Searching for Old Kingstonians

W Bro Nick Horne describes this Grammar School’s Lodge search for upcoming celebrations

Lovekyn Chantry No 6807 is a Surrey Lodge which meets in one of the oldest masonic venues in the UK, the Old Chantry Chapel, part of Kingston Grammar School.

The Lodge will celebrate its 75th
anniversary in December 2023 and is
starting a search for Old Boys that have
found a masonic home elsewhere, especially
in London and the Home Counties.

The plan for the event is gathering interest
and impetus and as any Freemason might
expect will include a splendid dinner. If
you are one of the masonic lost boys of
KGS, please contact us.

The Chantry Chapel, founded by Edward
Lovekyn (1239 – 1310) and completed in
1309, has had a varied history. By 1352,
it was already in dire need of repair due
to the negligence of the founder s son
Robert. Fortunately, another son John,
four times mayor of London and a master
of the Fishmongers Company, had the
means to secure a Royal consent to re-endow
the building. His widow on
remarrying William Walworth, another
London Mayor and Master Fishmonger
(and extremely wealthy), persuaded her
new husband to continue the financial
support from the early 1370s.

The Chapel served the town as both
Chantry and Schoolroom from then until
the dissolution of the Chantries in 1547.
As a result, it was deconsecrated and fell
into the hands of a court favourite Richard
Taverner. He preserved the Chapel so
that, when in 1561 the Bailiffs of Kingston
petitioned Queen Elizabeth for a Royal
Grammar School, the
building was available
for immediate use.
The Queen decided
that it should be the
home of her
Grammar School and
endure forever. It
continued as such for
over 300 years as the
centre of the
School s life. It was
not until 1904 that
Queen Elizabeth’s
Grammar School
became Kingston
Grammar School.


In 1878, new school buildings were
completed; hence the Chapel was displaced
as the centre of activity. The chapel was
again in need of care and attention, being
close to collapse. Public subscription and
the co-operation of the Kingston
Corporation saved it for us and re-opened
it as a chapel. However, as part of the
school, it was also pressed into service as
gymnasium, woodwork room, Junior
Library, music rooms and occasionally an
unofficial boys smoking room!


In 1961 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
graciously visited the School on its 400th
anniversary. In 2005 Her Majesty popped
in again to open the new Queen Elizabeth
II Building. She unveiled a plaque, met
with students of Music and Geography and
watched an excerpt of the musical play
“Smike” after which the new Recording
Studio was named. The Chapel was again
subject to repair and remodelling in 1992.
£150,000 was raised by the Restoration
Fund plus £40,000 from the Lottery Fund
for landscaping. It has been regularly used
since then by the Lodge which moved from
meetings in the Gymnasium to the restored
Chapel in 1995. The Lodge was conceived
in the aftermath of the Second War by
several old boys already Freemasons,
including the then Headmaster EWH
(Jimmy) James, and the Second Master A
D Robinson. They chose the name to avoid
confusion with the Kingstonians AFC, and
a warrant issued, dated 1 Dec 1948. One
quaint final detail is the black squares on
the banner which were made by cutting
up Headmaster James s academic gown.

If you are interested in visiting or
joining this Lodge, please contact
the Secretary, W Bro Nick Horne
on 020 8977 9428 or email:,
alternatively W Bro Jonty Powis;
01773 603913 or

This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 43 January 2021 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.

Read more articles in the Arena Issue 43.