first known record of a Chesterfield Lodge dates from 1762 when the Lodge No.
106 was constituted on December 27th. The Lodge met at the Three
Cranes Inn, which was situated on Low Pavement somewhere near the present
Barnsley Building Society. The Lodge 106, which had no name, enjoyed a very
second Chesterfield Lodge was Scarsdale Lodge No.519, its warrant dating from 5th
March 1793 and the first meeting held two months later on 23rd May.
The Lodge originally met at the Angel Inn, which was on the Market Place on a
site now occupied by the Post Office, before moving to the Falcon on South
Street, now home to the Barnsley Building Society.
Lodge ceased to exist in 1830. Grand Lodge erased it in 1832.
Scarsdale Lodge was consecrated at the Star in Glumangate in 1856 before moving
in 1861 to the Angel Inn. The next sixteen years saw the Scarsdale Lodge meeting
at the Inn, although relationships with the landlord, Mr Wilkinson deteriorated,
due to his desire to use the lodge room for other purposes.
result of the problems Scarsdale Lodge were experiencing, in 1875 a group of
influential past masters, including W. W. Jeudwine, G. A. Rooth and George
Haslehurst, circulated an invitation to attend a meeting to be held at the Angel
Inn to approve the formation of the East Derbyshire Club Company Limited. The
objective was to finalise the purchase of a site on Saltergate on which it was
proposed to build a “Commodious Club House” and to lease in perpetuity, to
members of the Scarsdale Lodge of Freemasons the exclusive use of a certain
portion of the building for Masonic purposes at a fixed annual rental of £25.00.
It was unanimously agreed to purchase a plot of land in Saltergate adjoining
Marsden Street for the sum of £1000.00.
for the proposed building were presented to the first Ordinary Meeting of the
Company on 13th April 1876. The second Floor was specifically
built as a temple, with the “Blue Room” as the dining room. The present dining
room on the first floor was the Billiards Room.
The Club House/
Chesterfield Masonic Hall
Interestingly the £2,730 tender
to build the ‘Club House’ was awarded to a lady,
Mrs Amy Wright. Work commenced on August 26th 1876 and Mrs Wright
finished the work in late September 1877.
September 24th 1877 Sergeant Charles Fletcher and his wife were
appointed Steward and Stewardess on a joint weekly wage of Twenty Five
Shillings. They were to occupy the “Apartments on the ground floor with gas and
coals; and the benefit of the tariff to be hereafter fixed for the supply of
Food and Provisions to the Members but exclusive of the profit derived from the
supply of wines, spirits, ales and cigars.” Here is the precedent for a system
which lasted into the 21st century, when the post of steward was
abolished and the catering contract put out to tender.
early members of the Scarsdale Lodge should be congratulated for the clever way
in which they used their influence to provide themselves with a temple and
dining facilities ‘in perpetuity.’ The Company reserved the right to enter and
inspect the premises, ‘except at such times as the Lodge Room shall be in use.’
the Club Company were offered a piece of land at the South end of the East
Derbyshire Club Buildings on which to erect a three-stalled stable and carriage
house, suitable to hold a ’Broughton for use of the members and a shed in which
to store carriages when not required.’ An image of top-hatted masons driving
their horses through the entrance on the
East side of the building is in sharp contrast to the array of petrol-driven
vehicles to be seen on a modern Lodge Night.
2373, warrant dated 6th August 1890, commenced to meet in the Club
House in 1893, having agreed the payment of a rent to Scarsdale Lodge. In like
fashion Cavendish Lodge 3055 in 1904,
Cestrefeld Lodge 3889 in 1918 and
Lutudarum Lodge 9363 in 1989 followed suit and commenced meeting there.
mortgage on the building was paid off on 26th March 1926. The East
Derbyshire Club on 31st March 1926, by conveyance sold all its
property to Chesterfield Masonic Hall Ltd for £2,800.00 with an additional charge
of £147.5.0d for all furniture and fittings.
with the advent of the motor car, Chesterfield Masonic Hall decided that it
needed a car park. Following negotiations with the Corporation and with the
consent of the Minister of Health dated August 28th 1936 a deed of
exchange was executed. The Corporation was paid £125.00 by way of equality of
exchange and the Masonic Hall was given 618 square yards of land on the Westerly
side of the building. In exchange the Club conveyed 55 square yards of land to
enable the corporation to widen Saltergate and 491 square yards on the southern
boundary. The Corporation covenanted to build a boundary wall or fences on the
western and southern boundaries.
Post War Years
G. A. Hotter P.P.S.G.W, whose researches have provided much of the information
used to complete this history of Chesterfield Masonic Hall, relates that in
1951, ‘the layout and utilization of the building had not changed greatly since
it was built.’ The ground floor housed the living quarters and kitchen, with
well worn stone stairs leading up to the first floor. On this floor could be
found the robing room, which was located where the present bar and Service
kitchen are. The bar was situated around the hand rope lift, which was used to
service it and the second floor. The entrance doors to the dining room were
placed centrally, with the card room/committee room on the left. The Dining room
was smaller than it is today, which meant that on well attended meetings, such
as installations, the members dined at either the Station Hotel or what is now,
‘The Winding Wheel’. In the 1950s the members where still very ‘club minded’ and
many frequented the snug, card room, or enjoyed a game of billiards in the
Billiards Room, which by now had moved up to the Blue Room on the second floor.
structural report commissioned by the Chesterfield Masonic Hall Committee in
1997 stated, “the building was basically sound but was in need of repair
after years of neglect.” The estimate for making the building watertight and
safe was £150.000. In April 1997 the committee had to make a very important
decision, which had a huge impact on the future of Chesterfield Masonic Hall.
The choices that they faced were to either find £150,000 for exterior repairs
plus another £10,000 new central heating, ventilation and a complete rewiring of
the building, or to spend an additional £250,000 to restructure the layout of
the interior. The third option was to sell the building and relocate.
majority of members surveyed were in favour of the first option, so the
committee proposed that an architect be commissioned to produce a budget for the
Masonic Hall Committee, under the guidance of the Chairman W.Bro. Brian
Quartermain A.PGM P.S.G.D, were responsible for making the key decisions, which
resulted in the refurbishment of the building and the restructuring of the
management of the bar and catering facilities.
Donations from Scarsdale Lodge (out of a bequest made to them from the estate of
W.Bro. Dauncey) contributed to many significant changes, which enabled the
modernisation of the building to take place.
September 1998 the heating and ventilation had been installed, the roof
re-slated the building re-pointed and the parapet rebuilt. The work to make the
Temple accessible to the disabled was a key objective of the Committee and to
the delight of many members a lift was installed, which provided easy access to
not only the Temple but also the bar and dining area on the first floor.
200 years during which time the ground floor apartment was occupied by a
succession of stewards and stewardesses, the committee made the decision to mend
the contract and seek an outside caterer and a bar manager.
change to the services of the Masonic Hall resulted in additional ground floor
space becoming available for Masonic use. Alterations were made which provided
space for a robing room, office committee room and library.
the Chesterfield Benevolent Association was formed and this was granted
charitable status in July 2007.
result of the vision displayed by the Chesterfield Masonic Hall Committee, the
members of all lodges meeting in the building can look forward with confidence
to a safe and secure future.