Top Ten Endangered Buildings 2021: Church of St Helen, Biscathorpe, Lincolnshire, Grade II* Listed, W. A. Nicholson, 1847

The Church of St Helen, Biscathorpe stands nearly alone, its former village having long since disappeared. Rebuilt on the site of the old church in 1847 by W. A. Nicholson in a fanciful Gothic style - more than fifty grotesque faces perched high on the steeple peer down onto visitors.


The Church of St Helen, Biscathorpe stands nearly alone, its former village having long since disappeared.

Rebuilt on the site of the old church in 1847 by W. A. Nicholson in a fanciful Gothic style - more than fifty grotesque faces perched high on the steeple peer down onto visitors.

The church retains many of its original features including stained glass, pulpit and cast-iron poppy-headed benches. The windows are filled with diamond leaded panes, mostly of clear glass, though with some coloured borders, and the east window carries a depiction of the Descent from the Cross, after Rubens.

An absence of regular maintenance over a period of years has left the building in desperate need of repair, and the interior is now partially exposed to the elements. Plaster foliate stops are now falling off, and internally and externally the rendered walls are crumbling. Water ingress is causing significant damage.


Griff Rhys Jones said: “St Helen’s is an exquisite little church nestled amongst trees in the beautiful Lincolnshire Wolds. It is a delicate and fascinating work of architecture and a remarkable survival. The church is now closed to regular worship, but given the quality of the building, handing it over to the Churches Conservation Trust or the Friends of Friendless Churches is one obvious option to ensure it is saved…

… Whatever happens, urgent repairs are clearly now required. In the longer term, a sensitive new use for it is needed, one that preserves the lovely and largely intact interior and its original suite of furnishings.”


Picture Credits: Ben Abel

Download Images: https://photos.app.goo.gl/UdJzTfRbSbfhSbr49


Click here to listen to Griff's Talk ‘That's the Way the Money goes’, where he talks about the perils and joys of restoring heritage buildings.

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