In 1768 the premier Grand Lodge took the momentous decision to build a Hall as its headquarters in London. A site was purchased in Great Queen Street, an architectural competition held, the Foundation Stone laid, and on 23 May 1776 the Hall was formally dedicated to the purposes of Freemasonry.
In addition to providing offices and meeting rooms the Hall, fronted by the Freemasons' Tavern, was to prove a popular venue for concerts, musical and literary recitals, dinners and balls during the London 'season'.
Designed by Thomas Sandby (1721-1798), the Grand Hall survived until 1931 when it was found to be structurally unsound and was demolished.
The watercolour, circa 1800, by J Nixon, was the basis of a very popular engraving.