Lodge St. John No. 187, Carluke.

'Newlands Masonic Temple' 1912 - 2012.

Lodge St John 187, Carluke.

     Rededication Ceremony, Saturday 15th September 2012.


‘Newlands Masonic Temple’

1912 - 2012.

   Lord Newlands 2.jpg


 Provincial Grand Master of Lanarkshire Upper Ward

1891 - 1923. 

Grand Master Mason 1900 - 1904.


A Brief History

Prior to 1912 the Lodge met in various hostelries in the town and the first mention of seeking land to build Lodge Rooms was in the Minutes of May 4th 1905 and at a meeting on the 1stJune 1915, when a hall committee was formed. After deliberating for nearly a year the committee reported to the Lodge at a meeting on 9th May 1906 of two possible sites for consideration, one in Market Place and one in Well Green, owned by Col Stevenson. Lengthy discussions took place regarding the financing of the proposed new hall and the meeting concluded with the old committee being disbanded and a new committee being formed. On 4th October 1906 the committee reported that they had estimated that the Lodge would need to raise the sum of £1,200 to purchase the necessary land and build a ‘New Hall’. After lengthy discussions, this committee was also disbanded.

There was no further mention regarding the ‘New Hall’ until the Minutes of a Special Meeting held on 28th May 1908 when, after a very fractious meeting with no fewer than five motions and counter motions being made it was again decided to set up a ‘New Hall’ committee and that ballot papers would be sent out to every member regarding the ‘New Hall’. It must be assumed that members were in agreement as the result of the ballot was not entered in the minutes. This latest hall committee seemed to have spurred the members on, as during 1908 a building fund was set up and various fund raising activities, functions and bazaars were held.

At this time the Lodge held its meetings in a room of the Crown Hotel, Carluke, the rent being an annual sum of £1, excluding heating. However in January 1910 an increased rent was agreed of £3 per annum which included heating and cleaning.

In February 1910 a new impetus appeared to take place on the ‘New Hall’ when it was agreed by the committee that a bazaar, whist drive and concert be held with the proceeds going towards the new building fund. Lord Newlands was requested to provide flower arrangements for the tables.

Things seemed to be moving, since at a meeting in April 1910, the committee looked at the following four sites; 

  • Market Place
  • Mount Stewart Street
  • to the rear of Dr Bradford's, address not specified
  • the Avenue behind Major Anderson’s house, again address not specified.

Two Committee members were in favour of the area behind Major Anderson’s house while two members favoured a site more central to the town centre. It was therefore agreed that the committee inspect all these sites and report back. There are no records of the size of the meeting room used by the Lodge in the Crown Hotel, but it must be assumed that it was fairly spacious since the Lodge record shows that on six occasions a total of six candidates were initiated.

Meanwhile the search for a suitable site continued with three other sites being proposed, two in Clyde Street at a cost of £240 and £150 and one beside Well Green costing two and sixpence a ‘pole’. At this time it was agreed to look closer at one of the sites in Clyde Street. In 1910, two Lodge office bearers were visiting Lord Newlands on other business, when he freely offered a site for the Lodge to build a masonic temple.

This offer was gratefully accepted by the brethren. Initially it was suggested that the Lodge be named ‘Lady Newlands Masonic Temple’. However this name was not acceptable to ‘The Grand Lodge of Scotland’ and, after further discussion, it was agreed by Lord and Lady Newlands that the name would be ‘Newlands Masonic Temple’. 

The site was finally offered with a 882 year lease at £1.6s and 8d per year was situated in Market Place, Carluke and official documents were signed on 19th December 1910 with the title deeds being handed over with an accompanying letter from Lord Newlands along with a donation of £100 to be donated to the building fund, which along with the all the fund raising efforts now stood at £1100. 

Various meetings regarding the design of exterior, rooms, temple and other areas took place and it was decided that costs should not exceed £1400.News quickly spread about the proposed new temple and donations from Lodge members as far afield as Bombay in India where, a Bro James McLaren was working as an engineer and donated £22.There was also a monetary donation from Bro Lawrence McLaren and his shipmates, whose merchant ship was in Singapore. 

In April 1911, five different plans for the building were proposed, and since none of these were accepted by a majority of the brethren, they were sent to The Grand Architect at The Grand Lodge of Scotland who recommended Plan No 5, submitted by Bro James Chalmers, Architect of Hope Street, Glasgow, and a prominent freemason in Glasgow. This plan was accepted by the Lodge brethren and a Building Committee was formed resulting in the building of the present ‘Newlands Masonic Temple’.

