18 January 2011

The Masons

Here we can see the Old Masonic Lodge of Winchester which was part demolished in 1990 to make way for the newsagents WH Smiths, but we still see today the masonic symbols on the outside.

Inside there the shop there are some interesting wall paintings depicting scenes from Winchester's history, for example the one below is the story of King Alfred and the burnt cakes. Not doing too well in his fight with the Danes, King Alfred was forced to travel anonymously and seek lodging in a peasant woman's hut. Not knowing he was the King she asked him to mind her cakes cooking on the fire, unfortunately King Alfred let his thoughts wander and the cakes burned, and the peasant woman gave her king a good telling off..not quite sure of the moral of the story ... don't let a King look after your cakes maybe?!

The second painting is of Bishop William of Wykeham building Winchester College


  1. My favourite uncle was a Mason, never knew this until he died quite young and they came out of the woodwork to help my aunt and her children. We have several formaer Masonic building in Leeds, must get some pics for Leeds daily photo
    I guess this is one story that has taken root in our "history", there cannot be many people who do not know of the cakes and Alfred

  2. Masons are a bit of a mystery to me, which is probably just how they want to be!

  3. Now that led to a quick Internet search to find out more information about King Alfred, the only English monarch to be accorded the epithet "the Great."

  4. Whenever I hear the name Winchester, I think of the song "Winchester Cathedral" Not sure if it was a Beatles song or not. I think it came from around that era. Anyway I liked it. I liked your Alms Houses too -- and the paintings. I wish I could see them in more detail -- couldn't you get a ladder or something...well, maybe not. Interesting post.

  5. The shame - I'd forgotten all about that song!