800 years ago, one of the foremost priories in medieval England operated on this site in Lincoln. The religious order of The Gilbertines looked after the spiritual needs of the local inhabitants and founded a centre for worship at a time when Lincoln was very important. Famous Kings and Queens worshipped here – King John, Eleanor of Castille, Edward II (the first Prince of Wales) and many more. Indeed, this was the site of the first Eleanor Cross, commemorating the journey of the great queen following her death, as her body was transported to London and eventual burial.
Fast forward to 1880, and a Methodist chapel was built on the site by the Wesleyan movement, followed by the church building seven years later, leaving the old chapel to be used as a parish hall. Although the church was valued and well used for almost a century, by the 1970’s it had sadly fallen into disrepair as times – and people – change.
The site was sold to a local ironmonger as a shop and store, and many people of ‘a certain age’ will remember 3 B’s here. However then buildings became even more dilapidated and eventually were sold to a trust so that they could be renovated. Over roughly a ten-year period, the Parish Hall (re-named ‘The Priory Centre') was restored, followed by St Katherine’s Church, with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
So, after 800 years , what next?