KING SOLOMON'S TEMPLE, No. 3464 (Cheshire)

The Lodge of King Solomon's Temple, No. 3464, was Consecrated at the Freemasons' Hall, Chester on the 19th October 1910. It was to devote itself largely to Masonic research, pending its possible transfer to Jerusalem. The Founding Brethren thought that the Temple of King Solomon ought to be commemorated in some way by Mason's at Jerusalem. This wish was never realised by the Founders, owing to diplomatic difficulties before the Great War and later by the War itself.

At the conclusion of the War, steps were taken to establish a new Lodge in Jerusalem by Brethren who had remained in Palestine to assist in the administration of the country much help was given by Lodge No. 3464, which can be seen by the large number of Co-opted Founders of the Cheshire Lodge for the New Lodge. The majority of these Brethren later became Joining Members.

The new Lodge of King Solomon's Temple, No. 4611, was Consecrated on the 28th March 1924, in the Muristan, Old City of Jerusalem, which stands on the site of the Crusading Church of St. Mary built in the early 13th century by the merchants of Amalfi for the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.

The building is equidistant from the Christian Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Mohammedan Dome of the Rock (Holy Mount Moriah) and the Askenazi and Shepherdess Synagogues, each location being a lode star for the adherents of these three great religions. There was no more appropriate site for the Regular Meetings of a Masonic Lodge, to be found.

In the History of the Cheshire Lodge, No. 3464, it is recorded "that the Lodge of King Solomon's Temple, No. 4611, in Jerusalem, has already amply proved its worth".

VOLUNTEER LODGE, No. 2905 (East Lancashire)

The first Master of our lodge was W.Bro. Clement Whitlock COWELL, P.A.G.Supt. of Works (Eng). who was a Past Master of the Volunteer Lodge, No. 2905. Useful assistance was given by this Lodge, which contributed to the Consecration of our Lodge.

In 1929 the Lodge of King Solomon's Temple, No. 4611, joined the Manchester Association for Masonic Research Lodge, No. 5502. In due course several of our Brethren became most knowledgeable of Freemasonry in Palestine and the Middle East. W.Bro. COWELL submitted two papers to the Research Lodge titled "Materials for the building of the Holy Temple" and "Freemasonry in the Holy Land".

For the Consecration of the Research Lodge, W.Bro. COWELL presented a pair of Ashlars, hewn from the Royal Quarries of Solomon.

The following is recorded in the Transactions, Vol. XXIV 1934, of the Research Lodge, No. 5502, from notes submitted with the ashlars.


These Ashlars were hewn from the vast underground quarries which lay below the Walled City of Jerusalem, adjacent to the Temple area.

The "Sakhrah", the threshing floor bought by King David, is the actual summit of Holy Mount Moriah and was the platform of living rock on which stood the great stone altar of which King Solomon led Israel in praise at the wonderful dedication of God's House. The "Sakhrah", still venerated alike by Jew, Christian and Moslem, is of the same calcarious formation as the quarries.

The stone is a crystalline limestone known as "Mizzihelu" and when dressed, reveals many traces of seashells and fossils. It takes an excellent polish and the general effect might well have inspired Josephus to describe the Holy Temple as "glistening in the sun like a mound of snow".

The stones were hewn under the supervision of members of the Lodge of King Solomon's Temple, No. 4611, Consecrated at Jerusalem by the Grand Secretary, R.W.Bro. Sir Colville Smith, C.VO. This Lodge has the privilege of presenting to the Grand Lodge of England, on the occasion of the dedication of the Grand Temple on 19th July 1933, a similar pair of Ashlars, rough and smooth, for each of the sixteen Lodge rooms in the new grand Temple.

(Founded 20th June, 1898)

The Lodge of King Solomon's Temple, No. 4611, has a rather tenuous link with this London Lodge of Grand Officers and Installed Masters of London Lodges.

At the November meeting in 1947, this prestigious Lodge invited W.Bro. C W Cowell, P.A.G.Supt.Wks., to give a talk on Freemasonry in the Holy Land. It was acknowledged that he was the first Master of King Solomon's Temple, No. 4611, which had the honour of being the first Lodge under the English Constitution to be Consecrated in the Holy Land.

W.Bro. Cowell would be pleased to know that the link is being continued by some Past Masters of our Lodge, who are members of the Jubilee Masters Lodge.