The Old King’s Head gets a new lease of life

An at-risk Tudor inn dating back to 1599 is being rescued by Heritage Lincolnshire thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant.

The Grade II listed Old King’s Head, in Kirton, Lincolnshire, is a significant 16th-century inn with a rich history and many stories to tell. Currently standing vacant and in urgent need of repairs, a Heritage Enterprise grant of more than £2million will enable the building to be restored and brought back into use, providing jobs, trainee opportunities and a boost to local tourism.

Heritage Lincolnshire has an excellent track record in saving historic buildings for new uses and has received HLF support to secure the future of the building, which has now been purchased by the charity. It will be repaired, refurbished and revived as an artisan café and boutique bed and breakfast.

Heritage Lincolnshire also plans to explore how the building developed over the centuries - volunteers will undertake a full assessment of the building fabric and documentary research, as well as helping to collect reminiscences and maybe even a few ghost stories.

Heritage Lincolnshire is also planning a community archaeological dig to reveal evidence of the medieval settlement of the area and encourage residents to understand more of their local heritage and history.

old kings head painting

The Old King's Head

Liz Bates, Chief Executive of Heritage Lincolnshire, said: “We’re delighted that HLF has supported this project - The Old King's Head is a very important building that fell into disrepair and is now at risk from dereliction. We look forward to working with the local community, our volunteers and our project partners to ensure that all of the planning and fundraising for this exciting project is achieved over the next 12 months.”

Ben Greener, HLF Historic Environment Policy Advisor, said: “HLF introduced Heritage Enterprise to enable local people to save the buildings they love. But this funding was never about simply saving a building for the sake of it. By bringing much-loved but derelict buildings back into use as viable businesses, Heritage Enterprise projects provide an economic shot-in-the-arm for places which need it most. And this project is a great example of how HE investment transforms a potential eyesore into an economic asset - bringing jobs and investment to Kirton, Boston and beyond.”

Kirton borders Boston, a priority development area for HLF, which is interested in helping to celebrate Boston heritage projects of all shapes and sizes and would welcome community groups getting in touch to discuss project ideas.

Liz Bates added her thanks to all the partners: “All of the project partners working together have helped to get us to this point. The Pilgrim Trust has supported us with a grant, and a loan from the Architectural Heritage Fund enabled us to purchase the building. We’ve also had a great deal of support from Boston Borough Council who are a key partner. And we’re looking forward to finding an additional partner to join the project as business operator.”

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