2019 Geoff Hadaway. All rights reserved.
Ingham Street, South Shields, NE33 2DQ
The Home of South Shields Freemasonry
Freemasons' Hall, Fowler Street

During the 1850's St. Hilda Lodge steadily increased its membership and in February 1862 a Committee was appointed to consider the provision of a Masonic Hall. On 5th May 1862 the Committee reported in favour of building a Hall in Fowler Street at a cost of 600.00 and recommended the raising of 800.00 - 200,00 out of Lodge funds and 600.00 in 1.00 shares issued to St. Hilda members only. These shares were to be redeemed out of a special fund provided from the annual savings of the Lodge.

The report was adopted and on 27th. August 1862 the foundation stone was laid with full Masonic Honours, by W. Bro, George Potts, PProvSGW a distinguished Past Master of the Lodge. The water for the cement for the foundation stone was brought in a bottle from the River Jordan, by the Chief Engineer of H.M.S. Melpomene (whose name is not recorded) and presented through W. Bro. Ridley, P.M. By a remarkable coincidence the silver trowel used in the Ceremony was returned to St. Hilda Lodge in October 1990 by a descendant of W. Bro. Potts living in Virginia, U.S.A.

The new Hall was opened on 9th March, 1863. The era of subsisting in other people's property was over, the Freemasons of South. Shields now had a purpose built home in which, to practice their masonry. St. Hilda. Lodge settled into its new home and Freemasonry continued to flourish in the town to the extent that on 10th April 1882 a petition was submitted for the formation of a new Lodge. The petition was granted and on the 15th September 1882: the Hadrian Lodge No. 1970 was consecrated in the Fowler Street hall where it continued to work alongside St. Hilda Lodge, until the premises were vacated.

The Building continued in existence for almost a century thereafter being used for retail shopping. It was demolished in March 1983 to make way for the Denmark Shopping Centre but its location was easily identifiable as it was immediately adjacent to the premises of the Midland Bank which survived the re-development. The actual site is now occupied by Thomas Cook the Travel Agents.