Building » Luddington – St Joseph and St Dympna (chapel-of-ease)

Luddington – St Joseph and St Dympna (chapel-of-ease)

High Street, Luddington, Lincolnshire

A charming, modest Gothic chapel built in the 1870s for Irish agricultural workers.

The church was built in 1877 to serve the population of poor and mainly Irish agricultural workers who arrived in the Isle of Axholme in the wake of the Great Famine in the 1840s. It was dedicated to St Joseph and St Dympna (or Dymphna, an Irish martyr of the seventh century) by the Norbertines, who had established themselves at nearby Crowle in 1872. As at Crowle, the architects appear to have been Hadfield & Son of Sheffield. It has not been established whether Thomas Young of Kingerby Hall helped finance the project, but this seems likely. However, it was clearly a church built on a low budget.

The bell in the little bell tower on the west gable was cast in 1880 by John Taylor of Loughborough (

The church is now served by secular priests based at Gainsborough or Scunthorpe. There is just one Mass per month, on the first Friday.


A small single-cell church with attached sacristy on the south side, brick built and with a concrete tile roof. A blocked arch in the east wall indicates an intention to build a chancel, never realised. The west front faces towards the High Street and has two equal paired lancet windows (renewed in uPVC) under a relieving arch, with an open belfry on the gable containing one bell and surmounted by a cross. The entrance is on the south side, via a gabled porch with timber bargeboards and boarded Gothic door. The remaining windows are timber mullion and transoms with inward-opening top  lights, under cambered brick arches. There is a truncated stack in the angle between the church and sacristy, for a fireplace serving the latter space. There is a separate external door to the sacristy.

The interior is very plain and chapel-like. It is a single space divided into three bays by roof trusses whose wall posts spring from plain corbels. The ceiling is plastered below the purlins and collars, and the walls are also plastered. The internal window reveals have segmental heads. A shallow arch at the east end denotes the intended opening to a chancel never built. There are no furnishings of particular interest.

Heritage Details

Architect: Hadfield & Son

Original Date: 1877

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed