For Freemasons, his most important commission was the design in 1921 of the Hall Stone Jewel for the United Grand
Lodge of England, which was exhibited at the Royal
Academy Summer Exhibition in 1922.
He was very proud that the jewel is a main feature in the
central panel of the stained glass window behind the shrine
on the first floor vestibule at Freemasons’ Hall.
However, there is one interesting change in the jewel in
the panel. When he designed it in 1921 this was prior to the
architectural competition for the new building.
When the window was designed several years later, the
façade was now known, so the winged figure of Peace, instead
of holding a model of a classic temple – as in the jewel itself – is
actually holding a model of the Tower façade for the building.
The Duke of Devonshire was Grand Master 1947-1950,
and in 1950 Spackman exhibited at a Winter Exhibition of
the RSBA a bust of the Duke, and in December that year he
presented it to Grand Lodge.
In 1944 he was admitted into the Worshipful Company of
Masons, which had its origins in the operative guild formed to
control the stone trade in London.
Spackman was generous with his time and talents and was a
well-known and active figure in the local community. He was
chairman of the Croydon University Extension Committee,
the Committee of the Croydon Writers Circle, an Honorary
Vice-President of the Croydon Symphony Orchestra and a
Vice-President of the Croydon Camera Club.
Fir Trees with a Sunset Sky by Cyril Spackman, a painting in the Royal Collection.
© The Royal Collection, HM Queen Elizabeth II
Not only were Lodge meetings held at his home, but he
let it out to local cultural groups, and in the studio he took
private lessons and held classes in architecture, painting,
sculpture and drawing.
He had an international reputation, and his works were
widely exhibited from the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool
to the Cleveland Museum of Art in the United States. As a
writer his one major publication appears to have been Colour
Prints of a Dream Garden and Old World Garden, a collection of
prints taken from original drawings, some of which had been
exhibited at the Royal Academy.
Some of his work has been left to posterity. There are
prints in the British Museum, drawings in the permanent art
collections in some City Art Galleries, and works in private
collections in the UK, USA, France, Holland and Sweden –
and, of course, the Hall Stone Jewel.
Cyril Spackman died of a heart attack on 16 May 1963
at the age of 76.
Acknowledgements: The author wishes to thank the National Art Library, the
Royal Academy of Arts, the Royal Society of British Artists, the Royal Society
of Arts Commerce and Manufacture, the Royal Institute of British Architects,
Croydon Local History and Archives, Westminster Central Reference Library
and the Library and Museum of Freemasonry. Particular thanks are due to Dr
Susan Owens (Royal Collection Trust), Peter Clark (Worshipful Company of
Masons), Stephen Freeth and Juliet Barnes (Corporation of London), Stephen
Briney (Panmure Lodge No. 720), Douglas Burford (Beaux Arts Lodge) and
James Nye (Remigium Lodge No. 7343).