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Our Lodge History

The next appearance of the Provincial Grand Lodge was on October 7th 1885 when the Town Hall was again requisitioned for the purpose. Earlier in the year Craven Lodge had, in May, given birth to a Daughter Lodge i.e. Castleberg No. 2091 when R.W. Bro. Thomas William Tew J.P., the Provincial Grand Master performed his first Ceremony of Consecration. Now he was presiding for the first time over Provincial Grand Lodge. The following is an extract from the Prov. G.M’s address: “The Craven Lodge is small in numbers but is animated with zeal for the prosperity of the Order in this lovely part of Yorkshire, and our acknowledgements are due to the W.M. and Brethren for the invitation to meet this afternoon in the Vale formed by Kildwick and Cross Hills. We are thus enabled to visit that ancient memorial of the past, the Castle of the Cliffords, and also the privilege, by permission of the Rector, to enter the Church of Robert de Romille, there to pray to the G.A.O.T.U. that all things may be ordered and settled upon the best and surest foundations, that peace and happiness, religion and piety may be established amongst us for all generations”.
Provincial Grand Lodge held a further meeting in Skipton on 18th October 1899 which was also held at the Town Hall.
As mentioned earlier, the first meeting place of Craven Lodge was in a building adjoining the Devonshire Hotel. Later proceedings were held in the Hole in the wall Inn and the Devonshire Arms Inn, later known as the Brick Hall Inn. In 1889 Craven Lodge moved to Victoria Buildings, owned by the Conservative Building Co. Ltd., where the Skipton Conservative Club occupied the lower floors. These premises were reasonably central and commodious, and in all respects ideal to meet the requirements of an expanding Lodge. In point of fact, the Lodge enjoyed many happy years there until repeated calls for increased rental over the years caused a search for suitable alternative premises. The first rumblings were heard in February 1911 when a letter was received from the Conservative Building Company asking for an increased rental from £21 per annum to £25 per annum. A Committee of three was appointed to enquire the reasons. The Company replied that they were faced with increased Rates and improvements including ventilation. This must have proved satisfactory and apparently the Lodge flourished in these premises until 1926.

During the first 50 years of the History of Craven Lodge, the membership grew slowly but steadily despite the fact that there were 7 new members during 1893, a record for any one year, four of them on the same night! Nevertheless, the foundations of a great Lodge were well and truly laid, care taken that the Craft was guarded zelously and that the Brethren sought only to receive worthy and trusty men to join them.