On the 23rd September 1911 the foundation stone of the new building was laid by Lord Newlands using a Silver Trowel gifted to him by the Lodge. In less than a year later, on the 14th September, 1912 the new Temple was opened. One hundred and eighteen years after receiving its Charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and having met in many locations in the town, Carluke freemasons now had their own premises.

Lord Newlands died on 1929 and is buried in a family burial mound within Mauldslie Estate called Mount Pisgah. The name is taken from the Bible as the mountain where Moses saw the Promised Land.

The first mention of forming a Royal Arch Chapter is found in the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd April 1919 when it was agreed to grant Royal Arch members the use of the adjacent pending the formation of a Chapter in Carluke. This was eventually formed as Kirkstyle No. 453 and since then has had a long and happy relationship with Lodge St John 187.

Another momentous occasion was held in the New Temple on 5th April 1919, with Lord Newlands in attendance, when sixteen candidates, all soldiers returned from the Great War and natives of Carluke, and were initiated into freemasonry in full military dress. One of the best known that day was Bro Thomas Caldwell V.C. and there were also two Military Medal holders in Bro Andrew Burnett and Bro Donald Frame. It must have been quite a spectacle that evening.

Another occasion was (after five attempts) when the Lodge members finally agreed that the Order of the Eastern Star, Carluke Violet Chapter No. 66 could use the Lodge premises to hold their meetings. Over the years ‘Newlands Masonic Temple’ has been utilised for various fund raising events. During World War Two money was raised for the Masonic War Hospitals. 

In 1973 the downstairs lounge was formed, as previously the adjacent was used for small functions, and in 1981 a new function hall was built to meet the demand of the members to hold an ever increasing number of social occasions. It is now used by various local charities and organisations for fund raising functions. As we move into the 21st century Lodge St John 187 has continued to improve and enhance the property. The ladies and gents toilets were completely retiled and refitted. During 2008 the function hall was completely re-furbished with a new roof, ceiling and lighting. A toilet for the disabled, complete with baby changing facilities was installed next to the function hall and a ramp, leading from the car park to the function hall, was constructed to assist the disabled. 

In 2009 the lounge was modernised, and in 2011 to cater for less active and infirm members a chair lift was installed providing access to the Temple with an additional one in the hall way downstairs, leading from the function hall to the lounge bar. This activity was funded as a standalone project. Donations were received from four Lodge brethren, the Provincial Grand Lodge of Lanarkshire Upper Ward, the Provincial Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Lanarkshire Upper Ward, OES Violet Chapter No 66, Kirkstyle Royal Arch Chapter No 453, and Carluke Kind Hearts. 

In 2011 the Preceptory of St Kentigerns commenced using the Lodge premises as its base and for its regular meetings. 

In conclusion the Lodge is confident that future members will carry on the good work, that previous generations have carried out to maintain and keep Lodge St John 187 and the ‘Newlands  Masonic Temple’ in the fine condition and place that it is today. 

Researched and edited by: Bro Alexander P. Brown, PM, Secretary and Bro Donald Lamb, MM, Past Secretary.


The following is an Extract from The Gazette, 21st September 1912. 

Consecration of ‘Newlands Masonic Temple’ Carluke. 

Saturday last was a red-letter day in the history of the freemasons of Carluke, for it witnessed the brethren’s entrance into their fine new Temple, erected in the Market Place. 

It is one hundred and eighteen years since Lodge St John 187, received its Charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland in Edinburgh, on 6th May 1794, and since then the work of the Lodge has been carried on from time to time in premises in several parts of the town. Chiefly through the large hearted generosity of the Right Hon Lord Newlands, who gifted a free site, and gave handsome contributions towards the scheme, the movement to have a building of their own has now been successful. 

In 1910, a very successful Bazaar was held, which helped towards the building of the Temple. The foundation stone of the building was laid on the 23rd September last year. 

In all their efforts to raise funds, the brethren have received every encouragement and support from Lord Newlands and in estimation of his great goodness to them, the Temple was very appropriately named “Newlands Masonic Temple”. The brethren took farewell of their old quarters in the Crown Hotel, where they have met for over twenty years, on Thursday of last week. There was a large gathering and Bro Cowden, RWM instructed six brethren in the third degree, after which Bro Grossart made a few remarks relative to the fact that they met in these premises as a Lodge for the last time and he spoke of the kindness shown them all along by Bro Clyde. 


Saturday’s proceedings opened with a procession of the brethren through the principal streets of the town. Meeting at the old Lodge room, and joined by deputations from all the neighbouring Lodges, the brethren wearing their regalia and accompanied by Carluke Brass Band, Carluke Pipe Band and Boy Scout’s Band, marched by Kirkton Street, Hamilton Street, High Street and Market Place to the new hall. All along the route large crowds witnessed the procession, and the weather was favourable.


