Greyfriars, Lincoln

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The Greyfriars, Lincoln
Greyfriars, Lincoln - - 106215.jpg
The Greyfriars, Lincoln
Location The building is adjacent to the Central Library and lies between Free School Lane and Broadgate, Lincoln.
Coordinates 53°13′45″N 0°32′13″W / 53.2293°N 0.5370°W / 53.2293; -0.5370Coordinates: 53°13′45″N 0°32′13″W / 53.2293°N 0.5370°W / 53.2293; -0.5370
OS grid reference SK9775971248
Founded c1230
Built 13th century, with mid-19th century additions.
Restored 1906
Architect William Watkins
Architectural style(s) Early English architecture
Listed Building – Grade I
Designated 8 October 1953
Reference no. 485917
Greyfriars, Lincoln is located in Lincolnshire
Greyfriars, Lincoln
Location in Lincolnshire

The Greyfriars, Lincoln was a Franciscan friary in Lincolnshire, England. The surviving building is the remains of the infirmary of the friary, built of dressed stone and brick and dating from c.1230, with mid 19th century additions,.[1]


Franciscan Friary[edit]

Building of the Friary was started in 1237 on land donated to the Franciscan order and was completed by the 1280s. The community was expelled in 1538 as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Grammar School and Mechanic’s Institute[edit]

The Undercroft

The building was let to William Monson, whose son Richard opened a school there in 1568. From 1574 the school became the Corporation Grammar School run by Lincoln City Council on the upper floor until 1900.[2] The undercroft was successively used as a House of Correction from 1612, a school for the teaching of spinning and knitting from 1620, a Mechanics’ Institute from 1833 to 1862 and as part of the Grammar School from 1862.[2]

City and County Museum[edit]

The ruins of St Swithin's Church and the Greyfriars, Lincoln c.1784

In 1900 the building was closed and restored under the supervision of Lincoln architect William Watkins, after which it was re-opened as the City and County Museum in 1907. The Museum was administered by the City of Lincoln and the first Curator was Arthur Smith. In 1974 control of the Museum passed to Lincolnshire County Council. In September 1993 the museum's use of Greyfriars changed with the building becoming a venue for annually changing exhibitions while its main collections underwent a programme of conservation and research in expectation of a new home being built. In 2005 The Collection opened on a new site on Danesgate, adjacent to the Usher Gallery, with the two being jointly managed as a cultural centre for art and archaeology.[3]

After closure the building was used for a period by the Central Library, but from 2008 has been left vacant, apart from occasional use for contemporary art exhibitions and installations. In 2016 the city council considered selling the building.[4]


  • Antram N (revised), Pevsner N & Harris J, (1989), The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire, Yale University Press. pp 508-9.
  • Moore C. N. (1972), City and County Museum, Lincoln. 24pp
  • Stocker D.A. (1984),The remains of the Franciscan friary in Lincoln, York Archaeological Papers


  1. ^ "Greyfriars' Museum, Lincoln". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "The Greyfriars". Lincoln City Council. Retrieved 12 February 2014. 
  3. ^ History of the museum on The Collection website
  4. ^ "Former museum to be sold". City of Lincoln Council. Lincoln City Council. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 

External links[edit]