Founded 5 March 1753 as No 226 at Burton’s Coffee House, Doctors’ Commons, London. Then Nos 162, 127 at Freemasons’ Coffee House, Great Queen Street in 1775, when members built the first hall and was named Foundation Lodge, Nos 104, 105 and in 1792 at Freemasons’ Tavern No 96. In 1807 removed to Abingdon and became No 121 at the Union in 1813. Warrant of Confirmation granted in 1817 when removed to Cheltenham.
In 1817 became No. 97, and in 1863 became No 82.
Foundation Lodge has a rich history spanning nearly 270 years and is the 44th oldest lodge still in existence on the roll of the United Grand Lodge of England. Its members took part in the Masonic ceremonies of laying the foundation stones of the Mythe Bridge, Tewkesbury (1823) and the Pittville Pump Room (1825), and contributed to the funding of the magnificent east window of Cheltenham parish church (1880). There were many notable members during the 19th and 20th centuries, many of which were lawyers, clergymen, doctors, schoolmasters, officers of HM Forces and retired civil servants of the East India Company. Some were Town Commissioners and Members of Parliament, including Baron Conrad Adolphus du Bois de Ferrieres MP, James Tynte Agg-Gardner MP, Col. Francis William Fitzhardinge Berkeley MP, Walter Wilkins MP, Daniel Leopold Lipson MP, and Charles Graham Irving MP.
Today, the Lodge has 30 members ranging in age from 30 to 96yrs, over half of whom are under 55yrs of age, in a wide range of occupations including solicitor, pilot instructor, police officer, funeral director, security guard, landscaper, estate agent, doctor, haulier, accountant, paver, sales executive, HM Forces, and business consultant. Eighty percent of the members live within a 10-mile radius of Cheltenham.
Members and visitors are attracted to Foundation Lodge by its long history, traditions, and spectacular Regency building. The Lodge actively supports many local charities through its Benevolent Fund, which distributes funds to worthy causes from a substantial legacy. The Lodge warmly welcomes unattached Freemasons, and active new members of integrity seeking self-improvement in a friendly and supportive lodge, who would like to be involved in its life and work, participate in its social programme, and support local charities.