LODGE ST. JOHN 540 CROSSGATES
NOTES ON THE HOMES OF LODGE St. JOHN 540. (1873-1911)
Mrs. Crawford's Hotel/ Cross Inn} 1873- 1911
the Cowdenbeath years} 1884 - 1891).
Bro. Burt's Masonic Hall } 1893 --1896).
Bro. Andrew Kerr PM Almoner
Today Lodge St John meets in the Lodge Room at 2, Inverkeithing Road, Crossgates. This has been our continuously used home since 1946, although we first moved into this building in 1935, and met there for only a few years until, unfortunately, the start of WW11 saw H.M. Civil - Defence taking over our building as an A.R.P. Warden's POST, and we were forced to move out of our own building for the duration of the War.
Since our Lodge was born in 1873, we have a history of having moved home on quite a few occasions , not only within Crossgates, but also further afield. )- so where were our "Homes".
From our minutes we learn that several gentlemen met in a room in Mrs. Crawford's hotel in Crossgates and decided to write to Grand Lodge in order to procure a Charter, several of whom offered their services to the Lodge. This petition having been granted, our Lodge then met regularly in Mrs Janet Crawford's Hotel, !! or did it ?
Over the years, like the other Hostelries in Crossgates, the name of this establishment would change now and again over the years from - Hotel to Inn or sometimes known better by the Proprietor or Tennant's name, but until at least 1896 it was known locally as Mrs. Crawford's. Throughout the following years, the Lodge also used the other establishments within the village on other occasions, eg -- for the festivals of St John, Installations, committee meetings or any occasion where dances or meals were enjoyed and in fact there was discussion over whether the Banquet for our first Festival of St.John should be supplied by Mrs Crawford or James Connelly who owned the other Hotel in the village and eventually Mr. Connelly having declined to supply the fare, Mrs Crawford's offer was accepted by the Lodge with tickets at 2/6d including pint of table beer.
A report in The Scotsman in November 1873 states that the Brethren marched to the railway station then returned to McLean's Hall where the Consecration of the Lodge took place. This Hall is not to be confused with Mclean's Inn at Cowdenbeath which is mentioned occasionally in our minutes in later years.
There was also another licenced premises in the village in 1873. This Inn belonged to Mr. John Cairns. John had been Mine Host from at least 1842 in what had previously been known as New Inn, but it is not known to have been used by the Lodge.
Mrs Crawford's Hotel ( 1873- 1896 )
So where was Mrs. Crawford's Hotel. It was situated on the south corner of Front Street (today's Main Street) and Dunfermline Road. Like Lodge st John, Mrs. Crawford was a recent Tennant in the Hotel, both first appearing in Lodge minutes in 1873 and in the 1873/4 Valuation Rolls. As for the Lodge, those same Rolls actually describes - St. John Masons as } - a HOUSE , paying yearly rent of £4 to Mrs. Janet Crawford, although Mrs. Crawford was not actually the Proprietor of the Hotel or the Houses which adjoined the Hotel, but the Tennant who in turn leased the House to the Lodge and the Lodge themselves leased the House/Hall to other organisations within the village. The 1894 Ordnance Survey map shows an Inn, still complete with stables and garden etc., and still on this corner site and It would appear to show a building at the entrance to the stable yard etc, next to the end of the main corner building, which may well have been our House /Home. The extremes of the stable buildings etc., came right up to the edge of today's Hall where the Community Garden now sits.
In the Minutes of 3rd July 1889 it is noted that 12 Brethren had met in '' Crawford's Hotel -- adjoining the Lodge room ''. The previous year, again according to our Minutes of 19th January 1888, during an ongoing dispute within the Lodge, a letter was sent to Grand Secretary complaining that '' another objection the Cowdenbeath Brethren have is that of the very unsuitable place to meet in Crossgates. A family resides underneath the Lodge Room, which is not deafened and the Ante room door of the Lodge has to be approached from outside the Lodge Room by aid of a ladder which has more than once broken down while candidates were climbing it, and after anti room is reached, it is so confined that candidates are unable to prepare without being very much inconvenienced, scarcely room for standing ''.Both of these Minutes obviously suggest that the Lodge Room was not actually within the Hotel. The Valuation Rolls seem to bear this out, when they show Mrs. Crawford's Inn and two houses, of which she is the tenant. One house is occupied by the Lodge and - in the other, resides Mr Burt. The occupier of this house changes through the years.
