Brief history of Old York Lodge MMM TI
It is uncertain when the Mark Degree was first worked in West Yorkshire but, in Bradford, it can be traced back to at least 1794 when the Craft Lodge of Hope was founded. Since that date Mark Masonry was worked in the city in the Old Mark Lodge, attached to the Lodge of Hope (then No. 379 and later No. 302). Whereas most Mark Lodges in England enrolled with the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, in the years after its formation in 1856, the Bradford brethren were less hasty and it was only in 1873 they finally agreed to enrolunder the banner of Grand Lodge. During those years of independent existence they were far from idle as, records show, they promoted 194 brethren to the Mark Degree including 27 Leeds brethren for the formation of Copley Lodge. One condition of enrolment with Grand Lodge was the Mark Man ceremony*, taken after the Fellowcraft Degree in the Craft Lodge, was abandoned and the Mark Master ceremony was adopted. The name of the Lodge also changed and it now became the Old York Lodge of Mark Master Masons and was given the prestigious designation ‘Time Immemorial,’ instead of a number, to recognise its existence from those earliest times.
The Lodge prospered in the ensuing years and moved to various premises in Bradford to accommodate its growing numbers. The most notable of these being Connaught Rooms, Manningham Lane, where it met from 1928 until 1987 when the Lodge moved to The Masonic Hall, Whitcliffe Road, Cleckheaton.
*The brethren of the Old York Lodge periodically enact the original Old Mark Lodge Mark Man ceremony in the Lodge and at others in the Province as a demonstration ceremony.