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Freemasonry in Paignton, Devon



Early History  


Torbay Lodge 1358  

Early Masters  

1900 onwards  




Torbay Lodge No 1358

In 1871, ninety-nine years after the formation of the first Torbay Lodge, a new Torbay Lodge No 1358 was formed. 

At a meeting on 24 April 1871 presided over by Rev Robert Bowden (St John’s No 328) unanimously agreed that a Freemasons Lodge should be established in Paignton.  The Worshipful Master and Wardens of Pleiades Lodge No 710 were invited and agreed to support a prayer of Petition.  The warrant was granted on 26 May 1871 to meet at the newly built Town Hall at the junction of New Street and the Totnes Turnpike.  Records show that in May 1871 “the three rooms upstairs to be let as a Freemason’s Lodge for £15 a year”


                                                               Town Hall Paignton

On 3 August 1871 Torbay Lodge No 1358 was consecrated by RW Bro The Rev John Huyshe, the Provincial Grand Master.  W Bro Rev Robert Bowden was appointed the first Worshipful Master.

At the first Installation meeting on 5 August 1872, 18 officers and brethren and 3 visitors were present. The Provincial Lodge officers present were not recorded!

In 1879 following a loan of £10 by Torbay Lodge the Torbay HRA Chapter No 1358 was formed.

In 1886 the first set of By-Laws & Regulations was printed (29 June). A summary of extracts reveal:

            Meet at Lodge Room on last Tuesday in the month (except August) at 6pm.

            ‘Anniversary’ meeting to be held on last Tuesday in September

Annual subscription:  members residing within 3 miles – one Guinea;

Greater distance – 12 shillings

Initiating fee – 5 Guineas; Joining fee - 10s/6d

And following fees to be paid to the Fund of Benevolence on Election as follows:

            By WM Elect - 5 shillings

            By Senior and Junior Warden - 2 shillings & 6pence

            By other officers (except Tyler) – 1 shilling

The Tyler shall be paid £5 per annum

WM to have the power to assist a needy Brother, his Widow or Family with any sum not exceeding 5 shillings.  Any donation to be reported at next Lodge meeting.

 The popularity of this new Torbay Lodge No 1358 gave rise in 1890 to a new Masonic Hall. 

W Bro George Soudon Bridgman (the architect to Isaac Merritt Singer) gave a site in Courtland Road for a new Lodge premises and following the acceptance of a tender for the build by Bro H P  Rabbich for £663 the foundation stone was laid by W Bro Bradford, Secretary of the Lodge and W Bro Bridgman on 15 April 1891.  On 11 August the present Lodge premises was consecrated.

Courtland Lodge

On 15 April 1891 the foundation stone was laid for the new Paignton Masonic Hall in Courtland Road


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