Building » Mablethorpe – St Joseph

Mablethorpe – St Joseph

Seaholme Road, Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire LN12

A modest and very late Gothic Revival church, built immediately before the Second World War. It incorporates two holy water stoups said to have come from Louth Abbey.

A mission to the seaside town of Mablethorpe was established in 1907, served from Louth. Fr Bull (the mission priest) built a house called the Hermitage with a small private  chapel, and would come to Mablethorpe to say Mass, especially in the summer months. The house and chapel were sold in 1918, the proceeds going towards acquiring a site in Seaholme Road, where a hut was built to serve as a church. This and then a larger hut served until 1938-9, when the present church was built. Pevsner gives the architect as Ernest Bentley LRIBA of Louth. In 2001 a narthex housing new facilities was added at the west end, from designs by John Halton Design Ltd (builder M.W. Crowe Ltd).


The church is orientated north-south, but this description follows conventional liturgical orientation.

A small Gothic chapel built of red brick laid in garden wall bond, with artificial stone dressings and a slate roof. Two-cell plan, consisting of a nave and chancel with attached flat-roofed side chapel on the south and sacristy on the north side of the nave. At the west end there is a modern narthex addition. The narthex is built in materials to match the original church, reusing the old stone door and window surrounds. Above and behind this is the west window, with three lancet windows within a rounded Perp arch. The west front is gabled, with creased tile kneelers, stone copings, and a cross at the apex. The flank elevations are of three bays, with lancet windows and attached buttresses marking the bay divisions. The chancel is lower, with short triple lancet windows at the sides and a plain east wall.

The entrance leads into a narthex area, with an informal arrangement of tables and chairs, and with kitchen and WCs off. The original entrance doorway is flanked by holy water stoups said to be of twelfth century date and from Louth Abbey, given by Mrs Millicent Staniland of Abbey House, Keddington. If they are medieval, they are heavily restored. To the left of the original entrance is the foundation stone, laid by Bishop McNulty on 11 August 1938.

The interior has a west gallery, plastered walls, a suspended ceiling and leaded lights with some coloured glass in the windows. The sanctuary is separated from the nave by a plain four-centred chancel arch with a simple Gothic altar, cut down. At the west end of the nave is a stone font with marble shafts, which appears to be older than the present church; its provenance has not been established. Plain hardwood benches.

Heritage Details

Architect: Ernest Bentley

Original Date: 1938

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed