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St Wilfred's - Alford

Scott restored this church for his brother-in-law, the Rev. J. H. Oldrid, between 1867-9. His additions and alterations included adding a new north aisle arcade of four bays, which matched the nave, and a new two-bay north organ chamber. Scott also heightened the tower and added the battlements and pinnacles to it. The cost of work was around £5500.


School - Algarkirk

Scott built the school in 1856-7 for the tractarian, the Rev. Basil Beridge, who was the local squire and parson. It is a symmetrical stone building, with an entrance porch with a spirelet over. There are two storied cottages at each end and much carving. It is now the village hall.


Monument to John Hulme, Viscount Alford - Belton

In 1851 Scott designed a monument to John Hume, Viscount Alford, whose tomb was a recess in the west wall of St Peter and St Pauls' church here. It is a brass cross on the lid of a marble sarcophagus, with an elaborate canopy above.


Conservative Club - Boston

John Oldrid and his brother George Gilbert, Scott’s sons, had already collaborated in 1873 when they sent in an unsuccessful design in a competition for a Town Hall at Leicester and in the same year they were commissioned to design a new Conservative Club at Boston. It is not clear why they were jointly appointed to carry out this work but their second cousin John Oldrid, who had inherited the family drapery business, was prominent in local politics and was probably a member of the Conservative Party. The scheme involved converting and radically restoring a fifteenth century timber-framed house with projecting upper floors and adding a large hall to its rear. This is a strange brick structure with tall pointed windows set in crow-stepped gables and is completely out of character with the old house at the front. When the work was completed in 1874, the Conservatives occupied the old house while the hall, known as Shodfriars Hall, became a non-political social club. The old house is only a few yards north of the Oldrid family home in South Place, Boston, and must have been well known to the Scott brothers long before they received the commission.

Stamp, G., An Architect of Promise, George Gilbert Scott Junior (1839-1897) and the Late Gothic Revival (Shaun Tyas, Donnington, 2002), pp. 189-92, 367, 384.
Isaac, A., The Oldrids of Boston Story, Celebrating 200 years of Trading (A. Isaac, Boston, 2004), pp. 3-4.
Wright, N., Boston, A Pictorial History (Phillimore and Co. Ltd, Chichester, 1994), plate 156.

St Botolph's - Boston

This restoration probably came about through the influence that Scott's father-in-law exerted in Boston. In 1836, even before his marriage to Caroline, Scott was the sole contender for the Boston Union Workhouse Commission, and it is not surprising that in 1843 he was asked to carry out a survey and make a report on the restoration of St. Botolph's. This is one of the great parish churches of England. It is nearly one hundred yards long and very big by normal parish church standards, but its great size is completely overwhelmed by the so-called stump. This is an enormous tower at the west end of the church, over 270 feet high, which, it is said, can be seen from forty miles away. It was started in about 1425 and took nearly one hundred years to build. The nave and chancel are older than the tower, having been started in the early fourteenth century and completed with an extension to the chancel in 1390. Scott reported on 25 September 1843. It was the usual story of neglect:

The object of every repair should be the faithful restoration of those features of the original building which yet remain, and their preservation from further injury or decay; and no alteration should be attempted which is not the renewal of some ancient feature which has been lost, or absolutely necessary for rendering the building suitable to the present wants of the parishioners; and this should be done in strict conformity with the character and intention of the building.

The Town Council was responsible for the chancel and made a grant of £460 for its repair, while most of the rest of the £3,365 required for the work was raised by public subscription. This was not enough to carry out all Scott's recommendations and it was decided to defer the less essential work ‘until a more convenient time’.

