The practice of “SQUARING THE LODGE” seems to have originated in the 1730’s when the Lodge, i.e. the Tracing Board, used to be drawn on the floor, usually within a border, which could be erased after the meeting, or a printed floor cloth which could be rolled up and removed, was laid out in the middle of the room.
In the small taverns or shop rooms where Lodges were held in those days, there was not much floor space, and in order for the drawings or floor cloths to be protected, “squaring” was done to avoid disturbing or spoiling the designs. It was also convenient for the brethren to move in one direction around the lodge, and clockwise would seem to be the most acceptable direction, as in the Northern hemisphere the sun moves clockwise from East to West. Indeed there are many pictures in Masonic books, etc., depicting our Brethren of long ago grouped around the perimeter of the markings.
Most workings nowadays continue to “Square the Lodge” clockwise during the ceremonies, and the practice adds much to their dignity.