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Montana Freemason  February 2013                          Volume 86 Number 1

                   The Goose and Gridiron

                                 Dan Gardiner (3)

  It is possible that the Protestant Reformation,
owing in no small measure to Martin Luther's 1517
theses, had gradually contributed to the increase
in more austere churches, and less grand building
schemes, and that, coupled with the decreasing
influence of the guilds and companies meant that by
the mid to late 1600's, skilled masons were in short
demand. Following the Great Fire of London in
1666, Sir Christopher Wren was commissioned to
rebuild the iconic St. Paul's Cathedral, and several
smaller churches. One of the results of the Great
Fire was a housing crisis, and a riotous population.
Laborers were brought in from outside of London
to work on rebuilding the city and the church.

  St. Paul’s Cathedral, Circa 1896. e Goose and
Gridiron tavern was just to the bottom le .

  One of the buildings rebuilt following the Great Fire        is list of Lodges from 1725 shows the lodge that
was at the location of the hall of the London Musician's  met in St. Paul’s Churchyard. e engraver shows a
Company, which, like the London Company of                sign of a Goose plucking a Gridiron, in imitation of
Masons, had a history going back several hundred          the Swan and Harp.
years. This particular hall had, before the calamitous
fire, used the arms of the Musician's Company: A Swan       Permission to use this image provided by e
and Harp. This harp, or lyre, was the instrument of       Library & Museum of Freemasonry (UGLE), London.
Apollo, patron god of Music. When the new building
was erected, the owner utilized a sign satirizing its
previous history, and the name of the sign has been
associated with the building ever since: the Goose and
Gridiron. Private ownership of an entire structure for
a Lodge was rare, and they tended to meet in coffee
houses and taverns - locations which would rent to
the public.

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