Square and Compass

Newry Masonic Hall

A Committee was formed to find a site and build a Masonic Hall in Newry. The first meeting was held on the 7th of November, 1885, when Bro. Meares was elected Chairman, Bro. Alderdice Treasurer, and Bro. Crossle Secretary. Arrangements were made to collect the necessary funds, and a sub-committee was appointed to procure a suitable site.

The premises in Trevor Hill then and still occupied by the firm of Henry Thomson & Co. as a cooperage, the field to the North of the Downshire Road Presbyterian Manse, the garden immediately adjoining Riverside Presbyterian Church, and the garden immediately behind the house on the Downshire Road now occupied by G. F. Alderdice, were severally suggested and considered; and, on the 27th of February, 1886, the site adjoining the Downshire Road Manse was finally decided upon.

A lease of the same having been granted by the Trustees of the Downshire Estate to Bros. J. Hunter Moore, F.C. Crossle, James Moore, G.F. Alderdice, Samuel Fleming, and S.E. Martin, as Trustees for the Craft, and plans having been prepared by Bro. W.J. Watson, Architect, tenders for the erection of the building were invited; and, on the 28th of February, 1887, that of Bro. Alexander Wheelan, Builder and Contractor, of Canal Street, Newry, was accepted. Bro. Wheelan immediately resigned his seat on the Building Committee.

The greatest difficulty which presented itself to the Building Committee was the collection of the necessary funds, and in December, 1886, it was agreed to hold a Bazaar and Fancy Fair in aid of the Building Fund. The Bazaar was held, on the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th of June, 1887, in the Hall, which was then nearly completed, and in an adjoining temporary structure specially erected for the occasion, and was universally admitted to have been a huge success.

Masonic Hall

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Down gave a Subscription of £2. 2s. 0d. [£2.10] to Newry Masonic Hall.

The Dedication of the Hall took place on the 8th of November, 1887, the ceremony being performed, in the unavoidable absence of the Provincial Grand Master, Lord Arthur W. Hill, by his Deputy, the R.W. Bro. Major Leslie J. Thompson, assisted by the Officers of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Down.

The Masonic Hall is home to six lodges; No's 18, 23, 77, 79, 83 and 174. Two chapters; No's 23 and 77. Newry Council No. 7, Newry Preceptory and the South Down Chapter of Prince Masons No. 17.

Photos of Hall

Masonic Hall, Downshire Road, Newry - 2012

Newry Masonic Hall

Masonic Hall, Downshire Road, Newry - Pre 1914

Newry Masonic Hall

Notice the absence in the earlier photograph of the electric or telegraph pole, as the hall was lit by gas and heated by a coke fired boiler serviced by a resident caretaker who lived in the basement now occupied by the club. The railings shown above were cut down for the war effort.