About PGL

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Wicklow and Wexford.

Freemasonry is known to have existed in the Province of Wicklow and Wexford for

almost three hundred years and probably a great deal longer than that, its origins having

been long lost in the mists of time.

 

Following its formation in 1725, one of the many difficulties which confronted the Grand

Lodge of Ireland was in persuading its subordinate Lodges to acknowledge its authority,

especially those a distance from Dublin as a means of solving this problem, Grand

Lodge, in 1768, introduced County Committees of Inspection. These were given powers

so that they might manage and report on local Masonic business and activities.

Eventually, in 1829, Grand Lodge made the decision to introduce Provincial Grand

Lodges throughout Ireland. However, in keeping with their normal policy this was only

to be done gradually and as they gained experience. These early Masonic Provinces, of

which there were nine in number, were in time considered to be unwieldy, so it was

decided, in 1868, to reorganise these Provincial Grand Lodges into the formation with

which we are familiar today.

 

Wicklow and Wexford would appear to have been the last Masonic Province to be

formally established.     The Right Honourable Mervyn Viscount Powerscourt was

appointed as the first Provincial Grand Master and he presided over the inaugural

meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge which took place on 21 February 1870, at the

Assembly Rooms, Bray, Co. Wicklow.

 

During its early years, the Provincial meetings were customarily held in either Bray or

Wexford. One notable exception was the October communication of 1874, which was

held in Powerscourt Castle, Enniskerry. This must undoubtedly be one of the most

beautiful settings where Freemasons have enacted their labours.

 

There were five Lodges in the Province to begin with. These were Alexandra No. XI

Bray, Prince of Wales No. 222 Bray, Harmony No. 228 Gorey, Wicklow Militia No.

877 Arklow, and True Blues No. 935 Wexford. During the succeeding years some

Lodges have closed while on the other hand, new Lodges have been formed. The present

number has been increased to nine, with the addition of St.Georges No. 270

Enniscorthy, Emerald No. 49 Greystones, Tynte No. 236 Baltinglass, and Wicklow

No. 748 Wicklow. These Lodges teach and encourage in their meetings the important

principals of morality, integrity and relief of those in need.

 

In these modern times, it is difficult to visualise the problems, which must have

confronted the Provincial brethren in those far off days. The country was constantly in a

state of political turmoil and the famine years still lingered in the minds of many of the

older members. Transport depended mainly on horse drawn vehicles, unless one was

fortunate to live near a railway station. Communication too must have been difficult, as

the telephone had still to be invented. Even the nowadays-simple task of providing light

and heat must have been rather arduous, as electricity and gas were still not yet in common use.  Brethren usually travelled to meetings by steam train and occasionally special discount fares were granted.  The ever changing railway timetable frequently caused problems and meeting times were difficult to arrange.  Occasional clashes with the regular Fair Days in Arklow and Gorey were also unavoidable, and were unpopular with the members.

 

Nevertheless, with the enthusiasm and dedication of its members, Freemasonry has prospered and expanded down through the years. Whilst the Brethren in Wicklow and Wexford have always kept the fraternal aspect of the Order very much to the fore, they have also developed a strong charitable ethos. This has resulted with an excellent record in their contributions to the three main Masonic Charities, the V.J.M.B.F., the Girls Benefit Fund, and the Boys Benefit Fund, together with the relatively modern Masonic Welfare Fund. The brethren of Wicklow and Wexford are especially proud of the John R. Brennan Memorial Fund, which is the Provinces own charity fund. In more recent years a increasing number of outside charitable organisations both local and national are also supported.

 

In recent years, the social side of the Order’s activities is receiving greater attention. The members together with their ladies and friends enjoy many pleasant evenings which include, barbecues, dinner dances, and various other events.

 

Currently there are nine Lodges which meet in the six Masonic Halls within the Province and one, that in fact meets outside the Province.  These are situated in Greystones, Wicklow, Arklow, Gorey, Enniscorthy, Baltinglass and the exception Dalkey .

 

The Provincial Grand Lodge holds four stated communications each year. These are held on a rotating basis at the various Lodges, on the second Monday during the months of March, May, September, and November. Meetings commencing at 8.00 p.m.

Current Lodges within the Province

 

Alexandra Lodge No. XI

Emerald Lodge No. 49

Prince of Wales Lodge No. 222

Harmony Lodge No. 228

Tynte LodgeNo. 236

St. Georges Lodge No. 270

Wicklow Lodge No. 748

Wicklow Militia Lodge No. 877

True Blues Lodge No. 935

Meeting Place

 

Dalkey

Greystones

Greystones

Gorey

Baltinglass

Enniscorthy

Wicklow

Arklow

Enniscorthy