from the beginning
ALL THE WAY BACK TO 1826...
The Masons Yard 24, formerly known as The Masons Arms, is situated on Stramongate in Kendal, about a hundred yards from the bottom of Branthwaite Brow.
The building is unusual for several features, one being that it has no front door, and is entered down yard 24.
Masons Yard 24, in addition to part of yard 26 next door was once part of Ralphord Hall, a private residence. Records from 1882, indicate that the yard up the side of the inn, led directly into the grounds of the Unitarian Chapel at the top of Branthwaite Brow. This right of way was eventually blocked off in 1900.
Thomas Gibson, owner of Ralphford Hall, who died in 1781, gave the building over to the Ralphford Hall trustees upon his death, for the use of the Protestant Minister, for a small rent payable to the Blue Coat Hospital in the town. The owners of the Masons Arms, the Unitarian Chapel Trustees and the Ralphford Hall Executors would appear to have been one and the same.
The building as we see it today, is the result of changes made by architect James Hutton in 1908.
The name of the inn is an abbreviation of the Freemasons Arms. The original sign, as seen on some old black and white photos of the street, showed two freemasons working. This was removed and replaced in the 1970’s with a crest, shield and motto as the Freemasons of Gateshead and Tyne used from 1671. This sign can be seen hanging in the yard today.
Records name the first licensee of the inn as Thomas Derome, in 1826. In around 1892, records show that the inn had stabling for ten horses, two drinking rooms, two bedrooms and one dining room able to seat up to 50 people.
The Masons Arms under the ownership of brewers Whitbread, the inn underwent refurbishment and operated as a thriving town centre pub until its closure in 2010.
The property stood empty for several years before being purchased by a small independent partnership who saw the potential and history in the building. The sensitive redevelopment has seen the original round window reinstated in the building’s façade as well as years of plasterboard additions removed to highlight the buildings original features also leading to the discovery of a spring well which will be used to brew special beer on-site.