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 and the building 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.
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.
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 amalgamated with the Usher Gallery in 2004 to form The Collection on a new site. The museum was replaced by an exhibition centre.
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