The September event for The Essex Cornerstone Club promised to be something truly amazing. In association Dedham Vale Lodge 8901 they were given a fantastic opportunity to attend The Tower of London to witness the oldest military ceremony in the world, The Ceremony of The Keys. Tickets for this event were made available to Cornerstone members and sold out within minutes!
Those in attendance gathered outside entrance which was directly outside the ‘Middle Tower’ ready to be collected by an extremely knowledgeable and charismatic tour guide. Once ready, guests were escorted into the grounds and were given a detailed, whistle-stop tour on the history of this World Heritage site, its noble residents and bloody history. After a breath-taking 45 minutes of touring the courtyards and chapels where many Kings and Queens had once graced, guests were taken to the Yeoman Warders Club, aptly named ‘The Keys’, for Beefeater Gin (of course) and some wonderful fish and chips.
Members and guests departed the Yeoman Wardens Club at 9:45 pm to watch the main event and anticipation was building! The congregation gathered on the cobbles just outside ‘The Bloody Tower’ where, at 9:53 pm exactly the Chief Yeoman Warder approached with Queen Elizabeth’s keys to pick up his escort to lock up the Tower for the night. This short ceremony has been unbroken for 760 years and the Essex Cornerstone Club and it’s guests were lucky enough to there witness this historic event.
This was another truly successful event where young masons from every part of the Province of Essex were able to come together to share in this brilliant evening.
If you’d like to attend this ceremony yourself, you can book here.