The work was started in 1844 and completed in the following year. As he had promised, Scott's restoration ‘was exceedingly cautious’ particularly in comparison with his other work at that time. Perhaps part of the reason for his special case at Boston was that his sister's husband, who was also his wife's brother, John Henry Oldrid, had moved from Gawcott early in 1844 to become the Lecturer of Boston and effectively a second incumbent. The work included a new Decorated east window. The completion of the first phase of restoration was in 1845 and this would have been overseen by Moffatt in Scott's absence. Here, Caroline's father and brother may have been offended by Moffatt's treatment of them. Scott makes the point that Moffatt had ‘got into a sad way of offending employers’. On 20 March 1851, a parish meeting decided to continue the work by raising further funds and appointing a committee to manage the work. Scott’s father-in-law and patron had died in May 1849, so it is perhaps significant that the committee decided to hold a competition for the next stage and this may also have been connected to Moffatt’s behaviour. The winner of this was George Gordon Place of Nottingham. A further £7,105 was raised and the work was completed with two re-opening services on 12 May 1853. Perhaps due to John Henry Oldrid, Scott was appointed consulting architect to Place, but had an argument with him over the advisability of vaulting the tower and resigned the post in 1852. However, in 1857, Scott was back restoring the south porch and the adjacent Cotton Chapel, dedicated to John Cotton a former Vicar and early settler in Boston, Massachusetts. His other work includes the sedilia, aumbry doors, choir stall canopies and organ case.

Spurrell, M., Boston Parish Church (Guide Book, Boston, 1987), p. 11.
Pevsner, N., Harris, J. and Antram, N., Lincolnshire, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, London, 1989), p. 156.
Thompson, P., The History and Antiquities of Boston (1856), pp. 167-9.
Scott’s Recollections, II 63.

Monument to Professor John Conington - Boston

In 1873 Scott designed a monument to Professor John Conington in the south chancel of St Botolph's church. It is a Gothic tablet with a relief of the Resurrection in alabaster.

Holy Trinity, Snilsby Road, Skirbeck - Boston

This was a large stone church to seat 650, designed in neo-Decorative style with Moffatt, for William Roy, rector of Skirbeck, who contributed a large amount towards its £39000 cost. The preliminary design dates from 1842-3, which was worked up in 1845 and built between 1846-8, by Scott alone. The fees of £167 for the work were not paid until 1877.


Workhouse - Boston

The design for this workhouse was approved in 1836, without Scott having to compete with other architects. The standard Scott and Moffatt plan in Classical style was built between 1837-8, to house 350 inmates with an initial cost of £5000 although the final sum needed was around £8000 to complete the building. Only the front range in Ancaster stone now remains, the now demolished high four storey main buildings behind built in brick. The clerk of works was William Lewin and the contractors, Thomas Vert, William Valentine, John Marshall, George Walsh and John Baker.

All Saints - Branston

Scott restored this church in 1874-6 for the Rev. P. Curtois, adding a new north aisle and south porch, as well as re-seating it and carrying out general repairs.


St Vincent's - Caythorpe

After the church was struck by lightning, Scott rebuilt the tower and tall crocketed spire in 1860-2. He also repaired damage to the chancel and roofs and added a north aisle using funds from the ICBS (Church Commissioners) of £110 to provide thirty-two seats, which he had originally suggested in 1855. He re-organised the other seating and also provided a new pulpit.


Crowland Abbey - Crowland

In 1860, Scott was called in to make the Early English west front of the abbey safe. This was shored up and the foundations rebuilt to preserve it. Later restorations were carried out by Pearson.

St Andrew's - Fillingham

This church was restored in 1866, said to be by Scott, but there is no evidence of any work carried out by him at the church. Scott certainly knew of the church and carried out a survey of the Church and Rectory in his Sketch Book, number 16, sometime after 1852, but he is not yet definitely linked to the 1866 work.

St Helen's - Gate Burton

Scott built this stone estate church in 1866. It has a west tower, chancel, geometrical tracery and a vestry projecting from the north side with a triangular window.

St Wulfram's - Grantham

This church was a long-term restoration project for Scott. He first reported on it in 1863 and the main restoration was carried out between 1865-9 for the Rev. Clements, He gave a lecture on the church in June 1875 in Grantham and also published a paper on it for the Lincolnshire Archaeological Society. His restoration included the wagon roofs, and his fittings included the rood screen, new seating and a parclose screen similar to that at Hereford Cathedral, the latter two appearing as drawings his Drawings Collection (RIBA).

