THE LODGE ROOM
The location of the Lodge Room in Dunbar (mentioned in previous chapters) can be summarised thus:
1758 – 1798 Unknown
1798 – 1865 The Hall above The Town Reservoir, [on the site currently occupied by G.Spratt & Co. 3 Abbeylands the High Street].
1865 – 1872 The Supper Room of The Assembly Rooms in Church Street.
1872 – 1883 St. Catherine’s Hall Lamer Street.
1883 1930 The Hall above the Town Clerk’s Office (the reconstructed Reservoir Building).
1930 – 1958 The Hall and former Town Clerk’s Office – the whole premises purchased and reconstructed.
In 1980 the premises were sold and The Lodge moved to the location on Belhaven Road.
The appearance of the interior of the early Lodge is not known, but some ideas may be gained from items in accounts, and the following extracts help to construct at least some kind of picture.
20th December 1811.
For painting Lodge Room and staircase.
3 Coats Crimson Colour on walls finished in oil.
2 Coats White on doors and windows finished in oil.
Crimson size Colour on walls of Stair Case and Stewards Room.
From time to time alterations, renovations and re-decoration were carried out. It is clear from bills that there was a Stewards Room and an outside staircase and room below it. In 1818, a Committee met and decided to alter the position of the stair to enter from the West. The Lodge Room was lit first by candles – there are a number of items in the Stewards Book for the purchase of both “mould” and “dipt” candles and also candlesticks.
Here is one entry from the Stewards Book :-
Dec. 10. 1811.
2 pairs Snuffers 2 – 0
8 mould Candles 1 – 8
1 lb. Dipt. Do. 1 – 0
Another entry reads “Aprile 6. 1803. To paid Archibald Aitken for new besom 2/- “
It was heated by a coal fire, removed only in 1936, along with the Adams mantelpiece. An early bill for coal is “Feb. 5. 1805. 1 boll of briggness coals and carriage. “ (Briggness is a small harbour near Carriden, West Lothian). Later there would be oil lamps to give light, and then gas was installed in 1836, as has been related. Electric lighting came in 1930, when the premises became the property of the Lodge, and major reconstructions were done, as have been described. At that time also, in the Lodge Room, the deep ceiling intake above the walls was decorated with Masonic emblems, a Roll of Masters of the Lodge and two paintings of Dunbar scenes – all carried out in colour in a series of panels, the work of Mr Andrew Gray. Further reading and view wall paintings here.
Extract from The History of Dunbar Castle Lodge 1758 ~ 1958 Bicentenary Year by J.S McMartin M.C., M.A.