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St.Nicholas church, Skirbeck, Lincs. - - 65237.jpg
Church of St Nicholas, Skirbeck
Skirbeck is located in Lincolnshire
Location within Lincolnshire
OS grid referenceTF333435
• London100 mi (160 km) S
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBoston
Postcode districtPE21
AmbulanceEast Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
52°58′N 0°01′W / 52.97°N 0.01°W / 52.97; -0.01Coordinates: 52°58′N 0°01′W / 52.97°N 0.01°W / 52.97; -0.01

Skirbeck is a suburb and former civil parish in the Borough of Boston in the county of Lincolnshire, England. Skirbeck is a long v-shaped formation wrapped around the south and east side of Boston parish. It has been incorporated into the Borough of Boston since 1932.[1] It is in the Pilgrim ward of the Boston Borough Council. Skirbeck includes the hamlet and former civil parish of Skirbeck Quarter which was on the west side of the River Witham and was a separate parish from 1866 to 1932.[2]


That name originates from the words "skirn" and "bekkr" meaning "clear stream".[3] Skirbeck appears in two entries in the Domesday Book of 1086, when it was recorded as consisting of a total of 42 households and had two churches and two fisheries.[4]

St Leonards Hospital for ten poor people, was founded around 1220 and was held by the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem from about 1230. It was later united with the Preceptory at Maltby. In 1542 it was granted to Charles Duke of Suffolk, and may have continued as an almshouse. It appears to have been located on the west side of the Maud Foster Drain, opposite the present Hospital Bridge. An old house known as Jerusalem House may have been built of material from the hospital, however this has been disputed by the St Leonards Trust who believe the present bedehouses stand on the site of the original hospital.[5]

The parish church is set by the bank of the River Witham, and is thought to predate the foundation of St Botolph's Church in Boston. Dedicated to Saint Nicholas it is a Grade II* listed building dating from the 13th century. It was restored between 1869 and 1875 by Sir George Gilbert Scott, and in 1899 a restoration of the western tower took place. Between 1933 and 1935 a chancel by LT Moore was added.[6]

Skirbeck village
Hussey Tower
Boston Workhouse frontage, Skirbeck

The Grade II* listed Hussey Tower was a 14- and 15th-century brick tower with an octagonal turret, originally known as Benyington Tower. It was sold to Boston Corporation and dismantled after 1545 when it was forfeited by Lord Hussey.[7]

Boston Workhouse was built in 1837 by George Gilbert Scott. It was built near the site of the medieval hospital of St John. The Grade II listed front range of the workhouse still exists, but the rear ranges were demolished in 1980.[8]

Boston House of correction was in Skirbeck Quarter and was erected in 1809. From 1826 it was only used to hold prisoners for trial, and after 1837 Boston borough gaol became available and Skirbeck House of correction closed. In 1849 it was converted into a lock-up.[9]

Holy Trinity Grade II listed church in Skirbeck Quarter, which was a chapel of ease to Skirbeck, was built 1846–48 by Sir George Gilbert Scott. In 1988 it was added to by John Webster of Leeds.[10][11]

Saint Thomas Church in Skirbeck Quarter started as a classroom of the original school building in 1866, and in 1885 became a "tin tabernacle". Need for a permanent brick building was recognised and the church was begun in 1909 and completed in 1912.[12] It was built by Temple Moore and is a Grade II listed building.[13]

Skirbeck Woad mill closed down in 1938, the last miller was Thomas Booth.[14]

Population of Skirbeck Civil Parish
Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931
Population[15] 539 714 1,307 1,578 1,931 2,429 2,550 3,023 3,644 4,036 4,174 4,518
Population of Skirbeck Quarter Civil Parish
Year 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931
Population[16] 854 854 975 1,201 1,201 1,740



  1. ^ "Skirbeck Civil Parish". Vision of Britain. University of Portsmouth. Archived from the original on 17 September 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  2. ^ "Skirbeck Quarter Civil Parish". Vision of Britain. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  3. ^ "Skirbeck". Institute for Name Studies. Nottingham University. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  4. ^ Skirbeck in the Domesday Book. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  5. ^ Historic England. "St Leonards Hospital (353989)". Research records (formerly PastScape). Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  6. ^ Historic England. "Parish Church of St Nicholas (1388859)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  7. ^ Historic England. "Hussey Tower (1388981)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  8. ^ Historic England. "St Johns Buildings, Boston Workhouse (1388982)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  9. ^ Historic England. "County House of Correction (1133287)". Research records (formerly PastScape). Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  10. ^ Historic England. "Church of the Holy Trinity (1389023)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  11. ^ Historic England. "Skirbeck Quarter (1133287)". Research records (formerly PastScape). Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  12. ^ "St Thomas Church". Boston Parish. Parish of Boston. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  13. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Thomas (1388920)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  14. ^ Norman T.Wills (1979). Woad in the Fens. N.T.Wills.
  15. ^ "Vision of Britain". Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  16. ^ "Vision of Britain". Retrieved 25 August 2011.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Skirbeck at Wikimedia Commons