St Wulfram's north porch and windows - Grantham

Scott continued with his restoration in 1876, restoring the north porch and with further work on the windows.

All Saints - Holton cum Beckering

Scott restored the nave of this church between 1859-60 for the Rev. Edward Frances Hodgson. Later work in 1870-4 was carried out by his son George Gilbert, with a mosaic reredos by Salviati in 1867.

Workhouse - Horncastle

At Horncastle Scott was up against four other well-known workhouse architects and with Moffatt, submitted one of their standard Classical style plans in 1837. It was accepted and completed the following year. Constructed of brick, it cost £3098 and the contractor was William Broadgate junior. The main building was a three storey octagon with two storey wings to house 200 inmates. The front range has now been demolished but the main block survives as institutional buildings.

All Saints - Hougham

This church was restored by Scott between 1844-5, including the north aisle roof. He also designed a stone screen in the north aisle.

Spilsby Union Workhouse, Hundlebury Road - Hundlebury

For Spilsby Union, Scott was chosen from seventeen architects, including William Nicholson, a well known antiquary and architect of Lincoln, whose work included Lincoln Workhouse. Clearly his success in Lincolnshire was due to a combination of an ability to convince the Guardians of the superiority of his designs and his personal influence. Many of the Guardians were clergymen who would be familiar with ‘The Commentator's’ work and his local connections, and his marriage into the Oldrids at Boston must have helped. Certainly the Oldrid's hospitality was apparent when on 23 May 1837 he was being interviewed by the Guardians of Louth Union and two days later he had to face the Spilsby Guardians. Perhaps with such intense pressure, the presence of Caroline at Boston provided some relief, and clearly while the work was in progress, it was very convenient to stay with the Oldrids at their house in South Place, Boston.

Spilsbury Workhouse was to house 260 inmates and was built to a standard Scott and Moffatt plan at a cost of £3500. The contractor was William Sissons of Hull and the clerk of works William Lewin. It was completed in 1838. Only the entrance portion of the main block remains, now derelict, the reception block destroyed in an air raid during World War II.

Colvin, H., A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1995), p. 417.

Tombstone for John Oldrid - Leverton

In May 1849, Scott’s wife Caroline lost her father, John Oldrid, at the age of seventy, in what Scott recalls as ‘circumstances particularly painful & distressing’. Oldrid was ill in bed at his house in South Square, Boston, when he was hurriedly told that his drapery shop in Strait Bargate was on fire. He ran out of the house and as he got near to the shop, he caught sight of the flames reflected in the windows opposite. He immediately thought that his whole business was ruined and collapsed. He was carried back to his house and died on 27 May 1849. The funeral took place at Leverton, about five miles from Boston, where, according to Scott, he had a small estate, and he was buried ‘in the family vault [in] the churchyard’ of St Helena's. This is marked by an elaborate tomb-chest with a raised cross entwined with foliage on the lid. Running around the edge of the lid is an inscription which reads:


It is the grandest monument in the churchyard and undoubtedly Scott's design, and when his mother-in-law died eight years later the inscription was added:


Oldrid had founded his drapery business in 1804 and as there was no question of the business being taken over by his three daughters or John Henry, who as a clergyman was excluded from commercial activity, the business passed to Caroline's cousin, another John Oldrid. He died the year after Scott leaving a fortune for those days of £50,000. The firm still exists as the largest department store in Boston with out-of-town branches.

Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), p. 8, genealogy.
Scott’s Recollections, II 318a, 319.
Isaac, A., The Oldrids of Boston Story, Celebrating 200 years of Trading (A. Isaac, Boston, 2004).

