It’s a surprising move for a so-called secret society, but the Freemasons have opened a gift shop just in time for Christmas. The shop, which will sell luxury items and memorabilia related to the historically closeted society opened in London, UK in the beginning of December. Unlike the society itself, the shop is – of course – open to both genders, and all ages and can be found in one of London’s historic grade 2 listed buildings giving shoppers a festive English country home aesthetic experience to warm their hearts and open their wallets this festive period.
The shop is housed in the headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) in Covent Garden. It provides shoppers with a unique insight into and experience of the society’s historic past that supposedly began as early as the 14th century. The Freemasons are a men-only secret society that reportedly emerged from the stone mason trade during the middle ages in England. It was then spread around the world by the colonization of the British Empire, though estimates for its current number of members range from anywhere between two and six million. The first Grand Lodge of the Freemasons was established in England in 1717, and came as a result of growing interest in membership following the opening of the guild to ‘honorary’ members, whereas membership had previously been dependent on the person being a mason in trade.
The shop, which can be found on Great Queen Street in central London, is the result of a partnership with Lumsden, an interior design company who are also responsible for the gift shops of other London institutions such as the British Museum, Tate Modern and the National Theatre. Scarves, jewelry, teddy bears and other classic gift shop items bearing the Freemasons’ world famous logo will be available to purchase from the store.