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A Brief History of St Aethelbyrht Lodge
St Aethelbyrht Lodge is the oldest surviving Primitive Lodge in the Ancient Order of Druids. It was founded in Ramsgate, Kent on the 4th February 1874 at the "Hope and Anchor" tavern, Brunswick Street.
The first Noble Archdruid was a Mr Baker and the entire establishment of the new lodge was funded by George Edward Hawkes of Lodge 409, who became a Joining Brother. The minute book detailing this first meeting, is still held by the Lodge.
The name of the Lodge is believed to derive from King Aethelbyrht, who reigned between 560 and 616 A.D. and whose kingdom covered modern Kent, although his influence extended over most of southern England as far north as the Humber. He is largely remembered as the first English king to accept Christianity.
The Lodge today shares permanent premises in Percy Road, Cliftonville with the Provincial Grand Lodge, Supreme Chapter and Royal Arch Degree, three other primitive Lodges, the Lady Oak Leaves and the Druid's Social Club.
St Aethelbyrht Lodge meets fortnightly on alternate Wednesday evenings, but is teamed with Queen of Thanet Lodge, which also meets fortnightly on the intervening Thursday evenings.
Members of Lodge 425 and 722 attend each others' lodges.