Wicklow Militia Lodge 877

The Grand Lodge of Ireland was the first Masonic body to begin issuing Warrants to Military Lodges, and it was this practice that brought Freemasonry to the town of Arklow. On the 2nd January 1800 a Warrant bearing the number 877 was issued giving permission to three members of the Wicklow Militia to hold a Lodge of Freemasons. At that period the depot of the Regiment was based in Wicklow, but two years later they moved to Arklow where they continued to meet as a Military Lodge. The Militia was disbanded in 1815 whereupon 877 became a civil Lodge and has continued as such ever since. It is still working under its original Warrant which is the last of the old Military Warrants still having its first title.


During its early years the monthly meetings were held in the Arklow Court House and they appear to have been welcome tenants. However, towards the end of the nineteenth century the Brethren of 877 felt an ever increasing desire to build a Hall of their own. Many discussions and negotiations took place and various sites were examined. Finally in 1903 the present Hall was built on a site at Ferrybank. The total cost of the new building amounted to 415 pounds. After some debate it was decided to name the new Hall "Abercorn" after the then Grand Master, The Duke of Abercorn


For reasons unknown, it was not formally opened until a special meeting held on 21st    August 1907. Prior to this meeting the Brethren had enjoyed a hearty luncheon consisting of six crammed fowl, a large ham, two large roasts of beef with tomatoes, mixed salad, hot potatoes, jellies and tarts, together with a plentiful supply beer.


Over the years the Lodge dining room has been used for many non-Masonic activities, some of which have been a useful source of income. These have included committee meetings, bridge parties, a men's reading room, billiards, and yoga. Currently it is in regular use by a local Play School and the Arklow Country Markets hold their weekly sale every Saturday morning.

Wicklow Militia Lodge No 877