Bradford, Wibsey, Wyke

Masonic Lodges in Bradford

Bradford has a long history of Freemasonry and currently has 28 lodges within the Bradford district.  

The Lodge of Hope is recognised to be the oldest Masonic Lodge in Bradford, dating from its first recorded meeting on 7th April 1794, however it is a matter of speculation that Masonry existed in some form in the city prior to then.  England’s first authentic date is claimed to be 1705 at York as evidenced by the first Minute Book of the Grand Lodge of all England at York.   

Over the last 230 years the lodge of Hope has had many thousands of members from the Bradford area. Candidates must have a belief in a supreme being (we accept people from all faiths)  

Amongst the many historic documents in the Lodge archives, we have “The Lodge of Hope manuscript” which has been dated circa 1680, and may shortly be further investigated using more sophisticated dating techniques. This document adds to the speculation of the existence of the Lodge of Hope before the acknowledged start date of 1794 and possibly the oldest lodge in the world. 

From that date there are many books, documents and records, detailing the history of our Lodge, and particularly our own history of the first 150 years published in 1944, a copy of which is given to all those members joining the Lodge. 

In that book, is a copy of our famous manuscript, along with the names and occupations of every Worshipful Master of the Lodge from 1794 to 1944. An update of this was published in 1994 to celebrate our Bi-Centenary, at which Lord Farnham was the Principal Guest, representing the Grand Master of the Order, HRH The Duke of Kent.  The interested internet surfer will find hundreds of thousands of references simply by “Googling” Lodge of Hope, or Freemasonry. The Masonic Order has intrigued historians for many years, to the extent whereby there is now a Centre for research into Freemasonry at Sheffield University. 

After meeting in various rooms during its history, the Lodge moved to a new premises at Spring Bank Place, Manningham, Bradford on 24 March 1926. The rooms had been purchased by the Members of the Lodge, along with members of the Lodge of Pentalpha, and Lodge of Charity, who also met in the building. At different times since then, other Lodges have made Spring Bank Place their headquarters, rising to a total of 8 Lodges, along with one Lodge of Lady Masons.  Visit www.owf.org.uk to find out more about the female Masons. 

If you are interested in finding out more about Freemasonry contact Jason Wilby , wilby@sky.com  

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