An indication that the Lodge Room may not have been very large comes from our attendance book, when the first attendance of 7th October, records 38 Brethren present. the highest attendance of this first year was 59, on the 10th December. Apart from these two meetings, the rest of 1873 recorded an average of just over 40 Brethren. I can only imagine, that given the complaints in later years with regards to the unsuitability of the Lodge Room, our ' House ' may have been quite crowded.
In this same time span} - in 1873, 60 gentlemen were initiated into the Lodge. The following calendar year saw 15 Brethren Initiated. In 1875 the total was 11 Brethren for the year, and as could be expected the numbers greatly reduced until leading towards 1884, as some years saw only one Brother initiated and sadly 1883 saw no Initiations with attendances reflecting these circumstances.
An old photo ( bottom of this page) which may be of this building shows a woman standing at the door which may be the entrance to the downstairs part of the building. Unfortunately, no date given, but I wonder if this could actually be Mrs. Janet Crawford, but more likely Mrs. Burt. Like St.John 540, Mrs. Crawford had only recently moved into this Inn ( although born in Cowdenbeath, she had lived in Crossgates since at least 1863 ), and first appears -- in the 1873/4 Valuation Rolls as Occupier of the Inn, and in August 1873 in our Lodge Minutes. Previously owned by Mr Archibald Dryburgh from at least 1863, in 1872/3 the Hotel was owned by solicitors until 1896 when it was taken over by a man who would become a member of Lodge St John Mr. Edward Danks.
Most recently but now sadly demolished, the Inn was known as the Cross Inn, but thanks to the fact that the building continually flooded, possibly caused by the very heavy traffic on this busy corner, the building had certainly suffered from subsidence through the years, and on being closed and lying empty for some time , ' Mrs. Crawford's ' was demolished around the late 1990's and a three storey block of flats now stands in it's place, although considering the fact that our ' home ' was actually a house adjoining the Inn, as stated in our minutes, the house was probably demolished long before this - possibly at the same time as the stables etc., which are still in evidence on the Ordnance Survey map, which was surveyed in 1894 and published in 1896. An older two storey style block of flats with gardens behind them, built in 1901, now stands in the entrance area into the stable yard, with part of the flats now demolished and that part of the area being taken up with the Community Garden, which is built on the space left. Ironically, the house which stood on the space left between the Lodge and the flats, belonged to a Past Master of the Lodge - Bro. William Duncan, who kindly sold this house to the Lodge in 1976.
Originally a coaching Inn built on the corner of two of Scotland's oldest and most important roads, one of which ran from the ferry crossing the river Forth to North Queensferry and by way of Inverkeithing heading north through Crossgates, Hill of Beath and Kelty, became The Great North Road. The other became a great religious and Royal Road used by the Kings and Queens of Scotland travelling between the Palace in the ancient capital of Scotland - Dunfermline, and along with the Pilgrims leaving from Dunfermline Abbey, both Pilgrims and royalty travelled to Kilrymont - St. Andrews - the ancient religious capital. Long ago this was also an old Drover's road, with the Drovers stopping at the farm just outside Crossgates. Known as Droverhall farm it has recently been demolished, but the Droverhall part of the name remains nearby in - Droverhall Avenue and Droverhall Place.
It was that other King - King coal which in the 19th Century brought miners from around Scotland and beyond, as the mining industry saw Crossgates flourish and become the hub for the farms and smaller mining villages which grew up around it. It was probably thanks to this influx of the miners in particular and also the artisans and businesses which increased the population of the area that those gentlemen met in Mrs. Crawford's Hotel and offered their services.
Mrs Crawford's Premises ( House/ Inn) remained our home, albeit with some intervals, notably between 1884 and 1890, and again between 1893 and 1897, and with several name changes over the years when the Inn changed hands, until 1911 when we built our own ' Home ' .
As to the reason this Hotel was known as Mrs Crawford's Hotel, probably becomes apparent when, in 1878, there was a report in an Edinburgh newspaper which asked the question " should a wife be held responsible for her husband's upkeep when he is resident in Edinburgh Asylum ". Mr. William Crawford was at this time a resident in this Hospital. Janet Crawford remained in Crossgates until at least 1895/96 and then may have lived in Larbert with her daughter Jessie and her family, although according to later Valuation Rolls there was a block of houses known first as Gibbs Buildings which changed to Cousin's Buildings, the proprietary of which was a Mrs Janet Crawford. Is it coincidence that the maiden name of Janet C. Crawford who owned our first 'Home', was also Cosine.
