Published: 31 August 2022
Visitors to Freemasons’ Hall during the Open House Festival 2022 will be able to experience one of the finest art deco buildings in London, built as a peace memorial to Freemasons who died in World War One (WW1).
During the weekend of 10-11 September, visitors to Freemasons’ Hall will be able to enjoy an immersive WW1 experience, live music and cocktails created exclusively for the weekend, as well as speak to members of special-interest Masonic Lodges focusing on classic cars, football, beer and rugby.
Visitors will once again be able to immerse themselves in a WW1 camp scene, speak to re-enactors portraying the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry and Scottish Horse Yeomanry, and see medical equipment and artefacts from the era. They will also be able to learn some semaphore and listen to pipers playing rousing music that once led soldiers out of the trenches.
In addition, the public will discover how modern-day Freemasons practice Masonry and how the building is still used for its original purpose to this day; with the opportunity to speak to members in masonic regalia during the weekend.
Visitors to Freemasons’ Hall can also follow a children’s trail and identify beautiful architecture throughout the building, including the scenes depicted within stunning stained-glass windows. Children will also have the opportunity to make and take home Bright Bricks figures of a dragon, throne and unicorn – all to be found in the architecture of the Hall.
During the weekend, visitors will be able to appreciate the magnificent Grand Temple and watch an interesting short film about Freemasonry. The Order of Women Freemasons will also be present to talk to visitors about female Freemasonry, in the stunning vestibules.
Furthermore, visitors will be able to take an exclusive peek at parts of Freemasons’ Hall seldom seen by the public. At 11:00am and 3:00pm on Sunday 11 September, the visiting public can attend a limited tour of two Lodge rooms on the second floor of Freemasons’ Hall, including the spectacular Lodge Room No 10, known to London Freemasons as the Egyptian Room, which serves as the meeting place for some of the capital’s largest Lodges. Each tour will take a maximum of 30 people, with places allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Museum of Freemasonry will also be open, displaying one of the world's largest collections of artefacts associated with Freemasonry, including Winston Churchill's apron and the large throne made for the future King George IV, who was Grand Master from 1790 to 1813.
Elsewhere, the public will have the chance to enjoy live music at the new Café and Bar at Freemasons' Hall. Emma Stevens will be singing a mixture of pop, folk and country music from 2:30pm to 4:30pm on Saturday 10 September and Sunday 11 September. The Café and Bar has created two unique cocktails especially for the Open House Festival. ‘The Temple’ is a gin-based cocktail with fresh citrus notes, while ‘The Ashley & Newman’ is a vodka-based cocktail with the bright colour and flavour of raspberries. Cocktails will be £8 each, or two for £12.
For those who would like to take home a souvenir, the Shop at Freemasons Hall has a range of options, including jewellery, scarves and ties, as well as several gift ranges based on the museum, library, Art Deco and Freemasonry in general.