Lincoln Drill Hall

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Lincoln Drill Hall
Lincoln Drill Hall.jpg
Sculpture on the exterior wall by Rick Kirby
Location Free School Lane, Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Coordinates 53°13′47″N 0°32′15″W / 53.2298°N 0.5375°W / 53.2298; -0.5375Coordinates: 53°13′47″N 0°32′15″W / 53.2298°N 0.5375°W / 53.2298; -0.5375
Owner Ruston Hall Trust
Type Indoor auditorium; function rooms, cafe bar
Genre(s) All types
Capacity 550
Opened 1890, reopened 2003
Closed 1999

Lincoln Drill Hall is a recently refurbished and modernised entertainment venue in the British city of Lincoln.[1] Its main auditorium has a maximum capacity of around 500 and it has hosted various bands - Buzzcocks, The Damned, Stiff Little Fingers, Seth Lakeman and The Subways being notable examples. The venue has also hosted some brilliant comedy acts including Russel Howard, Marcus Brigstocke and Mark Thomas. It also acts as a cafe with a seating area inside during the day. It also hosts the Lincoln Beer Festival each year.[2] The Drill Hall has a strict no smoking policy throughout all areas of the building.

Following the city's new music venue the Engine Shed's construction - which has enabled big name, established bands to visit the city, the Drill Hall has become the first-choice venue for up and coming bands from across Britain when they are in Lincoln. As well as bands, the Drill Hall hosts theatre, literature talks, films, classical music, the Red Herring Comedy Club among other comedy nights, workshops and business meetings.[3]

2016 has been a special year for the Drill Hall with plans to create a new website coming to fruition and renovating the cafe bar all being put in place.


modern street scene, of broadgate with a bus heading toward us.  But on the far side of the road is the astonishing mock-gothic frontage of the Drill Hall, in redbrick with stone details, including two turret towers, pierced with cruciform windows
Broadgate frontage of the Drill Hall
The modern entrance is at the rear.

Built as the Volunteer drill hall, designed by architects Goddard and Son, the hall was presented to the Lincoln Volunteers by Mr. Joseph Ruston, a former M.P. for the city.[4] It was opened in 1890 and was purpose built as a military and police training hall, though community and social events were held from the beginning.[5] Various forms of entertainment were held at the hall following the Second World War - the most notable performance being a gig by The Rolling Stones' on New Year's Eve, 1963; the following day they made their debut on the BBC's Top of the Pops television show.[2][6]

The building was closed in 1999, but after public demand was reopened four years later following a £2.6m refurbishment programme.[5] Principle contractor was local company Lindum Construction.[7] In 2010 the Council passed day-to-day control to the independent Lincoln Arts Trust.[8] The building is now managed by the Ruston Hall Trust, a subsidiary charity of the Lincoln Arts Trust.[9] The Building (with the adjacent clubhouse) is a grade II Listed Building.[10]


  1. ^ "Lincoln Drill Hall". Approved venues. Lincolnshire County Council. 
  2. ^ a b "Lincoln Drill Hall". Cultural Quarter. Visit Lincoln. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Comedy news". Lincolnshire Echo. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Article". The Times. 26 May 1890. 
  5. ^ a b "Drill Hall". Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "31 December 1963". The complete works (of the Rolling Stones). Nico Zentgraf. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 631231A 
  7. ^ "Drill Hall". Case studies. Lindum construction. 
  8. ^ Ionescu, Daniel (24 August 2010). "City Council sets Lincoln Drill Hall free". The Lincolnite. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  9. ^ "Ruston Hall Trust". (no.1137366-1). Charities Commission. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  10. ^ Historic England. "The Drill hall  (Grade II) (1388471)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 

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