Masonic Hall, Duncombe Place, York. Architect John Edwin Oates, interior by J. Barton-Wilson. The former was a member of the lodge, and the latter also a Freemason. The stone structure dates from 1862-3, extended in 1866, and, in brick, a new wing was added in the 1930s (see Pevsner and Neave 216, and the lodge website). This is a Grade II listed building. The Lodge's own website says it has "stunning views of York Minster," something that is always much to be prized and less easy to obtain since the encroachment of more buildings on the area around Duncombe Place.

The words on the façade of the original stone building are AUDI, VIDE, TACE, from the saying, "Audi, vide, tace, si vis vivere in pace" ("Hear, see, be silent, if you would live in peace"). The motto, found on the Coat of Arms of the United Grand Lodge of England, goes back to 1777, and was adopted upon the “Union of December 1813″ (see "Audi, Vide, Tace").

On the left above is a closer exterior view of the doorway from the 1860s' building, moved to the early twentieth-century brick extension. On the right is a view of the patterned grating in the side of the 1860s building, speaking of the pride and skill in craftsmanship, even in such details.


View of the upper part of the Masonic Hall.

Also in the Masonic Hall. Left: the organ. Right: Detail of the central ceiling motif.

The Masonic Hall itself has marbled (i.e. painted) pilasters round the walls which are in the Corinthian order, with paintings and Honour boards between. Ornamentation is elaborate throughout, including the ceiling. Click here for chequered flooring.

The Library is fitted with reused 18th-century panelling and fireplace.

Related Material

Photographs and text by Rita Wood, with added comments by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use the photographs without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]


"Audi, Vide, tace." The Square Magazine. April 2020 (editorial). Web. 6 June 2021.

"Masonic Hall, Duncombe Place." Historic England. Web. 21 October 2022.

Pevsner, Nikolaus, and David Neave. Yorkshire: York and the East Riding. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002.

"York Lodge No. 236." Masonic website. Web. Link updated 21 October 2022.

Created 6 June 2021

Last modified (interior images added) 21 October 2022