In the 19th century freemasons resident in Redditch had to practice their freemasonry at disparate lodges outwith the town – the nearest Lodge being the Apollo Lodge No 301 which met in Alcester. This all changed at a meeting held on Tuesday 23 January 1900 when eight freemasons met at the offices of a WS Tunbridge,  solicitor, to consider the formation of a lodge in Redditch. Things moved quickly apace so that by the following Friday a lease on the Old Warwick Arms had been secured and Lord Ernest Seymour had consented to the lodge being named after his family and to becoming the first Worshipful Master. The Charter for the new Lodge  - No 2804 - was signed on 8 March 1900.

On 25 July 1900 a contract was signed with CG Huins & Sons, local builders, to construct purpose built lodge rooms in Ipsley Street at a cost of £995! The consecration of the new lodge took place in the lodge rooms on 14 November 1900 with Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire – V.W. Brother G. Beech presiding.

Such was the growth of freemasonry in the first 2 decades of the century that a second lodge was formed. The petition to form the lodge was made by the Worshipful Master of Seymour Lodge, F.W. Smith and W.G. Thomas  - and Bordesley  Lodge No 4495 was duly consecrated on 2 March 1923 by V.W. Bro. W.T. Page, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Worcestershire. At the beginning of the century when Seymour Lodge was formed Ipsley Street formed the boundary between Warwickshire and Worcestershire and it is therefore a Warwickshire Lodge. But by 1923 the Street was firmly in Worcestershire and hence Bordesley Lodge, although a daughter lodge of Seymour, was a Worcestershire Lodge. Subsequently Bordesley Lodge changed its name to Bordesley Abbey Lodge - by which name it is still known.

 

After WW2

The end of World War II saw an explosion in the numbers of men wishing to become freemasons – and Redditch was no exception. The long waiting list to become a member of Seymour Lodge prompted  a number of the  members of the Lodge to petition to form a new lodge. A second daughter lodge – the Ipsley Lodge No 6491 - was consecrated on 28 June 1947  at the then Provincial  Headquarters of Warwickshire in Francis Road Birmingham with W. Bro. W.V. Darell , Assistant Grand Master presiding.  Although, as stated above, the Redditch Lodge Rooms were in Worcestershire the Founders of Ipsley opted to be a Warwickshire Lodge.

With the success of the three lodges the premises at Ipsley Street at times struggled to cope. On 25 May 1995 members of the 3 lodges met and agreed to acquire the former Conservative Club premises in Easemore Road. After some construction work the lodges moved into the new premises which were consecrated at a meeting held on 8 January 1997. The officers for the meeting were drawn from all three lodges and the ceremony was presided over by the Provincial Grand Masters of both Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

In the same year Redditch’s fourth lodge came into existence when the brethren of Bordesley Abbey Lodge petitioned to form a daughter lodge. So it was that Forge Mill Lodge No 9658 was consecrated on 28 November 1997 with R.W. Bro. B.M Cooper, the Provincial Grand Master of Worcestershire presiding.

In recent years the “Redditch family” of Lodges has been joined by St Augustine’s Lodge No 3713 and White Ensign Lodge No 9169 who have moved to Redditch to take advantage of the facilities offered.

There are also other Masonic Orders in Redditch, which currently include a Mark Master Mason's Lodge, a Royal Ark Mariner's Lodge, 3 Holy Royal Arch Chapters, a Knights Templar Preceptory, a Knights of Malta Priory, and a Rose Croix Chapter.