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Church of St Matthew

A Grade II Listed Building in Skegness, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.1459 / 53°8'45"N

Longitude: 0.3407 / 0°20'26"E

OS Eastings: 556646

OS Northings: 363535

OS Grid: TF566635

Mapcode National: GBR MYT.NZP

Mapcode Global: WHJM8.66H3

Entry Name: Church of St Matthew

Listing Date: 20 April 1976

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1230006

English Heritage Legacy ID: 404840

Location: Skegness, East Lindsey, Lincolnshire, PE25

County: Lincolnshire

District: East Lindsey

Civil Parish: Skegness

Built-Up Area: Skegness

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Skegness and Winthorpe

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln

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Listing Text


1879-85 by James Fowler, W extension 1902-4 by W and C A Bassett Smith.

Coursed, squared stone. Tiled and slated roofs. Timber bell turret.

Apsidal chancel with N organ chamber, aisled nave, S porch and W annex.

A large church in an Early English style, without the intended W tower to balance it, set in a prominent position. Apsidal chancel with lancets with shafted outer arches and a prominent corbel table. N organ chamber like a transept. The nave has paired lancets in the clerestory and lancets in the aisles, all with hood moulds. Gabled N doorway and gabled S porch. The W bay of the nave, an extension when the proposed tower was not built, has plain, heavily buttressed faces to N and S. The W window is a pair of lancets within a triplet of rich blind arcading with detached shafts. A further triplet of lancets in the W gable. There are corner turrets and a small bell turret with a tall broach spire. The early C20 W annex is low and in a perpendicular style. There is a statue of St Matthew in a canopied niche in the centre of the W face.

The interior, in a C13 style influenced by Early English work at Lincoln, is plastered and painted with exposed stonework of red sandstone. Five bay N and S arcades with polygonal piers with moulded capitals and bases and a hood mould with head stops on the nave faces. The clerestory stands behind 2-light inner arcades with detached central shafts, and the principal trusses of the roof descend on foliate shafts to corbels in the spandrels of the arcade. Lincoln and Trondheim style chancel arch with small leaves on the core of the responds and detached shafts. The apse windows have shafted rere-arches, and the lower part of the E end of the apse has stone blind arcading with trefoiled arches on detached shafts, deep enough to form seats. The central section, forming a reredos, is more elaborate and has gables over the arches, angel pinnacles and quatrefoil panelling at the back of the arches. The whole is richly painted and gilded. Looking W, the tall arch for the intended, but never built, tower. Plain trussed rafter roof in the nave, and boarded timber vault in the chancel with angels on the wall plate. The W end of the nave is partially closed off with glazed screens.

Good C19 font in a Victorian High Gothic style with a richly carved arcade on detached shafts around a central core. The enormous and very fine font cover in a stylised Gothic idiom, now no longer over the font, is 1960s and was carved by a local man, Ruben Farmer, in memory of his parents. Good polygonal tub pulpit of 1954 in a C17 style by Lawrence Bond of Grantham, on a slender stem with a tester and steps with an open balustrade. Attractive C20 low iron gates in a Gothic style formerly on a chancel screen. Riddel posts with angles from an altar by Ninian Comper of 1952, reused to form a baptistery. Some good C20 glass, including a S aisle window by Ninian Comper, and a N aisle window by Henry Stammers. The apse windows are 1948 by Hugh Easton. The windows were damaged in WWII and some were replaced after the war. The church was partially reordered and given some new fittings in the 1950s, and there were plans for substantial re-ordering in 2009.

The old parish church of Skegness, St Clements, was well away from the resort developed in the C19. St Matthew¿s was begun to serve the newly developed town in 1879, and £3,000 was given by the Earl of Scarborough, who was also instrumental in developing the town as a resort. It was consecrated in 1880, but not completed until 1885 following further fundraising drives. Due to structural problems, an intended W tower was never built. Instead a low W vestry complex was added in the early C20.

Lambeth Palace Library, Incorporated Church Building Society 08454, 10401: 1885 and 1903 plans
Pevsner, N and Harris J., Buildings of England: Lincolnshire (2nd ed, 2002), 644
A Brief Guide to the Three Parish Churches of Skegness. (nd)

The church of St Matthew, Skegness is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Attractive parish church in an Early English style of 1879-85 with early C20 additions in a Perpendicular style. Good interior detailing, especially in the apse, influenced by the C13 work at Lincoln Cathedral.
* On a prominent site within the town, and built on an ambitious scale.
* Some good C20 fittings including glass by Ninian Comper, Henry Stammers and Hugh Easton, the pulpit, riddle posts from a former altar by Comper, and a fine 1960s font cover made by a local man.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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