The Oxford Centre has, since the middle of the last century, been the home of the Oxford lodge of the Freemasons and a commercial conference centre. Prior to this, the property, then known as Summerhill (sometimes with the suffix ‘Villa’) and dating originally to 1823, had been a single dwelling standing in generous landscaped gardens.
It was acquired and opened by the free masons in 1954.
In 1962 a new temple was dedicated on the 19th March.
In 1986 the Rathcreedan Temple was dedicated on the 1st of November
It was put on the market by the Oxfordshire Masonic Hall Company after it closed in September 2012, with eight members of staff being made redundant.
Its closure has been put down to the lack of conference trade, which had made it increasingly difficult to cover maintenance and operating costs.
The site is now to be turned into accommodation for d’Overbroeck’s College and work is well underway
The one thing I have wanted to do since I got into exploring is a masonic lodge.
You may ask why?
Well my late Dad was a Freemason, something he was very proud of. He was the secretary of his lodge and had also received honours from Grand Lodge in London. He not only wrote the 100 year history of his lodge, Rainham Lodge, but also helped raised thousands and thousands of pounds for charity. It’s not all about fucking a goat and funny handshakes although the media would love you to believe it was.
So the task was set, I felt I kinda owed it to my Dad to explore something from his secret society.
Pretty much weekly I search google for closed masonic lodges, I missed one in Frinton a while back, but if the rest of Frinton is anything to go by it would have been a shit hole.
Then a few months back this one came onto the radar, In fact a friend gave it a quick look to see what was going on and then I knew I had to go.
Out on the prowl with my regular sidekick @slayaaaa and in the area we decided to take a look. The outside was stunning and like something from Harry Potter. We eventually made out way in after a tricky climb only to find it stripped, Damn. No temple, No paraphernalia, No square and compasses nothing.
Well apart from the ornate ceiling and a nice staircase, so my quest carries on, One day I will find a furnished one.
As always enjoy the pics