A Brief History of Lodge Eaglesham 1265
Freemasonry`s evolution is buried in time. But the Craft was certainly active in Scotland before 1600 – and before the Reformation. Some written records exist as evidence.
Certainly the small village of Eaglesham had a Masonic lodge as early as 1737. That was when the first Lodge Eaglesham was granted its charter. The parish was part of the lands of the Earl of Eglinton, whose ancestors came to these islands with the 11th century Norman Conquest. Various Earls of Eglinton have occupied the chair as Grand Master of the Scottish Order.
In the 18th century Eaglesham was little more than an isolated hamlet, 600 feet up on the north facing slopes of Fenwick Moor.It was then that the 10th Earl , wearing his hat as the great land reformer, embarked on a scheme to modernise the village.
He opted to demolish the crumbling cottages and construct a complete new village in the shape of the letter “A”. This work commenced in 1769 and was completed in 1797. Two streets, linked by the Mid Road, formed the letter “A”, bordering both sides of the “Orry” or village green. This is the shape that exists to this day.
But towards the end of the 18th century, times were hard – and harvests poor. Which explains why at some point , the lodge went into decline. No evidence actually exists of its charter being surrendered. But a second charter was issued in 1800 in respect of its successor Lodge Montgomery Kilwinning No 78. The charter was issued under Lodge Mother Kilwinning which at that time still exercised its ancient right to charter new lodges.
Unfortunately again it foundered, however in 1826 the lodge was revived. The village population had more than doubled in the space of 50 years and a massive cotton mill, powered by waterwheels, provided 600 local jobs. But disaster struck when the mill was gutted by fire and the workers drifted off in search of jobs. Lodge Eaglesham, like the village, fell into decline and eventually went dormant yet again.
After the First World War there was a new spirit abroad in Scotland. New lodges sprang up throughout the country. Some masons with Eaglesham connections came together to examine whether a lodge could be re-established.
There were 31 founding members and they sent deputations to St John Busby No 458 and to St Andrew East Kilbride No 524 for sponsorship. The charter was granted by Grand Lodge in 1921 and the present Lodge Eaglesham No 1265 came into being. This time it survived – and progressed.
The first Right Worshipful Master was Bro. James Patterson. One of the first candidates for initiation was local minister, Rev. David Langlands Seath who, in turn, quickly rose to become one of the early Masters.
The building which was to become Lodge Eaglesham`s premises was originally built by public subscription for use as a girls` school. That was back in the early 1800s. The building, a century later, eventually became redundant. Finally it was bought by the lodge and refurbished. An extension was completed to make the 50th anniversary in 1971.
Since then further modernisation has been carried out and a second major extension built. It now provides a temple, social club bar and lounge, and a large games hall. The premises are made available for a number of community uses.
As our Centenary is rapidly approaching, Lodge Eaglesham has been raising funds for a Celebration of Freemasonry in Eaglesham, and is planning a variety of events to mark our achievements.
All Visitors to our Lodge will be made very welcome