The Worshipful Society of Freemasons in Hertfordshire

The Operatives

The Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers and Bricklayers - otherwise known as the Operatives. 

 

The Society exists to perpetuate or preserve a memorial of the practices of operative Free Masons existing prior to, or continuing independently of, modern speculative Freemasonry.

 

It does not claim to be the successor to or connected with any former society of the same or any like name, nor that the ceremonies in fact represent precisely the practice of stonemasons, although some elements certainly reflect former practices. For instance, anyone wishing to learn the craft of stonemasonry in days gone by would do so in two ways; by either watching and practising next to an experienced workman (i.e. 'Sitting by Nellie', as it was known), or by entering into a formal apprenticeship deed with a master.

This latter method is reflected in our Society today and, on joining, a candidate does not promptly become a 'mason' but is known as an Indentured Apprentice until through time and experience he is able to progress through the first six degrees of the Society, the seventh being conferred by the three Grand Master Masons only. 

 

Within Hertfordshire there are a number of Assemblages as the individual "lodges" are known:

 

Waltham Abbey - Cheshunt

Royston Priory - Royston

Tottenhoe Quarries - Dunstable, Bedfordshire

St Albans Abbey - St Albans

 

A detailed explanation of the order can be found here

The order does not have banners.