Greyfriars in Lincoln

Our Current Heritage Buildings Preservation Trust Project

Greyfriars is a site of exceptional importance in telling the story of Lincoln – through this project, that story will be newly accessible to the local community, inspiring civic pride and preventing the blight of dereliction. The role that Heritage Lincolnshire, an established expert in conserving and adapting historic buildings for reuse, is playing in this partnership showcases the potential for specialist organisations to help towns and cities maximise the potential of their historic assets.

– Dr Kelcey Wilson-Lee, Head of Programmes and Impact at the Architectural Heritage Fund

© Photographer: Sian Wright

Project Funding Update

City of Lincoln Council, in partnership with Heritage Lincolnshire, has received initial support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for the “Re-Imagining Greyfriars: 800 years of stories in the making” project.

Made possible by National Lottery players, the project aims to repair the Grade I listed building and bring it back into use as a multi-use heritage destination.

Development funding of £175,000 has been awarded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help City of Lincoln Council progress its plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant. This is supported by match funding from the Architectural Heritage Fund and Pilgrim Trust.

The development round of this project will cost £268,000 and, if successful in achieving funding, the delivery of the project is estimated to cost £1,720,000.

Project Scope

As well as progressing plans for conserving and re-purposing the building, this project will include opportunities for people to engage with, and learn about, Greyfriars, both on site and digitally.

Heritage Lincolnshire will work with both universities in Lincoln, schools, volunteers and other local groups to deliver a programme of research, recording, temporary exhibition, tours, talks and events over the next 12 months. These pilot activities will help the organisation plan what will be done during the next stage of the project and when the work is finished.

City of Lincoln Council have been working with Heritage Lincolnshire since 2017 to identify a new, viable, use for the building. The partnership will work together throughout this project and Heritage Lincolnshire will run the Greyfriars site once work is complete.

Anyone wanting to get involved in the project can contact Heritage Lincolnshire through its website.

Stories from Greyfriars

Enjoy this first introduction to the history of Greyfriars in Lincoln, told by one of the curators from the building’s days as a museum.

This video has been produced as part of a National Lottery Heritage Fund supported project to bring the 12th Century Friary building back into use as a multi-use heritage destination which will unlock 800 years of stories from the site.

Read more about Greyfriar’s through our series of blogs

More to come soon…..

The Greyfriars – the Franciscans in Lincolnshire

Activity Programme 2021

We had over 100 people take part in our online Summer Talks Programme throughout June 2021 to learn more about Greyfriars.

Thank you to our four amazing speakers that provided fascinating insights into the history of the building, the city that surrounds it and the people that have been there!







Graffiti Surveys

Volunteers have been attending site throughout June and July 2021, to undertake graffiti surveys. Here are some of the pictures of the volunteers and their findings…..

Brian Porter has written a blog about his graffiti surveying experience and what was found:

Graffiti at Greyfriars Undercroft – and not a sniff of Banksy

Greyfriar’s Re imagined Podcast
Alex is talking to Mark Gardner of Lincoln University about digital scanning of heritage buildings. This episode was recorded in early 2021.

Scanning the Property

A partial orthophoto of the south face produced by scanning. The work of assembly plans are just being completed with elevations and complete model coming soon…..


Performances in Greyfriars

We were thrilled to welcome Lincoln Choral Society Musical Director Mark Wilde and Choral scholar Stella Radic to Greyfriars in October 2021 to record a piece of plain chant composed by Hildegard Von Bingen.  A 12th Century benedictine abbess as well as a writer, visionary and composer from Germany and she was also canonised by the catholic church.

The acoustics in the undercroft at Greyfriars are exceptional and Stella’s performance was both haunting and mesmerising to hear in the space!

We hope you agree and enjoy Stella’s amazing performance.

We are grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Achitectural Heritage Fund and The Pilgrim Trust for funding this project and allowing us to showcase such a beautiful and forgotten medieval building in Lincoln.

Virtual Tour of the Building

Enjoy a virtual tour of this magnificent building as it exists today.

Plans are coming together; April 2022

We have worked closely with our project team and Historic England to create designs for an accessible and flexible space that maximises its potential use whilst showcasing the beauty of this grade 1 listed, scheduled monument.  Our key vision is to remove as many barriers as possible from everyone in our community being able to visit and thanks to central government funding, we are excited to have been awarded additional funding to create a ‘Changing Places’ toilet facility in the building as well working with our design team and historic England to instal lift access to both the undercroft from street level and the first floor.

Plans include reinstating an older doorway to the building from street level in a new ‘green corridor’.

Plans include reinstating an older doorway to the building from street level in a new ‘green corridor’.

The undercroft will be a space to learn about the history and heritage of the site, relax and have a cup of tea and enjoy good company.  We are excited to make this building accessible for the first time with the inclusion of lifts to the ground and first floors.

A new extension on the rear of the building will replace a previous add-on with space to create a second entrance to Greyfriars, access to the first floor by stair and lift as well as providing a changing places toilet, breastfeeding space, toilets and storage.

The beautiful first floor will be a flexible space we want to open for functions, heritage craft courses, lectures, school visits, conferencing and weddings.  With a catering offer downstairs this will make Greyfriars suitable for hiring a unique venue.

An intrepid team of volunteers photographed and documented over 724 different examples of historic graffiti on both floors of the building.  We found everything from mason marks and alignment marks to memorial graffiti (names and dates) and apotropaic or ‘protection’ marks such as Merels and Gameboard Graffiti.

Wall-carved game board [250]  At the far left is a small ‘merels’ board, in this case a 3-Mens-Morris.  On the nearside is an eroding gameboard graffito known as Fox and Geese.

Harry Potter Event in partnership with Lincolnshire Libraries

On Saturday 25th June 2022, we welcomed wizards of all ages for a fantastic Harry Potter themed event.  They started in the library and were soon transported to the land of Magic as they entered Greyfriars Undercroft for their house sorting.  Followed by fantastic workshops of potion making and herbology!

Our thanks go to our generous supporters and project partners which include:


To follow our social media platforms on this project please click on the following to go directly to each page:

Facebook           Twitter         Instagram