- We are all aware, car park spaces are at a premium in York. Eboracum Lodge is therefore extremely fortunate in being the co-owners of a city centre carpark which is adjacent to their Lodge building.
- The Masonic Lodge building in St.Saviourgate is the only such building in York to have its own carpark.
- All other lodges in the city must use expensive pay as you go carparks which means that members have to walk some distance to their lodges, often in bad weather. Also, some of the carparks have restrictions as to when the carpark will close which are not always convenient for lodge meetings which can often run late.
The history of the Eboracum carpark
- Eboracum’s carpark has evolved over the past 80 years from what was once a demolition site to what it is today.
- The above map produced in 1610 shows St.Saviourgate as a street full of houses along with Saviours church.
- The map on the right c1870 shows the position of the “Hall” which in 1876 became the Masonic Lodge building we know today. It was originally opened in 1846 as “The Institute for Popular Science and Literature”, a place of learning for young men and boys. Young ladies and girls were later admitted and took part in all activities provided by the Institute.
These properties were demolished to make way for what became the carpark.
During the 1930’s and 40’s all the properties shaded orange on the map below were demolished under the orders of the local authority due to their unsafe and unsanitary condition.
This image is looking at the rear of the carpark area and lodge building. (The large white area is due to damage to the image)
- April 1938 – The now vacant land was offered by the owner for sale at £1 per square yard. The Lodge offered 15/- (75p) per square yard – this offer was rejected.
- July 1939 –The vacant land which had remained unsold for more than a year was finally purchased by Eboracum for £1000. A £100 deposit was paid and then the Lodge hurriedly had to work out how the balance was to be paid.
- Nov 1940 –The Lodge decided to advertise the vacant demolition site for sale in the Evening Press at the asking price of 30/- (£1 50p) per square yard – several local companies were interested in purchasing but due to wartime regulations the land was not sold.
- Nov 1944 – The old Lodge cottage was demolished which increased the vacant land area.
- July 1945 – The first mention of the vacant land being called a carpark appeared in the Lodge minutes.
- Nov 1945 – Despite the vacant land being in a very rough and uneven state, several residents started to park their cars on the land illegally. The Lodge put a stop to it and erected “No Parking” signs.
- Jan 1952 – The Lodge Committee discussed the possibility of hiring a part-time parking attendant to be present when members were parking their cars when attending regular lodge meetings. This idea was never put into practice.
- Nov 1952 – It was agreed that the vacant land was to be enclosed to stop rogue parking.
- Feb 1953 – The Lodge agreed for the Glossops, the construction company, to be contracted to “clear and remove shrubs, grass, and rubbish from the area and to fill hollows and level the ground” – the contract called for 3” (75mm) of ashes to be laid and rolled – the agreed cost was £92.
- July 1953 – It was agreed that the new gates should be locked at night.
- Sept 1953 – Keys were to be made available to members. On application the fee would be 21/- £1 5p) and 10/6d (55p) thereafter.
- Mar 1960 – It was agreed by the Committee that all vans and commercial vehicles should be parked out of sight at the rear of the building.
The private carpark is available free of charge to all Lodge members and their visitors when they are on Lodge business or attending Masonic meetings. At all other times the carpark gates are padlocked.
Subject to availability, members of the Lodge can purchase an annual carpark pass at a preferential rate.
REMEMBER EBORACUM IS THE ONLY MASONIC LODGE IN YORK WITH THEIR OWN CARPARK.