John Wood, the Elder (1704 - 1754), was an English architect, working mainly in Bath.
In 1740 he surveyed Stonehenge and the Stanton Drew stone circles. He later wrote extensively about Bladud and Neo-Druidism.
Many of the buildings he designed are littered with icons and symbols associated with Freemasonry, leading many people who have studied his work to believe that he was a member of the organisation, even though there is no documentary proof. Wood wrote extensively about sacred geometry, and argued that the myths of the supposed founder of Bath, King Bladud, were based on truth. He claimed that ancient British stone circles were the remains of once more elaborate buildings designed by Bladud.
It has been suggested that Wood (and his son, also John) were connected to Freemasonry either via one of their building partnerships and/or via symbolism in their architecture. In his Masonic lecture and article, Stephen B. Cox tentatively suggests an image for this as the square (Queen's Square), the circle (The Circus) and the crescent (The Royal Crescent): standing for Earth, Sun and Moon
Detail of a carving on the fallen lintel, stone 156, of the central or great trilithon. The carving, which is in the form of a question mark with the initial LV within the loop, was according to Atkinson cut by an itinerant workman c.1829.
The carving today (ringed) click for much larger.
Photo by Peter Squire - taken by torchlight