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Boston Cemetery Chapel

A Grade II Listed Building in Boston, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 52.9913 / 52°59'28"N

Longitude: -0.0233 / 0°1'23"W

OS Eastings: 532777

OS Northings: 345597

OS Grid: TF327455

Mapcode National: GBR JW9.DXY

Mapcode Global: WHHLQ.M23N

Plus Code: 9C4XXXRG+GM

Entry Name: Boston Cemetery Chapel

Listing Date: 31 August 2006

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1391801

English Heritage Legacy ID: 496096

Location: Witham, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21

County: Lincolnshire

Electoral Ward/Division: Fishtoft

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Skirbeck Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln

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716-1/0/10006 MARIAN ROAD
31-AUG-06 Boston Cemetery Chapel

Cemetery chapel, at present disused. White brick, with Ancaster stone dressings, pinnacles and spire. Slate roof, mainly fishscale, with coped gables. Gothic style with windows with Decorated tracery with hoodmoulds and head-stops. 36 ft long by 20 ft wide, with 70 ft-high tower. Single storey. There is a high open porch with quadripartite stone vault attached to the north side and this is surmounted by square tower. The tower has a broached octagonal spire with a series of adjoining tall lucarnes with narrow buttresses with set-offs. Lucarnes have louvres, some missing. Elaborate finial. West side has three two-light windows separated by buttresses with set-offs. East side has two two-light windows with closed porch in the middle. This has a doorway with pointed arch and door with decorative hinges. Small trefoil window above. On the south side a three-light window. All windows are at present boarded.
There are three bays of sexpartite wood and plaster groined vaulting springing from corbels with carved angels. Elaborate carved bosses. Leaded diamond lattice windows, with coloured glass, some damaged. Original door to porch on north side with decorative ironwork. Quarry tile floor.
The chapel was designed to seat 60 people. There were originally open pews with carved ends but these do not appear to have survived.
The Burial Board Act of 1854 authorised the setting up of burial boards outside London. In that same year the Boston Burial Board agreed to purchase a twelve-acre plot to the north of the town, to be used as the public burial ground for the parish. In May 1854 the Board advertised a competition for designs for two separate chapels, a lodge and entrance gates, to cost £1,350 (see The Builder, Vol. 12, p. 394). The competition also included the layout of the cemetery, including planting and fencing, to cost £200. The first prize was awarded to Pritchett & Sons of York, the second prize to Thomas Barry of Liverpool.

James Pigott Pritchett senior (1789-1868) had been joined in his York practice in 1853 by his son James Pigott Pritchett junior (1830-1911). In 1854 Pritchett junior succeeded to the practice of his brother-in-law John Middleton in Darlington, and it was he who attended the meeting with the Burial Board in July 1854 and was authorised to prepare working drawings. The tender for construction was awarded to Baker & Son of Sleaford. The first stone of the Anglican chapel was laid on 7 November 1854, and that of the Nonconformist chapel on 20 November 1854. The Anglican ground was consecrated by the Bishop of Lincoln on 13 August 1855. The cemetery and both chapels opened for funerals on 15 October 1855.

JP Pritchett junior designed more than 100 churches and chapels and was closely associated with church work in Darlington. He designed the layout of Darlington West Cemetery and some twenty other cemeteries. He was a member of the Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland, a founding member of the Northern Architectural Association, and a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. In his obituary in the Darlington & Stockton Times he is referred to as `an architect of considerable ability'.

Pritchett's layout of the cemetery is still largely intact, with a central lime avenue walk. The Anglican chapel is located on the south side of the walk. The identical Nonconformist chapel on the north side of the walk was demolished in 1961. The chapels were located 200 feet apart and were designed to be seen from the west, looking towards the entrance lodge to the east. In 1885 the cemetery was enlarged and the central walk extended to lead up to the mortuary (which was originally outside the boundary).

Ownership of the cemetery was transferred from the Burial Board to Boston Borough Council in 1933. In 1961 the Nonconformist chapel was demolished, and in 1966 a crematorium was built to the south-west of the original cemetery. The Anglican chapel has been redundant since 1992.

This is a finely detailed cemetery chapel in white brick with Ancaster stone dressings and fishscale slate roof. It is of 1854-5 and is by the distinguished architect James Pigott Pritchett of Darlington. It is in the Gothic style with Decorated tracery and has an elaborate stone octagonal broached spire. The interior has the unusual feature of sexpartite vaulting with elaborate corbels and bosses. The original openwork pews do not survive. This chapel is significant for its architectural quality, its erection so soon after the Burial Board Act of 1854, and for forming part of a landscape layout - also by Pritchett - included in the Register of Parks and Gardens at Grade II.

Boston Burial Board Minute Books (1854-1933).
Thompson, P., History and Antiquities of Boston (1856), pp. 169-70.
The Builder, Vol. 12, p. 394

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