The Morcar Lodge in Alfreton was Warranted on 14th June 1972 and Consecrated on 2nd October 1972 following a petition by members of Vulcan Lodge No. 4382 and supported by others in Alfreton, many of whom were employed by the national coal board. Though nowadays, after celebrating our 50th year, we have a much more demographic membership and are pleased to include joining members and new initiates representing the diversity of our local community.

Morcar is a family name shared by at least two Anglo-Saxon noblemen with strong connections to Derbyshire who lived a generation apart prior to the Norman conquest of 1066.

The first Morcar was minister to King Ethelred the Unready, who in 1009 awarded him extensive lands in Derbyshire allowing control over the northern routes through Mercia. These included lands at Weston-on-Trent, Crich, Smalley, Mickleover and Eckington. Such was the misfortune of politics at the time that in 1015 he and his brother were murdered, suspected of collusion with the Danes.

The second,  was the Earl Morcar , and later the Earl of Northumbria, son of the Earl of Mercia and brother to Ealdgyth became the wife of King Harold Godwinson until his death at Hastings. Although declaring fealty to William the Conqueror, Morcars ‘mischievous’ conduct resulted in his exile to Normandy. Although released by the King on his deathbed, William II had him reinterred to Winchester Castle until his death some time after 1087.

Alfreton Freemasons Hall

Of the Lodges that meet in Alfreton, Morcar Lodge is the youngest and the only one that has always met at the Abraham Lincoln Library building which is situated at the bottom of Derby Road.

Abraham Lincoln Library Alfreton

The library in Alfreton, together with a church, school, cottages, sports ground and pavilion were gifted to the town by the Watchorn Trust which was set up by Robert Watchorn a native of Alfreton who made his fortune after emigrating to America in 1880. He became Commissioner of Ellis Island where immigrants to America were processed and when he retired, formed the Watchorn Oil & Gas Company making him a very wealthy man. He became a benefactor of the town after his only son Emory was killed in the First World War leaving him without an heir.

There is some doubt whether it ever existed as a library, but it was requisitioned in 1940 by the military authorities, used as a hospital for captured German Officers and was also used by the N.H.S. in its early years. Eventually the Library was bought from the Watchorn Trust in 1971 by Alfreton Freemasons after it had stood empty for a number of years and was falling into disrepair. It still serves as a Freemasons Hall and has recently been refurbished to provide much needed dining facilities for its members.