The Freemasons’ Hall is the oldest building in Cheltenham, other than the Ecclesiastical, still used for the purpose for which it was originally designed, and over 400 Freemasons now meet there, on a regular basis.
Cheltenham’s Masonic Hall is also one of the first purpose built Freemasons’ Halls outside London.
The Architect of this truly monumental building was George Allen Underwood, a Mason himself, who also built the original stone building of Montpellier Spa, and was a pupil of Sir John Soane, the architect of the Bank of England.
The Hall was built in 1820-3 and retains much of the original features.
The freehold site, bought for £670 by Sir James Agg-Gardiner the MP for Cheltenham, was gifted to the Lodge, and the building of the Masonic Hall, which cost £4,000.00 was financed by selling £25.00 shares.
During the following 180 years of use, the building deteriorated, mainly due to the dirt and smoke which had accumulated from the fires, candles, and smoking.
A scheme of work was drawn up in 1981 to repair, clean and decorate, and was completed in 1984/85, restoring the interior and exterior to its original Regency splendour, included the complete remodelling of the kitchen.
Great care is taken to maintain the building in its original state.
In 2000 the Lodge Room floor was strengthened, and there is a program of ongoing work to protect the building for many more years, now under the auspices of the Cheltenham Masonic Association Ltd.