Pavement ironwork outside the Masonic Hall, York.

This is one of the two drain or service covers set into the pavement outside the doorways or former doorways of the former Institute of Popular Science and Literature in St Saviourgate, York. The building became a Masonic Hall in 1883, so these unusual decorative covers must date from around then. They feature the Masonic star and (possibly) a Yorkshire rose — although the Yorkshire rose is five-sided, and the one on the pavement has six sides. According to George H. Lilley, "The Masonic Blazing Star is said to be the pinnacle of a Freemason’s journey. In Masonry, a man tries to use knowledge to guide him, much like a star that is blazing against a dark night sky."

Photograph by Rita Wood, with text by Wood and Jacqueline Banerjee, who also formatted this piece. You may use the image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


Lilley, George H. The Meaning behind 15 Common Masonic Symbols" (see no. 5). Web. 27 February 2022.

Created 27 February 2022