Building » Spilsby – Our Lady and the English Martyrs (chapel-of-ease)

Spilsby – Our Lady and the English Martyrs (chapel-of-ease)

Church Street, Spilsby, Lincolnshire

An early twentieth century Gothic brick church, of townscape value and interesting for its use of terracotta dressings.

The area saw a large influx of Irish agricultural workers in the second half of the nineteenth century. Mass was said in the Assembly Hall at Spilsby from 1897, and in 1899 a site for a church was purchased by W. D. Gainsford JP of Skendleby Hall. The completed church was opened by the Bishop of Nottingham on 9 June 1902 (The Tablet, 15 June 1902). It was consecrated in 1925. The presbytery to the south of the church is a bungalow built in 1947.


Red brick and terracotta, with a slate roof. Nave and sanctuary, north aisle and porch and gabled northeast chapel. South sacristy under a catslide roof, with a chimney at the junction with the sanctuary which is slightly lower than the nave. There is a tiny bellcote at the east end of the nave and a much larger one of cruciform plan, dramatically corbelled out from the west gable. The style is mixed Gothic, with plain lancets to the nave and Decorated style two and three light windows to the north aisle and chapel. The sanctuary east window is a trio of stepped lancets and the three-light chapel east window has Geometrical tracery of intersecting mullions and circles. The window surrounds and tracery are unusual in being executed in terracotta. The porch entrance has a moulded pointed arch and there are buttresses with two set offs.

The interior is surprisingly light and spacious with lofty three-bay north arcade with circular piers (although painted, these appear to be constructed from special curved terracotta blocks)  and elemental leaf  capitals. Arches of a hollow  and chamfered order. The sanctuary arch and two bay arcade to the chapel are similarly detailed. Timber roofs, the arched trusses to the nave on corbels. Gothic style reredos in both the sanctuary and the chapel, probably of the time of the church or soon after, with painted and gilded panels with figures of saints etc. The pews and other woodwork are probably contemporary with the church. One stained glass window, again of the time of the church, depicting St George. The hanging rood looks more recent. The gold painted figures have little depth and are flatly modelled in a post-Eric Gill manner. Portable marble font possibly from elsewhere. The organ was brought from a Methodist church in Alford circa 1995.

Amended by AHP 26.01.2021

Heritage Details

Architect: Not Established

Original Date: 1899

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed