ABOUT THE SQUARE AT UPMINSTER
The Square at Upminster is a purpose built, single storey premises which, in its first incarnation, was completed in 1956. It was of course much smaller then and far less grand than it is now! It provides excellent facilities for masonic functions but is also absolutely ideal for that special occasion, whether it be for corporate, club or private lunches or fine dining with entertainment during the evening on special occasions. You will not be disappointed.
Originally named the Upminster Masonic Hall, the Square has seen many improvements over the years, particularly since 2014. It now has two lodge rooms named the Constellation Temple and the Grecian Temple, each with its own anteroom. The spacious and well decorated Clerkenwell Bar provides comfortable seating and a relaxed atmosphere for drinks before dinner. The kitchen has been completely refurbished to a high standard and consistently achieves the top food hygiene rating from the local authority inspectors. All communal areas have also been decorated to the same high standard and we hope that visitors to the centre will find it a very pleasurable experience.
The Square is easily accessible by road or rail as there is plenty of parking at the centre and Upminster Railway Station is only a 10 minute walk. The centre is a 5 minute drive from the M25 and Upminster Railway Station is served by frequent underground and overground train services.
The large temple at the Square was refurbished during 2014 and renamed the Constellation Temple. It was opened on the 8th September 2014 by the then Provincial Grand Master of Essex, RW Bro John Michael Webb. The improvement works included the removal of the old ceiling and the wood panelling on the walls. A new ceiling was erected with modern lighting and a new ‘glory’ in its centre. The central section of the ceiling includes LEDs to represent stars, laid out in the forms of the signs of the Zodiac. The centre section also incorporates separately switched lighting above the cornice. The perimeter of the ceiling has various flush luminaires fitted, which can be switched in groups to achieve the desired effect while the wall lighting comprises specially manufactured uplighters designed to give the appearance of ancient torches. The parquet flooring was sanded and finished in a lighter colour than previously and set into its centre is a black and white chequered pavement to replace the old carpet. An efficient cooling, heating and ventilation system was also installed to provide a comfortable environment.
The Grecian Temple was completed in 2015, and opened by RW Bro Rodney Bass, as one of the first appointments in his new role as PGM. The Grecian Temple is an interpretation of that iconic Lodge Room from the Great Eastern Hotel and was designed with many of the Classical Grecian forms of Architecture in mind. The directors wanted to ensure the highest level of quality and so highly skilled craftsmen were engaged to manufacture and do the work. They wanted to ensure that the design was indeed Grecian so that it could withstand scrutiny. Doric Entasised Columns were agreed upon and they now adorn three of the four walls while a four metre diameter cupola with heavily moulded Greek key lighting trough sits central to the room. Eight small rectangular coffers were formed to the long sides of the room, dressed with a classical dental block cornice with Egg and Dart enrichments. Guilloche mouldings were added to the high level soffits to give the impression of volume. A sculptor was commissioned to recreate the coat of arms of the United Grand Lodge of England which has been hand painted, gilded and sits neatly on the North wall. Once completed, all the fibrous plasterwork was also gilded by hand to create this superb meeting and dining venue.
The beautiful black and white pavement has followed on from the adjacent larger Constellation Temple. The new lighting can again be used to give different moods using low cost LED fittings with the new comfort controlled air conditioning and heating adding to the luxurious comfort this new Temple affords its occupants. Being slightly smaller and more ornate, this beautiful Temple is perfect for intimate fine dining. It can seat 28-30 set on a long table where fine cuisine can be served and enjoyed at its best for the most demanding of palates. Imagine having your company lunch or dinner in the middle of a Masonic Lodge Room? Or even a group of friends for an Anniversary or birthday meal.
The bar area was also completely refurbished in 2015 and was named the Clerkenwell Bar because most of the fixtures and fittings, the bar equipment and indeed the bar itself were purchased from the Masonic Centre at Clerkenwell when it closed. It is a welcoming and comfortable area in which to relax whilst enjoying a drink in the company of friends. You will find the bar staff courteous, efficient and ready to serve you from the vast range of drinks available.