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Lodge Arbor Vitae No. 1

The Lodge aims to encourage spiritual development of its brethren through the Masonic mysteries.

The special work of this Lodge is to emphasise the spiritual development of man through the allegory and symbolism of the masonic legacy brought down to us today from ancient times. The mysteries change names and have been with us from time immemorial and are perpetuated in the masonic traditional ceremonial. We are all part of the temple of life and discovering the unity which embraces us all through working together on our development;  to find and understand the unity of spirit which makes us all one, regardless of what differentiates us in our daily lives. This awareness brings with it a responsibility for our own moral development and our rightful place and duties within society.

Meeting Details :


other brethren of like mind. On 28th May 2011 the Grand Officers and ceremonial team descended upon Letchworth Garden City to Consecrate the small temple to formalize the move of Arbor Vitae Lodge to ‘The Cloisters’ Masonic centre.

Arbor Vitae No.1 moved in March 2011 when the first Installation of the Worshipful Master in the new location took place, in the Larger Grand Temple attended by many visitors from the Order after which a splendid banquet was enjoyed in the refectory which accommodates some 250 people.

A Lodge in Letchworth for 100 years

There has been an Arbor Vitae Lodge in Letchworth for 100 years in July 2013.

The Tree of Life

Lodge Arbor Vitae is the Mother Lodge of the Grand Lodge of Freemasonry for Men and Women, having left the Order of International Co-Freemasonry by unanimous choice it carries that honour. Although there has always been a Lodge for men and women in Letchworth  for over 100 years, the new beginning brings a new emphasis and marks the Lodge as a young, enthusiastic Lodge desirous of proving its teaching of freemasonry to the community at large. Arbor Vitae holds an open meeting each year at which illustrations of the Masonic working and study can be seen. The members of the Lodge are always ready to discuss freemasonry with serious minded persons who wish to consider joining. A book of information on the precepts of the Order can be obtained from the Grand Secretary who will assist candidates to meet with senior members of the Lodge.

The area has a strong historical thread of Masonic thought being on the outskirts of Baldock built by the Knights Templar with a gift of 100 Acres Land from William the Conqueror's Norman lord of Hertfordshire in the 11th Century. The new location of the Lodge enjoys the merit of being an early 1907 Arts and Crafts building of unique design and is invested with much symbolism by its architect and its owner. The facilities are generously provided with male and female cloakrooms, refectory, bar, temples and lodges of instruction rooms and a substantial car park. Historically the building has been occupied by a school of philosophy, adult teaching training centre, the war department, a nursing home, and now a Masonic centre.


A visit to the Templar cave in Royston, Herts, 21st July 2012

Lodge Arbor Vitae No.1 on the occasion of the Letchworth Festival day organized a visit to the secret Templar cave in the centre of Royston with many carvings left by the Knights on the walls.. There were around 10 in attendance to this very special viewing. Non-Masonic visitors were very welcome.

A stall at the Cloisters Open day

The Lodge will be supporting the usual open day which includes a walk around the Arts and Crafts building. of the Masonic Centre Lodge Arbor Vitae No.1 and the many Lodges meeting at 'The Cloisters' hosted another open day for public entry, when there will be an opportunity to view the very interesting building and the temples. There will be stalls where one can meet and discuss your questions with the members. There was also a tombola, and other light attractions. Visitors were very welcome. The Cloisters, Barrington Rd off Cloisters Road  Letchworth,  Hertfordshire SG6 3TH.

Relocation to The Cloisters

Arbor Vitae Lodge carried on their Masonic work in Letchworth Garden City for 100 years under two jurisdictions and celebrate 12 years under the Grand Lodge of Men and Women. It seems right that due to the landlord being unwilling to extend the 99 years lease, the Lodge has moved to ‘The Cloisters’ an enchanting Arts and Crafts building created at the foundation of the garden city in 1907 by Mrs Annie Lawrence a benefactress of new thought in education and a theosophist among her many interests. The Cloisters is now devoted to Masonic activities for Hertfordshire and the temple is an outstanding example with over 1,500 members passing through its doors every year. The Cloisters  hosts a Masonic ‘Open Day’ in September very other year with the main day being a Sunday for visitors to explore the building and meet the many who are Lodge members there. There will be an opportunity to express interest in membership for those who find the activities there a friendly and welcome opportunity to know more about ‘the craft’ said to have survived for thousands of years taking legacy from the Egyptian and Greek mysteries among others.

The Lodge is pleased to have the frequent use of the newly refurbished small temple which was consecrated on 28th May by the ceremonial  team of Grand Officers and hope to enjoy many more years among