Banners of Craft Lodges in Hertfordshire (Continued)
Park Street Lodge No: 8556
Park Street Lodge was formed because a number of London masons who were meeting at an unofficial Lodge of Instruction (The Crown) in St. Albans, desired to be members of the same lodge. As the majority came from the Park Street area, Park Street was the name decided on and it was duly consecrated on 8th March 1974.
In the deliberations to select the insignia of the Lodge, due regard was paid to the histories of Park Street and the trade of Masonry in England. It is an accepted fact that the Romans brought to this island methods of building in stone, methods which had hitherto been unknown to the inhabitants. It can therefore be said that the Romans brought to England the secrets of the Craft and may reasonably be depicted on Masonic Insignia of the present day.
Park Street is an area to the south of the Roman city of Verulamium and sits astride the Roman road of Watling Street and the River Ver. Both the road and the river played a great part in the life of that city. It is known, and the physical evidence exists to this day, that the Romans dammed the river at the Southeast corner of the town so that a lake was formed to protect the east side. This dam and the consequent lowering of the water level below it made it impossible for ships coming from the sea to reach the city. It is also well documented that further southwards the river Ver was wider and deeper than it is at the present time.
The Saxon Chronicles record that the remains of a Roman ship was found in the river Ver to the south of Verulamium. The exact location is not given, but as the river Ver flows into the river Colne immediately south of Park Street, the finding must have been at or in the immediate vicinity of Park Street.
It was thought that the river Ver was navigable from the sea but further evidence was not found until very recently. The remains of a Roman villa were found on the banks of the river Ver at Park Street and these have been excavated. Close to the villa were found the remains of a wharf, the proportions of which suggest that cargo was unloaded there. There is then ample evidence to show that the Romans, as Masons, built at Park Street and unloaded ships there. Therefore it was decided that based on established facts, the Lodge could adopt a unique insignia.
The centre panel of the insignia depicts a Roman trading ship of the 2nd century A.D. at rest on a river and alongside a wharf. In the left background, a Roman gatehouse is seen in profile and is introduced to show the association with Verulamium and in recognition of Roman Masonic Craft. In the right background, a hill is shown to depict the association with St. Albans. The panel is surmounted by a banner bearing the name of the Lodge. Behind the banner can be seen a Roman helmet so that all may be aware of the source from which the panel was constructed. Upon either side of the helmet there are laurel leaves which the Romans used as a symbol of award for achievement. Below the panel there appears the Lodge number, and below this, two panels, each containing a Masonic symbol. Between the panels there is a representation of a Roman sword to remind all of the warlike nature of the Romans. The centre panel is supported by a pair of antlers representing the stag for the Province of Hertfordshire.
The banner was dedicated on the 6th June 1975.