Master builder

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A master builder or master mason is a central figure leading construction projects in pre-modern times (a precursor to the modern architect and engineer).

As one 1887 source described the status:

A master builder is recognized as such, not only for his ability to rear a magnificent structure after plans prepared by the architect for his guidance, but because of his ability to comprehend those plans, and to skillfully weave together the crude materials which make up the strength, the harmony, the beauty, the stateliness of the edifice which grow in his hands from a made foundation to a magnificent habitation.[1]

The phrase has been in use since at least as early as 1610, when William Camden wrote in his Britain, or a Chorographicall Description of the most flourishing Kingdomes, England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the Ilands adjoyning, out of the depth of Antiquitie of "those Wings in Architecture, which the great Master builders tearme Peroma".[2] Later in the same work, Camden writes:

And Peter is as sure a gate, for them to passe thereby.

This is a rocke remaining firme: a Master builder hee...[3]