Meets at 18:15 except Mar on the first Thur. Months – Jan, Feb, Mar (17:00), Apr, May, Jun, Oct, Nov and Dec
It is quite possible and highly likely that the Royal Swans, which swim on the moat of the iconic Cathedral in Wells, could be the inspiration for our lodge.
We were consecrated in 1837 as the Swan Lodge of Benevolence 653 at, where else, the Swan Hotel in Sadler Street. However, there has been a lodge in Wells since 1785 when the Lodge of Unanimity 473 held its first meeting at the same hotel and we rather suspect the drinks were much cheaper then! Our time there was short, only a year and we moved to the City Council Chambers for 54 years. Here saw a couple of name changes; To the Lodge of Benevolence and then to Benevolent Lodge. This name was sanctioned by the United Grand Lodge in 1842 and its number became 446 in the general renumbering in 1863.
In 1892 we were on the move again, this time to the Vicars’ Hall in the Cathedral Grounds to remain there until 1917 and then once again ‘itchy feet’ took us downstairs to No 10 Cathedral Green. In the early 1990s the Cathedral needed this room and offered us the West Cloisters which date from 1348 although not completed till around 1480. It was grand but very small, someone once commented that when you put the key in the door it rearranged the furniture!
Our cordial relationship with Wells Cathedral continued till a lease ran out and by mutual agreement we left the ‘Cloisters’ to take up residence in a large function room in the Wells and Mendip Museum. Some would probably say, ‘an ideal place for such an antiquity as our beloved Benevolent Lodge’ and nobody is thinking about moving, yet!
We are still the only Freemasons’ Lodge in the City of Wells; Population around twenty thousand and England’s smallest city with a thriving commercial and industrial landscape. We welcome and offer new members unique and entertaining evenings as we re-live the awe and wonder of the events surrounding the building of King Solomon’s Temple.
The re-enactment of this ancient story demonstrates a surprising and significant relevance to our lives today. It is unlike any other club or society of which you may be a part and most members find it totally absorbing.
After each monthly meeting, at the museum, we relax and enjoy a hearty meal at a local hostelry. “From labour to refreshment”. As we say!
We recognise the important part our partners, families and friends play in supporting us and the charities we hold so dear, and regularly arrange social events for them.
Come and join us. Freemasons make friends for life!
Contact the Lodge Secretary: Nigel Dovell