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St.Nicholas church, Skirbeck, Lincs. - - 65237.jpg
Church of St Nicholas, Skirbeck
Grid reference: TF333435
Location: 52°58’12"N, 0°-0’36"W
Post town: Boston
Postcode: PE21
Local Government
Council: Boston
Boston and Skegness

Skirbeck is an ancient parish in Lincolnshire that forms a suburb of Boston. It gives its name to the Skirbeck Wapentake of Holland. Skirbeck is a long v-shaped formation wrapped around the south and east side of Boston parish. The civil parish was incorporated into the borough of Boston in 1932.[1]


That name originates from the words "skirn" and "bekkr" meaning "clear stream".[2] 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.[3]

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.[4]

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.[5]

Hussey Tower

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.[6]

Boston Workhouse was built in 1837 by George Gilbert Scott. It was built near the site of the mediæval hospital of St John. The Grade-II-listed front range of the workhouse still exists, but the rear ranges were demolished in 1980.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9][10]

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.[11] It was built by Temple Moore and is a Grade-II-listed building.[12]


("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Skirbeck)
  1. "Skirbeck Civil Parish". Vision of Britain. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 
  2. "Skirbeck". Institute for Name Studies. Nottingham University. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  3. Skirbeck in the Domesday Book
  4. Historic England. "St Leonards Hospital (353989)". PastScape. Retrieved 4 September 2011 
  5. National Heritage List 1388859: Parish Church of St Nicholas
  6. National Heritage List 1388981: Hussey Tower
  7. National Heritage List 1388982: St Johns Buildings, Boston Workhouse
  8. Historic England. "County House of Correction (1133287)". PastScape. Retrieved 4 September 2011 
  9. National Heritage List 1389023: Church of the Holy Trinity
  10. Historic England. "Skirbeck Quarter (1133287)". PastScape. Retrieved 4 September 2011 
  11. "St Thomas Church". Boston Parish. Parish of Boston. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 
  12. National Heritage List 1388920: Church of St Thomas