The history of Chipping Campden Lodge.
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Under the headline, “Opening of a Freemason’s Lodge” the Evesham Journal of 19th October 1867 recorded: “On Friday, the 10th inst. The ‘Fortesque’ Lodge of Freemasons was opened and consecrated at the Lygon Arms Hotel, Campden. The Rt. Hon. Lord Sherborne, Grand Master of the Province, and other members of the Provincial Grand Lodge were present, and took part in the ceremony. The following officers were appointed: Rev’d W.E. Hadow, Master; G Brown, Esq., Senior Warden; Rev’d A.S. Law, Junior Warden; W. Rimell, Esq., Treasurer. The brethren then sat down to a very excellent dinner provided on a most liberal scale by Mr. Dunn, the Landlord.”
It appears that the Working Tools and Jewels were borrowed from the Prince of Wales Lodge No 951. – from Stow on the Wold. Very few meetings were made, for it seems that the Vicar of Campden was vehemently opposed to his curates being members, and later the Senior Warden left the town so that this abortive attempt to introduce Freemasonry into Chipping Campden ended with the erasure of The Fortesque Lodge, No 1162, on 11th May, 1869. The United Grand Lodge of England has only the barest details and nothing is known of what became of the furniture and effects.
If more had been known and remembered about it, the Founders of the Chipping Campden Lodge might have revived the name, but 64 years later there was no spark of memory to inspire them. There was no legend to survive the lifetime of a man and no written records are left.
The present building, was built about 1560 A.D., was known as the ‘The Old King’s Arms’ and has been the home of Chipping Campden Lodge since its formation in 1933.