The showpiece of the Order, the Egyptian Room, was originally incorporated in 1927 in the Royal Arch Temple built in College Street Sydney. This building stood until late in the 1960’s and after being sold and before demolition the focal point of the Egyptian Room, the frieze, was dismantled and stored until re-erected at the new Royal Arch centre at Petersham in 1977.
The frieze depicts certain scenes or vignettes from the Scroll of Ani dating from the 18th Dynasty; The scroll, a papyrus roll 23.78 metres long and 381 mm wide, was found at Thebes and purchased by the late Egyptologist Sir Wallis Budge in 1888.
The Scroll which is now in the British Museum in London, depicts in pictorial form, and by text, the author’s version of the life hereafter based on ancient beliefs.
Another feature in the Egyptian Room is the funerary stele (pictured) which dominates one of the walls of the room and dates from the 20th Dynasty.
The vision of leaders of the Order in the early 1920s in creating the Egyptian Room and the engagement of Rayner Hoff to sculpt the vignettes has left a lasting legacy, which is classified by the National Trust.
Rayner Hoff was himself a Freemason and later became famous for his work on the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park in Sydney.
The Egyptian Room is open, by arrangement, for viewing by the public and Masonic bodies. Tour groups of 10 – 100 can be arranged.
The frieze around the walls which tells of the Scribe Ani’s journey to the afterlife is explained by experienced guides.
A typical tour takes between 60 and 90 minutes depending on questions.
The building is just a 5-minute walk from Petersham station and there is a Licensed Club very close by for Bistro Meals.
For the details regarding the booking of a tour and presentation on the Egyptian Room Frieze, please click the icon on the top right side of this page.
The online booking form is located on the bottom of this page.
The Friends of the Egyptian Room was formed to provide an opportunity for the Public, Partners and Members of the Order to come together as a group for the purpose of raising funds for specific projects associated with the promotion, maintenance and improvement of the Egyptian Room.
The group is administered by a Committee of seven (7) persons comprising of a mix of Companions and the public, with non-members of the Order forming the majority of the Committee.
The Committee is open to receive and consider any suggestions for fundraising activities, social events and projects to promote, maintain and increase the public awareness of the existence of the Egyptian Room at Petersham and to ensure its continued existence for the community.
Please feel free to check under the “Events” Section for details of the Group’s current activities.
Under the terms of our National Trust Listing, we are required to open the Egyptian Room to the General Public once a year, and this is done on the second Friday of November each year.
For more information of the Egyptian Room Tours, please contact us on 02 9569 5699