After the Lodge had spent some time meeting occasionally in Cowdenbeath and Crossgates from 1884, it returned to meet in Crossgates permanently in 1890 and began to appear in the Valuation Rolls again in 1890/91. At this time Mrs Crawford was still the Occupant of the Hotel and Houses, which were now owned by a Mr. Alexander Gibb. In 1893 The Lodge proposed to give notice to Mrs Crawford at Martiinmas (November ) that they intended to move into a new building which had been built by Bro. David Burt. The Lodge Committee informed Mrs. Crawford that they were moving because they were in need of a larger Hall. The Lodge duly moved out of Mrs Crawford's and into Bro. David Burt's new Hall, so ending the Lodge's association with Mrs Janet Crawford although not completely with her building.
Mrs. Janet Crawford's Hotel passed into the hands of Edward Danks in 1896/97.
THE COWDENBEATH YEARS (1884 - 1891)
After prospering with 60 Entrants in 1873 and 15 Entrants in the full year of 1874 , by 1883 there had been a drop in both Entrants and attendances. Mrs. Crawford's had remained our main 'Home' until 1884 when the Lodge began to alternate meetings between Crossgates and Cowdenbeath. In 1884, Lodge St. John acquired not just a new ' Home ', but a second ' Home '. For the first few years or so, of our early years in Crossgates, the Lodge had prospered due to the influx of a large workforce into Crossgates and the surrounding villages. Large numbers of miners and the necessary businesses and other trades that they required had made Crossgates a busy centre on which the smaller villages surrounding it relied on.
Unfortunately, as the coal became harder to extract, large numbers of the workforce gradually drifted towards the now expanding town of Cowdenbeath where between 1873 and 1893 the population almost doubled, and according to a local newspaper report in 1888 - the population of Cowdenbeath was now around four thousand. Because the coal was more easily extracted and more and more pits were sunk, so the fortunes of the Lodge reflected this movement as some of our members may have moved and many of our newer members were also resident in Cowdenbeath.
It was now suggested that the Lodge should apply to Grand Lodge to be able to meet alternately in Crossgates and Cowdenbeath, and in our minutes of 19th March 1884, the R.W.M. Thomas Campbell communicated with our Proxy Master as to the Lodge holding meetings in Cowdenbeath, for the ' convenience of the Brethren ', and in April, considered it necessary to seek the opinion of Lodge Minto. After several letters to P.G.Lodge - on receiving the necessary approval, the Privilege being granted in May, the Lodge began to meet in our ' alternate Home ', and on 15th August 1884, two men , one of whom was Charles McLean, were Initiated in McLean's Hall.
Once again, almost like our Crossgates ' Home ' the hall was over an Inn. This Hall and lnn had been built by Charles McLean some years previously and it was his son, also Charles who was initiated in 1884. Our minutes and newspaper reports of that time relate to McLean's Hall and the Inn, which had been built by Charles Snr., and was run for years by Charles and his wife Isabella and after his death - by Isabella, known as Eezie Mclean, who was quite a well loved character in Cowdenbeath. The photo below shows McLean's Inn and Hall on the left with Broad Street behind the Jubilee Fountain.
Eezie married a local farmer - John Brunton, in 1874. The following year 1875, John became a member of Lodge Minto 385. John is more well known today as the builder of Brunton's Hall which eventually became the Co-operative Hall in which the meeting took place to make Cowdenbeath a Burgh. Eezie continued to run the Inn with Charles Jnr., who then continued on his own. Unfortunately, in 1887 John died in curious circumstances. A newspaper reported that after being reported missing, a search was made and eventually, on being lowered down a mineshaft a searcher found a human leg. On searching a little further into the mine, he found John's remains. At this time he was only 47 years old.
The Hall and Inn were situated at the South end of today's high Street at the junction with Bridge Street and Broad Street, the area known locally today as the Fountain. The Inn looked out on the Toll house which was one of the last to be used in Scotland and then on the water Fountain which was built to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897, although the Lodge was by now back permanently in Crossgates. One of our Lodge's Past Masters Bro. Archie Hodge, was privileged to propose a toast at the Banquet which celebrated the Fountain's opening. This fountain and tollhouse no longer exist and although the Inn still stands today, it is no longer in use as Licensed premises.
