About the Masonic Hall St Helens
Brief History of Freemasonry in St Helens
Freemasonry has existed in St Helens for nearly 175 years in the form of Lodge of Loyalty 897.
The Lodge owes its origin to a meeting held on 25th September 1861 in a Solicitor’s office in Church Street, St.Helens at which the 8 Lodge Founders, were present when it was resolved that a Petition be presented to the Grand Lodge of England for a warrant to hold a Lodge at the Fleece Inn, St.Helens, to be called The St.Helens Lodge of Loyalty No 1199 (changed in 1863 to 897)
On the 9th December 1861 the first meeting of the St.Helens Lodge of Loyalty No 1199 was held at the Fleece Inn. It is not until 7th September 1863 that Grand Lodge changed the Lodge number to 897, a number by which it is still known.
In March 1879 it was recommended that the Lodge lease private rooms in a new building to be erected in Church Street at the corner of Hall Street for a period of 7 years. The Lodge assembled at the new building in December 1879.
A resolution to move the Lodge to the Imperial Buildings in Ormskirk Street, St.Helens in 1885 was defeated but the Lodge did eventually move to the Imperial Buildings in 1898. It was joined by Ionic Lodge and after the Great war St Helens and Integrity Lodges were formed to cater for the growing numbers
Modernisation of the rooms took place in 1912 with the Installation of electric lighting.
In 1919 a deposit was made to secure the late Salisbury Hotel in Salisbury Street, St.Helens a purchase not completed until 1921 with formation of the Masonic Hall Co Ltd.
The minutes record that in March 1923 the Masonic Hall Building Co Ltd had purchased Wolverhampton House in Church Street, St.Helens and Salisbury House is briefly mentioned as having been sold.
Masonic Hall St Helens
Two years later the Company being unable to obtain possession of Wolverhampton House, purchased the premises of Messrs Critchley Bros & Co (a former paint store) in Hall Street, St. Helens and the St. Helens Masonic Hall Ltd was formed. The building first appears on maps of the area in the 1880’s as a Temperance Hall.
The Lodges moved to Hall Street in February 1927 after extensive refurbishments. This involved installing the Dome, putting in the sweeping staircase, stained Glass windows and modeling the frontage on Grand lodge in London. All the work was done by members. There being nearly 500 at that time.
Catering was done in the cellar with the food being sent up in the Dumb Waiter
Since that time there have been many improvements including the installation of a lift and new kitchen facilities.
The building continues to flourish with 6 lodges and 7 other degrees currently meeting there.