The present Freemasons’ Hall is the third to be built in Great Queen Street. In 1775 the premier Grand Lodge (formed in 1717) purchased a house fronting the street, behind which was a garden and a second house. Thomas Sandby designed the first Freemasons’ Hall which was built in the garden.
The house fronting the street became the Freemasons’ Tavern, the second house became offices and meeting rooms. In addition to Masonic uses, Sandby’s Hall was to be an important centre during the ‘London Season’, hosting concerts, balls, play readings, literary evenings and meetings of many learned and philanthropic societies, including the Anti-Slavery Society and the British and Foreign Bible Society.