The Richard Whittington Lodge
The Richard Whittington Lodge No 7534, on the register of the United Grand Lodge of England and the Province of Gloucestershire, is a prestigious Lodge renowned for the quality of its ritual. It was originally formed to cater for serving and retired officers of the three Services and other professional men (such as solicitors accountants and engineers). It was consecrated on 30 July 1957 and first met in Newent which is the nearest large town to the village of Pauntley whence Dick Whittington came. The Whittington family gave the Lodge permission to use their family crest as the Lodge badge and is reproduced above.
The Lodge meets in the Masonic Hall, Crosskeys Lane, Gloucester on the third Fridays in October (Installation of new Master), November, February, March and April; there is a Committee meeting and rehearsal on the Wednesday preceding each Meeting.
The Gloucester Masonic Hall is an amazing old building which dates back in part to some time in the 15th century. Originally it was sited in Westgate Street and was dismantled and re-erected on its current site in the 19th century! The building is an oak-framed structure and is theoretically capable of re-siting although anyone who tried to do so today with all the up-to-date facilities that have been installed over the years would be taking on a real nightmare! Some of the main beams in the Temple itself (meeting room) have been dated dendrochronologically (I have been dying to use that word!) to the early 15th century and apparently were cut from the Royal Forest of Dean (although how they know that I do not know). Many of them show signs of having been used in other places; it is regarded as highly likely that some of them may have been used in the fabric of cargo ships which were repaired or rebuilt in Gloucester Docks. In the dining room, which is partially below ground level, there are signs of another previous use of the building, as a bonded warehouse. Marks can be seen where warehousemen tested the sharpness of their chisels on the oak beams prior to carving excise marks on barrels of imported wines and spirits.