The Vaults in London
The members of the Inner Order of the Golden Dawn performed many of their most personal and private rituals in a vault specially consecrated and decorated for magical operations. Only Adepts were informed of the existence and nature of the vaults. Here would be found the coffin used in the Rosicrucian-styled rituals, the elaborately painted altars, the Order’s library and papers, and other materials. The vaults were used for consecrating talismans, wands, and other magical implements.
#24-25 Clipstone Street
In August of 1892 the vault was relocated to two rooms in Clipstone Street, a few blocks south of Regent’s Park. Unlike the earlier site for the vault, the Clipstone Street rooms were rented from someone outside the order; this trend would continue for all subsequent Isis-Urania vaults. J. W. Brodie-Innes would comment of Clipstone Street that “certainly it was dirty, noisy, smelly and immoral and many objected to it.” Unsuspecting neighbors of the Isis-Urania’s new vault included a hairdresser, a dairyman, a confectioner, two sculptors, a cabinetmaker, and a piano tuner, among others. The rooms were lit by electric batteries, and since outsiders were not supposed to view the contents of the vault, the female members of the order did the cleaning.
62 Oakley Square
In August of 1894 the Order again moved the vault, this time to Oakley Square, east of Regent’s Park. Little is known of this site, though the vault remained here for three years.
36 Blythe Road
In September of 1897 the vault was moved yet again, this time to Blythe Road in Hammersmith, a little over a mile west-southwest of Kensington Gardens.