In the early 1860s, Alfreton was regarded as an important shopping centre and cattle market town.  For many years there had been rivalry between Alfreton and Belper as to which was the second largest town after Derby in the County. Population figures declared in the following years showed that Alfreton did overtake Belper in this respect and was to hold this position until the Manors of Brampton and Newbold were incorporated into Chesterfield.  Alfreton was an important business centre but geographically was small and consisted of only the two streets known as King Street and High Street and even the latter was developed only on the south side.  At the bottom of King Street where the Watchorn Estate now stands was a small hamlet known as ‘Hockley’.  The eastern limit of the town was at the junction of the Nottingham and Mansfield Roads.  At the end of 1941 the Watchorn Trust completed building the Abraham Lincoln Library at the bottom of Derby Road intended for the use of Alfreton people.  The Watchorn family accumulated great wealth in the industrial activities of the area.  They did not lose sight of their roots a nd continued to support Alfreton and its population financially and with amenities.  However, during the Second World War the Library was commandeered by the Government to be used as a temporary hospital for German officers and unfortunately never realised its potential as a library building, as was originally intended.  In 1971 the Library was purchased from the Watchorn Trust by local Freemasons and converted for use as a Masonic Hall.

The Masonic Hall still bears the name of the Abraham Lincoln Library and is a fine period building. The Masonic Hall also enjoys the added benefit of a large car park which is adjacent to the building. Easy access direct from the A38 roundabout, signposted for Alfreton. The building has just undergone major refurbishment, providing a first class downstairs dining facility for Masonic activities and private functions, if so required.