What is Freemasonry?

One of the oldest secular social and charitable organisations in the world, modern Freemasonry’s roots lie in the traditions of the medieval stonemasons who built our castles and cathedrals.

For Freemasons, there are four important values that help define their path through life: Integrity, Friendship, Respect and Charity. In today’s world filled with uncertainty, these principles ring as true now as they have at any point in the organisation’s history.

There are Masonic organisations for men only, women only and mixed groups. Freemasonry does not discriminate on the grounds of race, colour, gender, religion, political views or social standing.

Freemasonry can give great satisfaction in whatever way suits the individual – for example, making new friends from all walks of life; being able to contribute to deserving charities, both Masonic and non-Masonic; striving towards self-improvement; the sense of achievement of progressing through the offices of the Lodge and of mastering the words and actions of the ceremonies; extending your knowledge by finding out about the history and philosophy of Freemasonry.

Freemasonry provides a structure for members to come together under these common goals, enabling people to make new friendships, develop themselves and make valuable contributions to charitable causes. We are one of the largest charitable givers in the country, contributing £51.1m to deserving causes in 2020.

Link to mixed masons here: https://www.modernmixedmasons.uk/

Women Freemasons

The Honourable Fraternity of Antient Masonry was founded on 20 June 1908 and its first Grand Master and driving force was a man – the Rev Dr William Frederick Cobb. However, since 1912, the Grand Masters have all been women. The new Order at first included both men and women, but eventually the decision was taken in the early 1920s to restrict entrance to women only and no longer admit men as visitors. Although a handful of loyal men remained in office, by 1935 we had become an exclusively female organisation and they remain so today.

Another Masonic Order for women had been founded in 1913, and to avoid confusion in names the order added ‘Order of Women Freemasons’ to our title in 1958. This is the name by which they are known today.   From a beginning with three small Lodges in 1908 Women’s have gradually increased in numbers and locations. The 1950s and 1960s were particularly active in expansion, especially abroad. In 2005 a Lodge was opened at Fuengirola near Malaga in Spain.

Link to Women Freemasons website: https://www.ugle.org.uk/become-freemason/women-freemasons

Our Values


Rather than working on buildings like the masons of old, today’s Freemasons focus on building themselves as people of integrity, and membership provides the structure to help achieve that goal.


One of the oldest social organisations in the world, Freemasonry is not defined by an ideology. It is open to people from all religions and political persuasions and provides the common foundation for friendships between members, many of which will last for life.


With a membership of more than 200,000 people drawn from communities across the UK, Freemasonry brings people together irrespective of their race, religion or any other perceived differences that can divide us as a society.


Kindness and charitable giving are deeply ingrained within the principles of Freemasonry. The organisation provides a support structure that helps members make positive contributions to communities and worthwhile causes through fundraising events or volunteer work.