Former French masonic chapter, Abergavenny
From 1740 to 1815 Great Britain and France were almost constantly at war with one another. Many thousands of prisoners were taken. Some of these were sent to Abergavenny – a much more pleasant place than the rotting boat hulks in Portsmouth Harbour! The soldiers were housed in the castle and in barns. The officers were housed in private houses and often given hospitality by British Freemasons. At this time, Freemasonry was popular in the French army and the British army.
The French Freemasons set up a French chapter at 22 Monk Street, previously a school. Four of the masonic certificates issued in 1813 and 1814 are still kept in St John's Church, Abergavenny, where the Masonic Lodges meet today. After peace was declared, the prisoners were repatriated.
By 1826 the large house, 22 Monk Street, had become Hope House, an expensive day and boarding school which even boasted a tennis court at the rear. An advertisement for Hope House can be seen in Abergavenny museum dated 1826. The school closed in 1906. Later records show that Annie Radford owned a Boarding & Day School here from 1920 to 1934.
Our thanks to Becky’s Hairdressers at 20 Monk Street for displaying the QR codes for this HiPoint.
With thanks to Gill Wakley, of Abergavenny Local History Society
Postcode: NP7 5NP