Although the Brethren of the Lodge had marched to Cowdenbeath on special occasions, the letter which the Lodge sent to Grand Lodge on 18th January 1888, suggested that ' when the meetings were held in Cowdenbeath, the Crossgates Brethren have suitable trains both ways when the roads are bad, while Cowdenbeath Brethren have not, when meetings are held in Crossgates '. Certainly the Crossgates Brethren only had to walk across the road when they arrived at Cowdenbeath Station. This was of course the original Station which then, was situated approximately where the Bridge Street car park of today is now situated. Some of those same Brethren may have had quite a walk to get to Crossgates Station which sat on the east side of the main Crossgates to Cowdenbeath road. Just past today's Bypass flyover, to the north of Crossgates the railway runs parallel to the bypass and also passes under the main road. The trains would just have passed under the main road before stopping for the Crossgates passengers to alight from the train on to the platform on the north side of the railway line.
The Hall must have been capable of holding quite a large crowd, as is noted in our minutes ' the Brethren could not get access to the hall on one occasion due to a mass meeting of miners '.
When in use over the years, as is common with most Inns, the name of the Inn built by Charles McLean changed through the years. Known as the Old Inn -- although the original Old Inn lay across the road, it was at one time known as the Cowdenbeath Inn and in the 1881 census - John, Eezie and her son Charles were Proprietors and Occupants of what was now known as the Dunfermline Inn. After eventually becoming the BRUCE HOTEL, It closed and at this present time ( 2016 ) it is now occupied by hairdressers.
The first meeting in Cowdenbeath was held in August, 1884 and by the following September, the matter of what to do with the Hall in Crossgates was raised but left over. The Lodge was still meeting in Crossgates occasionally so it must have been paying rent for both Halls and in 1886 the Lodge proposed to meet with Bro. Brunton to rent the Hall for 12 Months. The following year John died and this same year the Lodge proposed to give up the Hall in Crossgates. With less and less meetings now being held in Crossgates, the harmony within the Lodge now began to suffer as it gradually broke into two factions. The Cowdenbeath Brethren obviously believing the future lay in Cowdenbeath while the Crossgates Brethren, especially the older and founding Crossgates Brethren being determined to have the ' privilege ' reversed and determined to return to Crossgates for good. This chapter in our history is covered, under the heading WHAT'S IN A NAME.
Despite the differences of opinion within the Lodge, it still functioned as it should of course and just as it did in Crossgates, it held functions in other places in Cowdenbeath. The first place to host Lodge St John in Cowdenbeath was actually Bro. Robert Crawford's Crown Hotel which, sadly in recent years was destroyed by fire. This hotel sat at the north end of today's High Street next to the garage at the junction with the Kelty Road and Foulford Road. Robert was not related to Mrs. Crawford of Crossgates. As early as 1874, the Lodge had marched to Cowdenbeath and met with Lodge Minto 385 of Lochgelly, in Bro. Crawford's Hotel. This tradition took place over many years and continued through our time in Cowdenbeath. The Minutes of January 1890, inform us that committee meetings of that month were held in Bro. Campbell's Commercial Hotel, which still stands today, but no longer in use. Also in 1890, after meeting in Crossgates, the Lodge marched to Cowdenbeath to meet with Lodge Minto and thereafter marched through Cowdenbeath, then P.M. Archie Hodge laid a memorial stone in the railway bridge which spans Cowdenbeath High Street.
In this year of 1890, disaster struck the Lodge when on the 19th February, fire destroyed the Hall above the Inn, and also destroyed the Lodge Charter and all the Paraphernalia of the Lodge. The Lodge now met in Bro. Brunton's Hotel, which was of course by now owned by his wife Eezie and her son Charles and which had escaped the damage wreaked on the Hall above.
By now matters were coming to a head between the two factions within the Lodge and at last an outcome which suited both sides was agreed, when, on 4th March 1891, the Lodge Secretary Bro. Goodall read out his letter stating that ' the Cowdenbeath Brethren were desirous of getting a Charter for Cowdenbeath Brethren alone, asking for support of Crossgates Brethren '. After discussion within the Lodge on 17th of March 1891, this was agreed and Lodge Thane of Fife was born In June, 1891.
