Aug 11, 2008

1870 Cantebury Masonic Lodge

Christchurch's The Press newspaper has recently published an article relating to the discovery of the hidden ground floor facade of the 1870 Masonic Lodge on the east side of Manchester Street, between Worcester and Hereford Streets.

Unfortunately the article contains some significant inaccuracies, which for the benefit of the historical record, we are pleased to correct:-
Named after the Patron Saint of the English city of Canterbury, the foundation stone of the second St Augustine Lodge No. 4 building was laid on the 9th of March, 1870 and the first meeting was held there on the 10th of August in the same year.

The Lodge was built to the west of the stables situated behind the home of Samuel Bealey (1821–1909), second Superintendent of Canterbury. A large hall was built onto the back of the Lodge in 1883.

The Freemasons moved to their third premises in Gloucester Street West in April, 1916. By 1920 two single-storey shops were built on the front of their 1870 Manchester Street Lodge, with a third shop occupying the former lane access to the Right hand side. The old building continues to appear in the photographic record until 1968, but had been demolished by 1972.

Proposed Redevelopment

Property developer Angus McFarlane will restore the 1870 facade, incorporating it into the foyer and Coffee shop, of the six level Manchester Business Centre. The proposed design of the new building, as depicted above, will be modified to enable the historic Palladian style facade to be visible from Manchester Street.

The original article: Hidden wall revealed, 09 August 2008.

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Architectural drawing by Canterbury Heritage for the site developer. The outer thirds of the lower floor facade have survived.

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