A “cornerstone of Cornish freemasonry”, and one of the oldest lodges in Cornwall, The Lodge of the Three Grand Principles in Penryn has celebrated reaching the milestone of 150 years of age.
The temple, situated at the bottom of New Street, welcomed guests including the assistant provincial grand master of Cornwall, Peter Roberts, on Saturday morning for a glimpse behind the scenes and to mark the occasion with the unveiling of a plaque.
Mayor of Penryn Gill Grant, who called the freemasons the unsung heroes of the town, was on hand to pull the curtain aside on the plaque made by stonemason Robert Lawrence, with a blessing by Father Stuart Turner before the temple was opened to the guests.
Lodge secretary Chris Mallet called it a “unique day” for the lodge, with the decision to open the doors to guests a “rare” occurrence”, adding that he was delighted with the turnout.
The first freemasons in the area met in 1782 at The Kings Arms Hotel, Broad Street.
In 1808 the ‘Peace, Joy and Brotherly Love’ Lodge ceased to meet and during this time another lodge was started under the name of ‘Three Grand Principles’.
This lodge met at the Golden Lion Inn, High Street, (later renamed Higher Market Street) and over time the name changed to ‘The Red Lion Inn’.
The building still bears the Masonic Symbols above the doorway to this day.
This lodge only lasted 39 years and it wasn’t until 1863 with the revival of this lodge that Freemasonry became firmly established in Penryn.
Finally in 1912, the Three Grand Principles Lodge moved to the purpose built hall at the present day site at New Street, Penryn, the cost of the building was £846.16s.0d and was erected by the Barnicoat family.