Owing to the fact that Lord Newlands was indisposed, the ceremony of presenting the gold key was made inside the building. The key, which was enclosed in a case, bore a suitable inscription, and Bro R. H. Cowden, the RWM who presented the key asked his Lordship to accept the key as a souvenir of the happy occasion. 

Bro Lord Newlands in his reply said the gift was an unexpected honour to him. He was deeply grateful to the Right Worshipful Master and to all the brethren of Lodge 187 for the charming souvenir they had given him. It was not often he had to apologise for not being able for the discharge of his duties. For as they had probably heard, he had been for the last two months, very far from being well. It was for that reason and that of ill-health alone that he had not taken part in the procession that afternoon. On the 23rd day of the same month last year, although the weather was unfavourable, he did not hesitate to go out into the rain and take part in the procession and he had thoroughly enjoyed having been with them. That day he felt very weak, and he was under promise to return home as soon as possible. 

The chief part of the ceremony that day was inside the Lodge room. In the first place he would like to congratulate the brethren on the magnificent building which they had just erected, and further to say that he appreciated their kindness in naming the Temple, ”Newlands Masonic Temple,” which might be said to embrace both Lady Newlands and himself. As a little token of affection Lord Newlands proposed to present to them an oil-painting of himself, painted when he was Grand Master Mason of Scotland. It was painted for, and given to, the Masonic Club in Edinburgh. When the club ended its days the picture came into his possession, and if they cared to have it Lady Newlands would be very pleased to give it. 

He would express his congratulations not only to the office-bearers but to all the members of St John 187, for the energy and thoroughness with which they determined to carry into effect the desire to have a hall of their own. The realisation had exceeded expectations. He had visited a great many Masonic halls, but what struck him about the present building was the “adjacent” which were particularly good. He often found in Masonic buildings that the Lodge room itself was very good, but that the “adjacent” was not as good. They had an adjacent that did credit to the Lodge, and they could ascribe that to their good choice of an architect-Bro James Chalmers. The Chalmers' belonged to this district and were Lanarkshire folks through and through. Bro Chalmers was thoroughly imbued with the Masonic spirit and he had turned out a piece of work which any architect might be proud. The contractors too were all local men. They ought to have local patriotism, and there was no need to go far afield when the work could be done so well at home. 

Before sitting down, Lord Newlands said he would like to refer to the Bazaar which they held on behalf of the building of the Temple. If it had not been for the Bazaar they could not have carried into effect so speedily that building. Thanks were due to those who organised the Bazaar, and to the ladies who helped so well to make it a success. 

He thanked Bro Cowden and the brethren for the unexpected present they were good enough to give him that day. When he laid the foundation stone a year ago, he received the gift of a silver trowel, and both trowel and key would be ever valued by him as souvenirs of two interesting occasions. 

Bro Lord Newlands then intimated that he had asked Bro Dunlop, Substitute Provincial Grand Master, to act on his behalf. Lord Newlands then took his departure. 


Bro Joseph Dunlop, S.P.G.M., then proceeded with the ceremony of consecration, being supported by the following brethren of the Provincial Lodge: - Alex. Ross, S.W., Dr. Robert Paterson, J.W. John Houston, S., Samuel Hamilton, J., Rev. James French and Rev. R. Meredith Sharpe, Chaplains, Dr. McKinnon, S.D., John Loudon, J.D., George C. Arnott, T., James Graham., A., James Fleming, Director of Music, James Scott, Director of Ceremonies, Jas. Young, organist, James Byers, P.S., John Miller, S., W.F. Clements, S.G., Thos. Mochrie, T. Wm. Laing, Grand Lodge officer was also present. The ceremony of consecration according to ancient custom and the formula of the craft were then gone through, symbolised by the pouring out of the corn wine and oil. 

The ceremony, which was in closed Lodge, was very impressive, and was carried through before an attendance of the brethren which completely filled the Temple.  


After the ceremony there was a short interval and the brethren then sat down to dinner which was set in the large outer hall. The dinner was purveyed in excellent style by Bro T. Gray. Bro R. H. Cowden, RWM of Lodge St John, presided, and proposed the toasts of “The King,” “The Queen” and “The Prince of Wales”. 

Bro Gibson then called on Bro. Dunlop to hand over the gifts. The gifts to Mr McLean consisted of a set of gold sleeve links and studs, a gold pendant and a gold cigarette case, and the gifts to Mr Martin consisted of a gold albert, gold pendant and gold sovereign case. 