The Lodge now returned ' Home ' to Crossgates permanently , to Mrs. Crawford's Hotel / House and appeared on the Valuation rolls of 1890/91. The Lodge last met in Cowdenbeath on the 15th April 1891 and then their first meeting on returning to Crossgates took place in Mrs. Crawford's Hotel/ House on the 16th May, 1891. It must be remembered that although gradually, more and more meetings were held in Cowdenbeath, the Lodge did still meet in Mrs. Crawford's in Crossgates through-out, but not without a fight . Eventually, It was only through the determination of some of the founder members and certain Past Masters that the Lodge did eventually return to Crossgates permanently. However, this would be a short stay in Mrs. Crawford's premises, in fact only until 1893/94 when their twenty year long association with her, would come to an end.
THE MASONIC HALL. ( Bro Burt's)
1893 -- 1898
Mr. David Burt was initiated into Lodge St. John on the 3rd October 1891. At this time he was a miner in Crossgates and in June, 1893, Bro. Burt asked the Lodge for permission to name the new Hall he had built - The Masonic Hall. The Lodge gave their permission and on the 24th June a meeting actually opened in Bro. Burt's Hall and after marching through the streets of the village, accompanied by Lodges 385 and 781, returned to officially open the Hall. By 1893 Bro. Burt had become D. M., and during the time when the R.W.M., James Parker could not attend the Lodge due to an unfortunate accident, Bro. Burt assumed the chair and the responsibilities of R.W.M. It would certainly be so much more difficult these days to take the Chair only two years after Initiation.
In early August 1893, the Lodge proposed to give up Mrs. Crawford's at Martiinmas, and use Bro. Burt's Hall at £4-10/- per annum. A letter was sent to Mrs. Crawford in September, informing her that ' the new Hall will have far more accommodation ' although the average attendance at this time was in the low twenties but of course more for Special meetings.
Some of the events which occurred during our stay in the Hall included the passing to Grand Lodge above , of Past Master Thomas Muir Long in 1893, one of those men who featured prominently in bringing the Lodge back to Crossgates permanently. The following year, 1894 the Lodge proposed to have Cowdenbeath removed from our Charter and the same year the Lodge moved to hold meetings twice monthly. In November 1895, R.W.M. Bro McGhee of Lodge Balfour Melville presented Stones, Bro Wallace of 540 was instructed to make a wicket and early the following year a letter was sent to P.M. Bro. Stewart of Lodge Union 250 to get a copy of working plans for M.M.M. Degree, the eventual cost of which was 5/-.Shortly before moving out of the Hall in 1897, the Lodge worked the Mark Degree for the first time - by themselves. The Mark Master was S.M. Alexander Sneddon and by the time of the next Mark degree as R.W.M., he worked a 2nd degree and then also worked a Mark degree as R.W.M.M. Until this time , P.M. Stewart of lodge Union 250 had been Mark Master on numerous occasions and in fact in August of 1891, had been made an Honorary Member of our Lodge, and presented with a walking stick for his services to the Lodge.
The Lodge was at ' Home ' here in the Masonic Hall, although unable to take out a long term lease and only able to take out a yearly rent, they were still able to rent the Hall to other organisations as they had always done in Crossgates. Among these were the Crossgates Brass Band and the Crossgates draught players.
The 1894 Ordnance Survey Map shows the Hall, clearly identified as Masonic Hall, Situated on the North side of the village on the Cowdenbeath Road, between today's Manse Road and the tyre repair garage
This hall was used by the Lodge until, in December 1897, the committee moved to meet with Bro. Burt to complain that the Hall was too cold. A deputation was also sent to meet with Bro. Edward Danks with a view to returning to our ' old ' premises and on 3rd February, 1898, an agreement was reached.
In 1899, the Dunfermline Journal reported that the Educational Authorities ( who must have been the Proprietors by this time ) were using the Masonic Hall with intent to create a Catholic School. At this time of course the Lodge had moved back to their original ' Home ', now owned by Bro. Danks. In 1912 the Masonic Hall was now being leased by Mr Thomas Gilbert, who used it as a Cinema until 1921, when a fire destroyed the building. Known locally as the Picturedrome, the local miners carried the stone work of the building up to Cowdenbeath for the new Catholic school being built there.
