The Masonic Club and Hall, Manor Road, Chatham

This building, which still stands on the steeply rising Manor Road, was the work of George Bond, the prolific local architect. It was constructed by the important Chatham firm belonging to Alderman Charles Skinner.

The Club was opened in 1905 and Bond designed it in the ornate “English Renaissance” style popular during the Edwardian period. The exterior is of light bricks with Monk’s stone dressings.

The ground floor was devoted to social matters: there were separate rooms for card playing and billiards, a smoking room, a bar and a reading room.

The visitor gained access to the first floor via a side entrance. This level was for Masonic purposes and was dominated by a large room with fluted pillars, and a banqueting hall complete with an alcove for musicians. A servery and an ante room were attached, connected to the basement kitchen and wine cellar by lifts.

The steward lived in a three bedroomed apartment on the second floor.

Tucked away as it is, the building is unknown to many residents of today’s Chatham.