Bros McLean and Martin suitably acknowledged the gifts. The other toasts were –“Sister Lodges” proposed by Bro John Gass and replied to by Bro G. C. Williams, PM., 597; “The Architect and Tradesmen” by Bro Alexander Harrison, and replied to by Bro James Chalmers; and “The R.W.M. and Office-Bearers,” proposed by Bro Thomas Grossart and replied to by Bro R. H. Cowden. 

A vote of thanks to the purveyor was moved by Bro Gibson after which the brethren joined hands and sang a verse of “Old Lang Syne”. 


The new Temple occupies an important site in the Market Place, which consists of dwelling houses on the ground floor, with the Entrance to the Temple in the centre. The Entrance Hall or Vestibule which is finely decorated on the upper walls and ceiling with Egyptian ornament, gives access to the staircase at the foot of which is a reserve lodge-room for special installations and can be used as a reception or cloak room. The stair is in two flights and is decorated in red Duresco with white squares in the freeze and a special feature has been made of the newal post which is of stone and supports a beautiful lamp draped with a fringe of glittering beads of white, red and green colour. 

At the head of the stair there are two doors having stained glass representing moonlight views of the Great Pyramid, the Sacred Isle and the Temple of Philae suggesting that the entrance of masonry is through the wisdom of the Egyptians. 

The cloak room, lavatories and clothing room are placed here and are of good dimensions. The glass door of the lavatory having a representation of the water of the Nile, and the screen in the clothing room dividing it from the stair having the arms of the Freemasons, the Eagle, the symbol of St John, and Masonic Diagrams taken from the Pyramids and the Temple of King Solomon. 

Passing inwards is a magnificent room forty foot long by eighteen feet wide and about seventeen feet high which forms the assembling room of the brethren prior to the Lodge meeting, and it is here that deputations and visiting brethren from other Lodges will be received and marshalled before entering the Lodge Room.

Not only is it the desire the Grand Lodge and of that each Lodge should have premises of their own but where possible all hospitality should be dispensed outside the sacred precincts of the Lodge. 

Only in a few Lodges are the adjacents sufficiently large to permit of this most desirable arrangement. The splendid room now provided for this purpose in the new Temple is probably unrivalled in Scotland, and it marks a progressive step in the planning of Masonic buildings. 

In regard to lighting it is very fine, having the three windows grouped in the front gable at one end and two windows at the other end and flooded with yellow glass from the room in the centre. A room of such large dimensions requires some commanding feature which would naturally be place at the wall opposite the entrance end. This consists of an imposing fireplace rising from the floor to the ceiling and surmounted by a projecting canopy with a gilded dome, its projected part having richly carved panels, that in the centre having the square and compasses in gold on a blue ground, and the others representing the sun, moon, and the seven stars, also in blue and gold. 

In the centre is a space intended for the Masons’ Coat of Arms carved and picked out in old gold and colours, while in the lower part surrounding a gas fire of Moorish design are most exquisite lustre tiles, each reflecting the blue, orange and purple of sunsets. Divided into two parts by a sliding partition, when the Lodge is at work part of this room will be used as a preparation room. 

The Lodge proper is correctly oriental; being due East and West is 32 feet by 24 feet and is seated for over 100 brethren. It is lined throughout with cedar and other rare woods. The floors of the Wardens chairs and dais are oak while the raised part round the walls and other parts are of mahogany, all the woods are left in their natural state so that the odour of the cedar escapes and fills the room. In decoration the Lodge is restrained but refined, the colours of the walls being a dull yellow. The ceiling is in blue and studded with stars, while in the centre is the sacred letter from which radiate lines representing golden rays of light. Everything appears to be studied down to the minute detail, and all in delightful harmony. 

The architect is Bro James Chalmers I.A., 93 Hope Street, Glasgow, whose design in competition was selected on behalf of the Lodge by the then Grand Architect of Scotland, and strongly recommended for adoption. The wisdom of this selection, which was unanimously approved by the RWM, Wardens and brethren, has been amply justified, as from the praise bestowed upon it by all the brethren who took part in the proceedings.

Lodge St John 187, Carluke is said to now possess one of the finest Lodges in the province, and one of which the RWM and brethren are justly proud. The cost will be a little over £1,500 including the two houses already referred to. The contractors were - Mason, T. Bryce; Joiner, Bro John C. Muir; Plumber, Gas and Heating Bro. J. Marshall; Slater and Plasterer Bro J. S. Russell; Painter, Bro D. Brooks all of Carluke. Measurer, Bro Robert Hamilton, Motherwell, all of whom have carried out their work to the entire satisfaction of the architect and building committee. 




