Ever since its inception, South Down Lodge has always been a unique Lodge. It was Consecrated in 1879, a golden time for the whole of Freemasonry as Queen Victoria was a great supporter and her son and heir the Prince of Wales, (later to become Edward V11) being the Grand Master. Many Lodges were formed in towns; however South Down Lodge seemingly bucked the trend by deliberately becoming a Lodge for the rural country side. This must have been helped by the introduction of the new London to Brighton railway line with stations nearby. However in the early days, finding a settled meeting place was not an easy task.
World War 1 changed everything! and it may have been the catalyst for a major change for the Lodge. 1916 saw the lodge moving to Brighton after 37 years of meeting in the shadow of the South Downs
Brighton being a much larger conurbation allowed the Lodge to grow. So much so, that it has become amongst the top 3 largest Lodges in the Province often holding No.1 spot. Hence it’s involvement in Provincial affairs has accordingly been very high and has provided many members of very senior Provincial Rank including two Assistant Provincial Grand Masters.
Throughout the ages, its members have had a high sense of civic duty. It has had amongst it’s ranks a number of Counsellors, Mayors and a Chief Constable. High performing sportsmen have also been members, most notably a 1st division footballer and an England international cricketer.
Currently the age range of members is from low 20’s to 80+, all enjoying each other’s company in a spirit of true Masonic fellowship. South Down has also been blessed with having whole families join, in some cases the 3rd generation have become members.
As the Lodge approaches it’s 150-year anniversary, could those early Founders have realised that they had laid the foundation for, what was to become, a highly successful and vibrant Lodge? A Lodge of distinction and whilst it charters its way forward, it happily embraces new ideas and technologies. Its future looks very rosy and YES, it is still a unique Lodge.
South Down Lodge meets at 25 Queens Road, Brighton on the 3rd Wednesday in January, February, March, April (for Installation), October and November.