The magnificent Lodge Room in the Masonic Hall on Tuckey Street, with its beautifully coloured banners, flags and other trappings: the hall is almost medieval in its splendour.
This building has been the headquarters for Freemasonry in the province of Munster (County & City of Cork & County Kerry) since 1844. It was built c. 1770, in the then recently developed Tuckey's Street (1761), and is shown as 'The New Assembley Rooms' in a city map of 1771. The upper floor was available for rental by various societies and clubs, among them the First Lodge of Ireland which, in 1844, purchased the entire building for its use, and that of the quarterly general meeting of the province. In 1925, when all other city lodges came together at this premises, the top floor was added (now Royal Arch Chapter Room) to provide additional capacity. The stalls and panelling in the Lodge Room were taken from the old Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral in 1866 and are about 300 years old.
A Corkwoman was the only woman to become a member of the Freemasons. She was Elizabeth Aldworth, née St Leger, who was inducted into the society at Doneraile Court in 1712 after accidentally witnessing a Masonic ritual. Elizabeth Aldworth is buried in the Davies vault in St Fin Barre's Cathedral.
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