So in 1898 the lodge now returned to the premises which had always been referred to as Mrs. Crawford's but was now in the hands of Edward Danks of Dunfermline. The map below shows the site of Burt's hall and the stable area of Mrs. Crawford's Hotel.
THE CROSS HOTEL. 1896 -- 1911
(formerly Mrs. Crawford's)
Mrs. Janet Crawford last appeared as Occupier of the Inn in the Valuation Rolls of 1895/96. The Rolls of 1896/97 show for the first time that the INN was now in the hands of T. Blair and sons of Dunfermline, with the Occupier as Mr. Edward Danks, who was described as a Spirit Merchant and Inn keeper and who also was the Hotel keeper of the Crown Hotel in Dunfermline. After agreeing the Lease of their ' old ' Premises, the Lodge returned 'Home' - again.
Bro. Danks employed several Inn keepers over the following few years, but in 1899/90 Rolls, James Penman became the Innkeeper ( occupier ), and eventually in 1904 he became the Proprietor himself. The Valuation Rolls showed Lodge St.John once again as occupier of a house. Edward Danks was already a Freemason when he acquired the Hotel and houses, and in November 1896, he affiliated to Lodge St. John. After agreeing to sign a lease in 1897, the Lodge then appeared on the 1898/99 Valuation Rolls. Discussions took place on whether to rent or lease, but in November 1898 agreed a 5 year lease at £5 per year. The Lodge signed in December and then leased the Hall to the Free Gardiners for £3 per year
In 1900, there was a proposal by the Lilly of the Vale Lodge of Free Gardiners to have a joint meeting with again Bro. Danks to discuss enlarging the Hall. Through 1901 , meetings between the two parties continued on and off, with Bro. Danks offering to carry on with the alterations then the question of lighting for the stair of Lodge Room was discussed,( the ladder of earlier years apparently not now required ). Still discussions were ongoing until in October of 1901, the Gardiners suggested that the two Lodges should consider building a new Hall for themselves, capable of holding 60/70, but it was left over.
When the question arose again as to whether the two lodges should build a new Hall -- after a vote on November 1901 to build Jointly with an amendment to build on their own the amendment won by 11 votes to 10. In December, Bro Danks offered a 10 year free lease if the Lodge ' build or alter building by themselves , excluding the ground floor ', but by now the die was cast, but it would be quite a few years before the matter was really taken seriously.
Perhaps one of the reasons for taking so long to commit to this project was that the Lodge finances may have been in good condition, e.g., in 1903, when the Rechabites applied to lease the Hall, they were informed that it was in use every night except Sunday.
In 1906 there was another proposal - ' not to jointly build a new hall ' but it was agreed to build by themselves.
By now the Inn was being referred to locally as Bro. Penman's and in fact in the 1904/05 Valuation Rolls, James Penman appeared as the Proprietor/ Occupier of the Inn with the Lodge as occupier of the house. The Inn was now known officially as the Cross Hotel and the Lodge now paid their Lease to Bro. Penman
As with all of our ' homes ', with the obvious exception of Mrs. Crawford, James Penman was also a member of the Lodge and for quite a few years held the office of Steward, having been initiated in June 1899. Also Initiated, the same year was Mr. David Beveridge, an Architectural Draughtsman from Edinburgh, although originally from Cowdenbeath, who would play a big part in the construction of our next ' Home ' while holding the Office of Lodge Architect
As soon as the decision to build was taken, ideas began to flow as to how to finance our new Home. These included asking each member to donate £1, raffles, and a singing competition plus prize drawing (possibly today's equivalent of raffles ). Through the following years of course the Lodge held many Dances to help provide funds. There must have been a few creative minds among the Brethren back then.
It took until January 1909 before the Lodge Secretary was asked to approach Mr. James Stenhouse the Solicitor who had owned Mrs. Crawford's, and was now the agent for Bro. Penman, who's property was being proposed as the site for the new Hall. This' Property' was most probably the area of the stable yard etc.,. In March 1909 this scheme was abandoned and eventually the Lodge did build a new home, just along the road from Bro Penman's property and moved into the new building in 1911.
A woman standing at the door which may be the entrance to the downstairs part of the building
This photo bshows McLean's Inn and Hall on the left with Broad Street behind the Jubilee Fountain.