief tour as the last time I was here, the guide added new details, and the grand temple seemed even more magnificant the second time around.

Finally, we stopped by S.R.I.A.’s ‘headquarters’ in Hampstead. It’s really just one quite small room, stacked with books, including many rarities and antiques, and many donated by A. E. Waite. Still, the placed oozed history, and Hampstead is a lovely neighborhood.

And then it was back to the airport. An intense stay, with much to digest while stile managing to be comfortable enough that I consider it a small vacation. It was certainly invigorating.

Pictures: first, the obligatory self-photograph, at Leinster Square where we stayed. The other pictures are taken by a fellow traveller: a lewis at Mark Masons Hall, the bronze doors to the grand temple in Freemasons Hall and an antique book at Stanfield Hall in Hampstead.

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