About Masonic Lodge
The material is not local and reflects an age of improved transport, when masons were no longer restricted to local material. In contrast, the earlier cottage opposite was built before the use of dressed stone and has no cornerstones, so would be much older than other houses in the street. The roof has a much higher pitch at the gable end on the left of the cottage and this shows it was originally thatched; a new slate roof would have been built in the 19th century, when Burgh law outlawed thatched roofs as a fire hazard. The present red sandstone Masonic lodge was built in the 19th century to replace the earlier lodge in the Market Place. One of the first lodges in Scotland, it was originally called Lodge No 1, but the lodge in Kilwinning claimed to be first, so the compromise was that both then became called Lodge No 1. The story is told that Robert Burns, the national poet and a mason himself, on a visit to Selkirk with a better-dressed companion, asked to be let in to the earlier lodge to stay for the night. He was scrutinised, was judged to be ‘too scruffy’ and not being recognised, was refused admission! He was not best pleased!