The premises were originally built in 1863 for the United Methodist Church at an initial cost of £1600 and boasted seating for 800 parishioners.
The architect Mr John Hartland was well known at the time and other Cardiff examples of his work still in existence are Capel Tabernacl Welsh Baptists Church in the Hayes and Bethany Baptists Church in Wharton Street, now incorporated into Howells department store. Our building is based in design on Regency Classical coupled with the ancient Doric architecture of Greece.
In 1893, the United Methodist Church determined to sell the building and relocate. Three Masonic Lodges; Glamorgan Lodge 36, Bute Lodge 960 and Tennant Lodge 1992 were at that time meeting above a potato store in Wharton Street, made an offer of £4500 which was accepted. In 1894 The Cardiff Masonic Hall Company was incorporated funded by member’s subscriptions raising the necessary sum plus a further £2300 for alterations and furnishings.
The premises were finally opened to Freemasonry on 26th September 1895 by the Provincial Grand Mater Lord Llangattock who presided over its first meeting assisted by officers of Provincial Grand Lodge and distinguished brethren totalling some five hundred. In 1904 the building was fitted with Electric Lighting at the expense of the Master of Duke of York Lodge. A suitable illuminated scroll was presented to him in recognition of his gift.
In 1918 and in the following eight years, the directors acquired the cottages to the north of the building. These acquisitions enabled the building of a new temple which was named after the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of that time, Edgar Rutter.