Bangor Union Masonic Lodge No.746

 
 

The earliest evidence of Masonic symbols in the Bangor area appears on a grave slab located just within the doorway of Bangor Abbey. The slab is crudely engraved around the outer edge with the words “Heir lyeth William Stennors Stonemason deceased 27 March 1626 and his wife Efon Watson” and in its centre is a shield which contains the Maul, the Square and the Compasses.


It is assumed that he worked on the church building and he is also credited with building the Watch Tower in Quay Street in the town
which became the first meeting place of the Lodge. The old Watch Tower still stands and its image appears on the enamel of our Past Master Jewel, which is illustrated here.


A Masonic Lodge in Bangor dates back to 1806. It operated irregularly when first constituted by members of Lodge No. 447 Newtownards and Lodge No. 675 Donaghadee. The front page of the first Account Book is annotated “Warrant 746 was issued to Moses Jameson, John Whitty and George Lunn to hold a Lodge in Bangor, County Down on 9th November 1811, in lieu of Seton warrant”.

In 1881, by influence of Bro. Lord Clanmorris, ground in Hamilton Road is acquired from Mr R E Ward at a nominal rent for the purpose of building a Masonic Hall. After being in abeyance from 1860 the Warrant was restored in 1887 and the Lodge re-opened on 27th May in the Market House, Bangor and  Lodge 746 was soon to become one of the largest and most prosperous in the North of Ireland.

 
The laying of the foundation stone was a grand occasion reported in the Belfast Newsletter on 5th August 1882 - “The people of Bangor and an immense concourse of visitors witnessed today what may be described as the most imposing demonstration ever witnessed in this ancient seaside town…….It was estimated that about 6000 persons poured into the town by cars, boats and trains.” 

The most competitive tender for the building of the Masonic Hall was from McLaughlin & Harvey, being £1086.00.

Twelve months later, on 25th August 1883, the Northern Whig and Belfast Newsletter reported the opening and Dedication of the Hall. “The town was crowded at four o’clock and all wended th
eir way towards the demesne of Mr R E Ward DL where the procession formed up in front of Bangor Castle.....  After the ceremony some 350 guests were entertained to a luncheon in a spacious tent in the Castle grounds.  The toasts then followed and the band played ‘God Bless the Prince of Wales’.” In 1894 Bangor Masonic Lodge 746 adopted the word “Union” into its title.