On the Consecration of the Masonic Temple

of Carluke “St  John,” No 187. 

Hail golden dawn! This is the happy day

On which the brethren find new resting place

Let the celestial orb his brightest ray

Diffuse, and on our gladness rest a space

While we our footsteps reverently trace

Unto its solemn portals open wide

To greet Masonic hearts with joy in fullest tide.


Close-tyled-high twelve-it is the hour serene-

To order and the Masters’ word obey.

Be girt with peaceful lambskin and the green

Of hope, while he invokes it upon the day

From the Great Architect to Whom we pray

A blessing, and gives thanks for work He sped,

And all the toil He to such joyful issue led.


Now open the door, and let your voice resound

In welcome to the Chief Provincial dear,

Loved by all masons true on Scottish ground

And all who Scotland’s craft abroad revere,

His name with willing accents let us cheer,

Upon whose lips and hearts is deep engraved

The law of kindness, as in squares the Lodge is paved. 


Let us to him in true allegiance bend,

No brother here let come who has refrained

Unto a brother mercy to extend

The empire of our hearts let love have gained

Lest our fraternal purity be stained,

And under his and the All-seeing eye

We fail it nought in true Masonic amity.


Haist! Master, Haist! And with submission true,

Give him the gavel with the square to trace

How skilfully you planned the work to do,

And built the Lodge a worth dwelling place,

And made provision for a coming race

Of masons, whom the mystic tie shall keep

Inviolate when we with all our fathers sleep.


Ho! Wardens their! Bear him the plenteous horn

And of soothing oil and cheering wine,

With all the graceful strength of waving corn.

Let him with measured step and word benign

Hallow our fame with fitting solemn sign,

That brethren here may meet on level true

And part on square sacred with invocation due.


Now let your joy have rein and gladsome mirth

Quicken your pulses’ banish care away

Look how your plan when it had taken birth

Has come to full-grown youth this festal day

May age this warping footstep long delay,

And distant sons in true fraternal love

 Tread through its gates the path

 To the Grand Lodge above. 


A brother of 187




   RIGHT WORSHIPFUL MASTERS from 1912 until 2012



1912  ROBERT H. COWDEN                  


1914  ROBERT EDMENT                            


1916  ADAM S.HYSLOP                           


1918  THOMAS H. HARRIS                


1920  JOHN HOPE                        

1921  JAMES BARCLAY       

1922  WILLIAM MURDOCH                  


1924  SAMUEL STEEL         


1926  WILLIAM BRUCE                 


1928  WILLIAM HANNAH               


1930  JAMES A. BUCHANAN           


1932  JAMES SHIELDS                  


1934  JOHN PYPER                      


1936  ROBERT J. KAY         


1938  MALCOLM GRIERSON           


1940  CHARLES H. ATWELL           


1942  ROBERT MCDOWALL            


1944  WILLIAM MELROSE              


1946  ROBERT THOMSON              




1950  E W. CUNNINGHAM                       


1952  WILLIAM A. BROWN               


1954  ARTHUR STODDART                  


1956  WILLIAM  HAMILTON                 


1958  JOHN  PEARSON                 



1961  JOHN  G. McLEAN





1964  CHARLES MURPHY               


1966  GEORGE A. ROBERTSON                 


1968  RICHARD MOFFAT                         


1970  JAMES F. BROWN               


1972  JOHN POOLE                      


1974  ROBERT M. WATSON                 


1976  ALEX MCLENNAN                




1980  COLIN FORREST                 


1982  WILLIAM W. HALL               




1986  JACK T. WATSON      






1992  IAIN T. FINDLAY       


1994  JOHN L. STEWART     


1996  STEPHEN A. JACK      


1998  ALISTAIR Y. GARDNER         


2000  IAIN T. FINDLAY                 


2002  DANIEL MCMAHON              


2004  JAMES B.C. BRIDGES          


2006  WALTER SIMPSON              


2008  IAN J.W. GRIEVE       






 Right Worshipful Master 2012

Philip web 2011.jpg 

My Brother, 

Many thanks for joining us and attending our 100th Anniversary Celebrations of the building of ‘Newlands Masonic Temple’ this afternoon. 

I trust you have had an enjoyable day and the programme of events and activities have met with your approval. I feel sure we have achieved our expectations and, through this, set the required standard for the next generation to aspire to when arrangements are being made for the 200th Anniversary Celebrations.

 Fraternally yours, 

Philip Oliver Smith 

Right Worshipful Master

Lodge St. John No. 187, Carluke.