EDP Norfolk - - HERITAGE -

Ma­sons have their own in­ter­na­tional lan­guage, known as Bearl­ish.

The Nor­wich ap­pren­tices work out­side in all weathers, at hand­made work benches known as ‘banks’ be­neath a shel­ter.

They make many of their own tools by hand. They do use power tools, but for the first five years con­cen­trate on mas­ter­ing work­ing stone by hand.

The guild of St Stephen and St Ge­orge can trace its his­tory back to 1089, with each master’s ex­per­tise based on the ac­cu­mu­lated knowl­edge of a con­tin­u­ous line of named mas­ters.

As well as the craft and the cul­ture of stone­ma­sonry the guild is re­spon­si­ble for “frith” or the life-long wel­fare of its mem­bers and their fam­i­lies.

It is not a re­li­gious or­gan­i­sa­tion although many of its tra­di­tions are based around church cer­e­monies. It also has noth­ing to do with freema­sonry.

Gilden­craft is the trad­ing, com­mer­cial arm of the Guild of St Stephen and St Ge­orge, with ma­sons work­ing on con­ser­va­tion, con­struc­tion and de­sign projects.

It pays its rent to the Nor­wich His­toric Churches Trust by car­ry­ing out re­pairs to the Trust’s 18 churches.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit guildsg.org or call in dur­ing Her­itage Open Days.

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