There is a part of London that is forever Middlesex

Some brief notes on Middlesex Guildhall with illustrations –

Former Court Room now housing the Law Library

Over many years having driven through the centre of Westminster with a curious glance at a building which was named the Middlesex Guildhall, I always thought it an anomaly but never gave it a second thought.

In more recent times and after having become an adopted Middlesex Mason, my Mother Lodge being a Metropolitan Lodge, I sensed that there was a history which needed to be understood in relation to the concept of Middlesex as a former County and as a Masonic Province.

During my searches I learnt that the Isle of Dogs in east London was part of Middlesex and that some neighbourhoods, normally associated with the “East End”, have a Middlesex heritage.

There is much written about the history of Middlesex as a County and how over a period of time, with the development of urban areas adjacent to London, Middlesex as an administrative entity ceased to exist.

For those interested to look at legislation affecting Middlesex then you should refer to the:

– Local Government Act 1888

– Local Government Act 1965

There were other Acts of Parliament which changed the status of Middlesex Guildhall from Quarter Sessions to Crown Court and finally to its current status as the Supreme Court.

(l to r) Court Room No 2 – Memorial to the men of Middlesex who fell in the First World War – Middlesex Coat of Arms

Slowly but surely, the name Middlesex will drop away from a common understanding of what was and even now there is no necessity to use the County’s name within an address when a post code will do.

Of course, there are institutions still using the name incorporating Middlesex including the West Middlesex, Central Middlesex and North Middlesex Hospitals, the Middlesex University not to mention the Masonic Province of Middlesex.

These Institutions preserve the name only it seems.

In autumn last year I had the opportunity to visit the Supreme Court which would be open for public guided tours when the Court is not is session.

This would normally be on a Friday Afternoon.

I relished this opportunity to see any links with a Middlesex past and I was not disappointed.

The photos will hopefully show that even in its current reincarnation Middlesex Guildhall still contains some memorabilia of an age now past.

As Middlesex Masons surely we have a responsibility to the keep the County name alive for a new generation.

Further reading:

Middlesex Jubilee of the County 1889-1939 C. W Radcliffe – Evans Brothers c1939

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom – History, Art, Architecture – Chris Miele ed – Merrell – 2010

Internet resource:
Article written by W. Bro Stan Marut LGR LGCR PPrAGSoj (Middx)

(l to r ) Entrance to the Supreme Court – Stained glass depicting Coat of Middlesex and the river boundaries of old MIddlesex; Winding Staircase Could it lead to a to a Masonic Middle Chamber ? – Supreme Court Emblem with floral design within an OMEGA indicating the last as in Supreme and nothing goes higher

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