State House

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The State House is the sole survivor from the Town’s earliest days and looks strikingly different from later buildings.  Built by Governor Nathaniel Butler in 1620 the State House is one of the oldest standing English structures in the New World and was one of the first buildings in Bermuda to be built of stone.

The first floor of the building was the meeting place of Bermuda’s General Assembly and the upper floor served as a magazine for the island’s gunpowder.  The State House was also used as a Court House, assembly hall and fort.  On December 21, 1814 the final meeting of the General Assembly was held in the State House as Hamilton became Bermuda’s capital on January 1, 1815.

Then Mayor of St. George’s John Van Norden, (Loyalist from Bergen, New Jersey) talked the Governor into allowing the Masons, of which he was a member, to use the State House in perpetuity for its meetings at an annual rent of one peppercorn.  Each April Lodge St. George No. 200 pays rent to the Governor during the annual peppercorn ceremony, which includes a military parade, rifle salute, and plenty 19th century pump and circumstance.

The building is open to the public on Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. courtesy of Lodge St. George, No. 200, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons on the role of the Grand Lodge of Scotland.

Groups can make special arrangements by contacting Rt. Wor. Bro. Leslie T. Center at 441-296-8766 or lcenter@northrock.bm.