Tired of London, Tired of Life - A website about things to do in London

16 February 2011

See the Masonic Temple at the Great Eastern Hotel

The Great Eastern Hotel has now been renamed 'Andaz' by the Hyatt chain, but inside it still has a few original treasures on offer. One amazing aspect of the hotel, beside Liverpool Street Station, is the Masonic Temple which exists at its heart, originally hidden from the public, but now uncovered to allow plebs like your author to see inside, and - amusingly - the local Masonic Lodge to hire it out.

Your author was taken on a tour of the Andaz Hotel recently, and it has some smart bits, but the stand-out feature for a Londonophile is the Temple, which is worthy of its Grade I listed interior status, fitted out in marble and mahogany.

The story which is always repeated, which is a little hard to believe, is that when Terence Conran acquired the Great Eastern, he asked what was behind some big wooden doors. Your author thinks he probably wouldn't have parted with a lot of cash without having someone check out the whole building first, but it all adds to the mystery.

Unfortunately, the Masonic Temple is not usually open to the public, but you might be able to persuade the friendly staff to let you have a poke round, especially if you're a guest. Either that, or you can hire it, or wait until the Open House weekend in September, when it is usually open to the public. For more information, and some better pictures, see http://londonist.com/2009/12/in_pictures_the_masonic_temple_of_l.php


  1. What a shame the temple isn't open to the public. Next time I'm a guest, I'll be sure to ask the friendly staff for a peek.

  2. It is a shame it's not open generally. They seemed happy to show me round though, so I'm sure you could persuade them.

  3. You can always see a dozen Art Deco Masonic Temples and an extraordinary Museum at the Freemasons Hall in Queen street, Holborn. Elderly Masons show groups round every hour.

  4. Yes looks so cool but abit eyre dont u think?