Lincoln Cathedral choir pulpit - Lincoln

At Lincoln an amazing battle developed between Scott and the cathedral architect, John Chessell Buckler. Scott thought that Lincoln Cathedral was ‘the most beautiful in all England’ and as it is in an area where he had strong local connections, he must have badly wanted to add it to his list of work. In 1861 the Lincoln Diocesan Architectural Society asked Scott to design a new choir pulpit to commemorate the preaching of its vice-president and chairman, the Reverend Edward Trollope (1817-1893), who had just become a Prebendary of the cathedral. It is an elaborate affair by Ruddle and Thompson, with carved panels by Jay and a tall canopy matching the medieval woodwork of the choir. It was not installed until 1866 which was the year that Buckler published a scathing attack on Scott's restoration methods. At Oxford in 1861, Scott had had to reface the University Church of St. Mary's, only four years after Buckler had already refaced it in Oxford stone from the Headington quarry. Buckler, as an Oxford architect, should have known that this stone has notoriously poor weathering qualities. Buckler's incompetence led to Scott replacing him at St. Mary's, but what seems to have so enraged Buckler was that Scott had written to the Dean of Lincoln criticising his work on the cathedral at the instigation of a ‘cabal’, presumably meaning the Lincolnshire Architectural Society, without actually seeing the work himself. In the letter, dated 1 July 1859, Scott said that:

having had some experience in restoration, in venturing to offer, with the utmost respect, a few remarks on the works which I hear are going on at your Cathedral.

He had ‘heard with dismay’ that the destructive process of chipping off the old surface of the stonework, which he had hoped had been discontinued, was being extended at the cathedral. Five years later, after he had been to Lincoln, probably in connection with the pulpit, and seen Buckler's work, Scott again wrote to the Dean. In this letter, dated 19 September 1864, he said:

I entirely disapprove of the scraping over the surface of old stone to give it a fresh colour: it tends to the furtherance of decay, rather than to the arresting its progress.

Scott's appearance at Lincoln after the Oxford fiasco seems to have given Buckler the idea, not without some justification, that Scott was trying to supplant him and he seems to have panicked. He told the Dean that ‘Mr. G. G. Scott has not taken the trouble to understand his subject’, and in December 1865, when Street added his criticism, he told the Dean that Street, ‘like his exemplar, is a biassed and an incompetent judge’. It was probably Street's intervention which finally prompted Buckler in 1866 to publish his massive 300 page tirade against Scott and his restoration methods. It was entitled A Description and Defence of the Restorations of the Exterior of Lincoln Cathedral, with a comparative examination of the restorations of other cathedrals, parish churches, &c. In it he said:

Mr. G. G. Scott is not the right sort of friend to ancient Churches; their walls groan under his prescriptions and his operations; death and destruction to antiquities follow his footsteps in many more instances than can be enumerated on the present occasion.

The Ecclesiologist called it an unprovoked attack in an ‘extraordinary book’ and backed its defence of Scott by publishing a supportive letter from Beresford Hope. Buckler was seventy-two years of age when the book was published and, maybe because of fulsome self-praise, he managed to stay on as cathedral architect at Lincoln until July 1870 when he was replaced by Pearson. Scott was delighted with Pearson's appointment and wrote him a letter of congratulation.

If Scott ever coveted Lincoln, Pearson's reply in January 1871 shows why he was no longer interested. Pearson offered his wishes for Scott to return to health and urged him to:

… be careful to not to work so hard. There is a limit to man's powers. He may not discover it for many years but a time will come when it becomes necessary to husband his strength.

