Building » Lincoln – St Hugh of Lincoln

Lincoln – St Hugh of Lincoln

Monks Road, Lincoln

A late Victorian urban church of some size, with important furnishings. The steeple is prominent in the Lincoln skyline.

William Byrd, the famous Elizabethan composer, was organist at Lincoln Cathedral but is said to have attended Catholic Mass nearby. In the late sixteenth century the Jesuits were at Twigmore, a house near Kirton in Lindsey in the north of the county. A Mass House is recorded in Lincoln in 1685, so the Catholic faith was kept alive during the penal years. In 1799 a chapel was built at the junction of Broadgate and Silver Street. This was enlarged in 1854.

In 1870 Thomas Young of Kingerby offered to provide a new church, and commissioned Hadfield & Son of Sheffield to draw up plans. Nothing however came of this and in 1886 Francis Clarke, a wealthy Catholic and four times mayor of Lincoln, offered £7,000 to build a new church on the same site. The old church was demolished, the congregation worshipped in a temporary chapel in Park Street and plans were drawn up by the Lincoln-born architect, Albert Vicars (1840-1896) for the new church on the site. Clarke died in 1888 and the promised £7,000 was not in his will. However, the church did get £3,500 from the trustees of his estate and finally, in 1892, sufficient funds were raised to purchase the site of the present church on the corner of Monks Road and Broadgate.

The foundation stone (to the right of the side entrance) was laid by Bishop Edward Bagshawe on 17 November 1892 and the church was opened on 19 December 1893 by Cardinal Herbert Vaughan. The cost was £7,300. Albert Vicars was engaged and he modified his earlier design for a church in Silver Street to fit the new site. A porch was built in 1909. The interior of the church was refurbished in 2008-10 by John Halton Designs Ltd of Brandon, near Lincoln.


The altar of the church faces south but for the purposes of this description (as with the statutory list description, below) all references to compass points will assume an eastward-facing altar. The list entry is a detailed one and adequately describes both the exterior and interior of the church. Above the west porch is a statue of St Hugh. In the tympana below are relief carvings of the consecration of St Hugh (left) and St Hugh installed in the cathedral church (right). At the time of the writer’s visit the interior refurbishment was nearing completion. This has comprised general cleaning, repair and redecorating, a new oak floor and new glazed doors into the porch at the west end.

The sanctuary has an elaborately carved reredos with figures of St Hugh and St Catherine of Siena, and either side of the tabernacle relief panels of St Hugh washing the feet of a poor man in a local hospital (left) and the death of St Hugh (right). Pinnacles above. A 1920s photograph shows that the originally there was a much taller and more elaborate central pinnacle rising almost to the top of the window. Painted murals to either side of St Hugh having admonished King Richard receiving the royal kiss of peace (left) and St Hugh honouring a pauper with full burial rites (right). On corbels beneath the sanctuary arch are statues of St Anthony of Padua and St Michael the Archangel. In front of the reredos a new stone altar has been installed as part of the 2010 refurbishment. The ceiling has been repainted with stars and rope patterns. Gothic stone pulpit and octagonal font.

Side chapels with stone altars and reredos, one to Our Lady with a statue of the Virgin and child flanked by relief panels of the Annunciation and the Pieta, and the other to St Joseph, with a statue of St Joseph flanked by relief panels Joseph leading Mary and Jesus in their flight into Egypt and the death of Joseph with Mary and Jesus at his side. There is stained glass throughout the church, much of it installed around 1909 and designed by Alexander Gascoyne of Nottingham. The west window was installed in 1921. The Stations of the Cross are marble relief panels in integral frames, carved in Carrara and inaugurated in November 1897.

List description


Roman Catholic church. 1893. By Albert Vicars. Rock faced stone with ashlar dressings and slate roof. Early English style. Mainly pointed arched windows. PLAN: north-west tower with spire, nave with aisles, clerestory and double side chapels, canted apsidal east end, west porch, attached vestry to north.

EXTERIOR: north-west tower has double chamfered plinth, moulded string courses and arcaded corbel table. Angle buttresses up to the second stage, becoming octagonal turrets topped with pinnacles above. Half-round conical roofed stair turret to east. West side has a 2-light window with hoodmould and above it, an empty niche. North side has a similar window, with 2 single lancets above it. Second stage has a quatrefoil light to north and west. Bell stage has on each side paired louvred openings with shafts. Setback octagonal spire with cross. Nave, 6 bays, has plain pilasters, coped gable with cross, and south-west angle buttress topped with an arcaded square pinnacle. West end has a 5-light window with tracery, and above it, a blind arcade. Clerestory has on each side, 2 lancets in each bay. North aisle has 3 single lancets and an off-centre lean-to side chapel. South aisle has to left 2 small buttresses. To their right, 2 lancets, and a lean-to projection with 3 round windows. To right again, a porch with coped gable and a canted side chapel with 2 lancets. Major side chapels, to east, have coped gables and square headed windows, 2 to west, single to east. Canted apse has angle buttresses and 3 single lancets with trefoil heads. West porch has coped gable with cross and canopied niche containing a figure of St Hugh. Single angle buttress. 2 pointed arched moulded doorways with shafts and relief scenes in the tympana.

INTERIOR: nave has 5-bay arcades with round piers, double chamfered arches with hoodmoulds, and barrel vaulted wooden roof with round wall shafts on corbels. West end has 2 doors flanked by single windows, and stained glass memorial window, 1921. Aisles have lean-to roofs with wall shafts, and a doorway at each end, those to east with a pointed opening above containing organ pipes. Both have stained glass windows, C19 off-centre segmental pointed opening to a side chapel, with ogee crested canopied gradine. To its left, 3 doorways. South aisle has a similar chapel with canopied and crested gradine, and to its right, single and double doors to confessionals. Side chapels have stained glass windows. East end has double chamfered arch with round responds on foliage corbels. Below them, figures on brackets. Apse has moulded band and mosaic dado. In each side, a double chamfered archway with wooden screen to north and organ to south. Arch braced tie beam roof with central octagonal post. Elaborate Decorated style crested reredos with crocketed canopies and spires. FITTINGS include panelled stalls, desks and benches, and arcaded octagonal stone pulpit, all C19. Memorials include a wreathed brass tablet, 1908.

(Buildings of England: Lincolnshire: Pevsner N: Lincolnshire: London: 1989-: 500-501).

Listing NGR: SK9784071388 


Amended by AHP 26.01.2021

Heritage Details

Architect: Albert Vicars

Original Date: 1892

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Grade II