Braintree Freemasons celebrate 150 years of Langthorne Lodge

One of the most memorable days in the life of all men and women who become Freemasons is the day he or she is initiated.

It is an amazing occasion which leaves each newly made ‘brother’ with their own special memories as they begin a new path in life based on integrity, friendship, respect, and charity.  Last month, in December 2022, 19-year-old Alfie Wells from Feering in Essex could not have chosen a more auspicious occasion for his initiation when he joined Langthorne Lodge No. 1421 which meets six Thursday evenings a year at the Howard Hall Masonic Centre in Braintree.

Paul Tarrant, the Provincial Grand Master (PGM) of the 7,500 plus Essex Freemasons, together with Nick Franklin, the Deputy PGM and Clive Rees, the Assistant PGM for the Lodge, were among the many guests of the 30 strong Lodge who were also celebrating the 150th Anniversary.  Founded in 1872 at Stratford in London’s East End, the Lodge first met at The Swan Hotel next to the Town Hall and was named after the Cistercian monastery, Stratford Langthorne Abbey, founded in 1135 which was then in Essex. 

Langthorne Lodge has also held its meetings at the Angel Hotel, Iford; the Great Eastern Hotel, Liverpool Street; and for 43 years at Freemasons’ Hall in Great Queen Street, London before moving to Upminster where it transferred to the Province of Essex in May 1986. In 1994 the Lodge moved to Braintree where it has remained vibrant ever since.  Last year the PGM awarded Langthorne Lodge ‘Patron’ status for its contribution to Essex Festival 2022 in which all Essex Freemasons over five years raised £5.4 million for the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) one of the largest charities in the UK. The MCF has pledged £7 million to help charities in Essex over the next few years.

New Freemason Alfie Wells is very proud of the track record Langthorne Lodge has for helping charities, local communities, and other good causes. Alfie is inspired by his father, Kirk, who is the Lodge Charity Steward as well as being an active Officer progressing towards the Master’s Chair. The current Master, Adrian Lister chose Diabetes UK and the Braintree Food Bank as the charities for his year for which the Lodge has raised a total of £3,000. On 2nd February 2023 a new Master will be installed, Brian Isted, and another good cause will be chosen.

A short history of the Lodge by the Secretary, Mark Irving, was included in the table menu for the sesquicentennial celebrations.  Mark said after the meeting “Langthorne Lodge today has a good mix of all ages including two fathers and their sons as well as a number of younger members. Everyone enjoys the friendship at our meetings and festive boards as well as having fun together in our charitable endeavours, which is what Freemasonry is really all about.


Top: 150th Anniversary meeting of Langthorne Lodge with Paul Tarrant (centre left), Adrian Lister (centre) and Nick Franklin (centre right).

Left: Kirk Wells, Adrian Lister (Master), Alfie Wells and Paul Tarrant (PGM).

Right: Langthorne Lodge’s masonic brothers who are fathers and sons - Kirk and Alfie Wells and Peter and Gus Goodwin.