Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Freemason's Hall in Sherlock Holmes Movie

I saw the new Sherlock Holmes movie last night and was intrigued to see that they used a very famous landmark for the opening scene. If you did not know, a google search for a talk on Sherlock Holmes being held in Rhode Island was the spring-board for my entry into the craft so I was rather excited to see the hall featured in the movie as well as being used for the London celebrity filled premiere.

For those of you who have seen the movie, the opening scene that had Holmes and Watson stopping a sacrifice was filmed in the hall. Here is a photo of the outside of the hall from the web site.

Speaking of the premiere, the Examiner talked about the hall during their recap of the world premiere of the movie:

We presume all had a great time since the Brits are still buzzing about the highly anticipated Guy Ritchie film based on the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle classic that happily used many London landmarks as film locations.

One such 'Sherlock Holmes' location is London's landmark Art Deco establishment known as Freemasons' Hall, headquarters for the United Grand Lodge for England, Wales and the Channel Islands as well as a major meeting place for London's Masonic Lodges.

The highly recognizable stone edifice on Great Queen Street between Holborn and Covent Garden has acted as a Masonic meeting place since 1775. In all, three different buildings have been erected on this site, the current version of which opened in 1933 as a tribute to the more than three thousand Masons who lost their lives in World War I.

The most impressive aspect of the imposing structure, which takes up more than two acres, is the Grand Temple, featuring intricate bronze doors -- each weighing more than a ton -- and a mosaic coved ceiling.

For sure, one word describes Freemasons' Hall: Opulent. To find out for sure just how opulent, either look out for the evocative building during your viewing of Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes", and/or go to London and take an actual tour of the celebrated structure, available weekdays.

Not familiar with the hall? Here are a few quick facts: It was built between 1927-1933 and houses more than 1000 lodges. It is the headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England and the site has been in use by the Grand Lodge for more than 230 years.

During an interview with the cast and crew of the film, director Guy Ritchie had this to say:
Interviewer: Guy, is there an influence from Caballa in this movie and how was Israel for you?
Ritchie: Israel’s very nice.
Interviewer: If you can shorten that answer a bit…
Ritchie: (Laughs) Israel. No, if you come through the door of this building above the door it says Kaddish, Kaddish, Kaddish. So we actually derived most of our influence from esoteric schools from the Masons, loosely based on the Masons. But the Masons themselves are heavily steeped in Hebraic scripture so that’s really where we drew our inspiration.

There you go, some fun masonic information to drop on your friends when you are leaving the theater!

*** Updated on March 16, 2010 ***
The following screen shot was submitted by a commentor, notice the influence?


  1. Another frozen frame from the movie. This is from the scene where Sherlock investigates items in a hidden room.

  2. Wow, what a great catch! Thanks for the photo, its hard to see but I see the "G" and the plum - looks like they changed enough things to make it unique but you can still see the influence for sure.