Murray, [King, R. J.], Handbook to the Cathedrals of England, Southern Division Part I, Winchester, Salisbury, Exeter, Wells (John Murray, London, 1861), p. 254.
Lewis, M. J., The Politics of the German Gothic Revival, August Reichensperger (M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1993), p. 238.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 51.
Cole, D., The Work of Sir Gilbert Scott (The Architectural Press, London, 1980), p. 84.
Jackson, Sir T. G., Bt. R. A., Recollections, The Life and Travels of a Victorian Architect (Unicorn Press, London, 2003), p. 234.
Buckler, J. C., A Description and Defence of the Restorations of the Exterior of Lincoln Cathedral, with a comparative examination of the Restorations of of other Cathedrals, Parish Churches etc. (Rivingtons, Oxford, 1866), pp. 5, 9, 11, 82, 92-3, 96, 265.
Webster, C., and Elliott, J. (eds), ‘A Church as it should be’, The Cambridge Camden Society and its Influence (Shaun Tyas, Stamford, 2000), p. 186.
Colvin, H., A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1995), p. 178.
Owen, D. (ed.), A History of Lincoln Minster (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1994), p. 274.
Quiney, A., John Loughborough Pearson (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1979), p. 128.

St Nicholas's, Newport - Lincoln

In 1838 Scott won his first church competition, in partnership with Moffatt. ‘This was at Lincoln and I cannot say anything in its favour excepting that it was better than many then erected’. St. Nicholas, Newport, Lincoln, was certainly an improvement on Flauden, although it repeats the lancet theme and the broach spire, and upper parts of the south west tower seem to be identical with Sleaford's thirteenth century spire. The emphasis was on value for money, particularly in the first phase. This meant that the Commissioner's churches were characterised by their plainness, lack of ornament and basic plan form. They invariably had no chancels, but they usually had galleries to accommodate the large number of ‘sittings’ and were built of the cheapest materials. There was little scope for architectural expression. Gothic, or at least windows with pointed arches, proved to be the cheapest and most popular style. As Scott said when he built St. Nicholas at Lincoln in 1838, ‘Church architecture was then perhaps at its lowest level’. It was consecrated in 1840.

Scott’s Recollections, I 295.

Workhouse, High Holme Road - Louth

Scott was appointed in 1837, at the same time as he was appointed at Spilsby, to build the workhouse in a Scott and Moffatt Classical style standard plan. It was to house 350 inmates and to cost £3829, though completion costs were £6000 by 1838. The contractor was Robinson. It has a three storey principle range with a polygonal centre and short projecting wings. A plainer two storey range is behind, the infirmary and a single storey entrance range with archway with pediment, in front. It became the Louth County Hospital.

All Saints, terrace, lodge, school - Nocton

In 1862, the Countess of Ripon commissioned Scott to build this church in memory of the first Earl, her husband, on their estate at Nocton, near Lincoln. This was completed in 1863 in an elaborate Early English style in Ancaster stone, with plate tracery and a 130 foot steeple. The builder was Mr W Hudleston. Scott also designed a monument to the Earl in 1859, the effigy by Noble in 1862, executed by Farmer, to go in the completed church.

In the village, Scott designed terraces of partly three storey stone houses (for example, 18-21 Main Road) in an asymmetrical style, a lodge to Nocton Hall, and a Gothic style school. Her son, the new Marquis of Ripon, who became Lord President of the Council during Gladstone’s first administration (1868–73), would have further dealings with Scott.

Pevsner, N., Harris, J. and Antram, N., Lincolnshire, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, London, 1989), pp. 577-8.
Scott’s Recollections, IV 17-18.

Holy Trinity - Raithby-by-Spilsby

Scott undertook a partial rebuilding of this church in 1873, with work on the south nave.

Tomb for Euphemia Oldrid - Rigsby

In 1865, Scott designed a tomb for his sister Euphemia Oldrid to be placed in St James's churchyard. It is a polished red granite bevelled cross on a grey polished bevelled plinth tapering towards the base of the cross, both placed on a large Yorkstone rectangular slab covering a brick vault. Scott’s oldest sister, Euphemia, the wife of John Henry Oldrid who had just become the vicar of Alford, was ‘suffering from a disease which they say must be fatal and is of the most painful nature!’ It seems that she had received a blow in the chest at the 1862 Exhibition, which, so he said, turned to cancer and after years of agony, died on 8 February 1865, twelve days after Scott’s son, Albert Henry, had suddenly died. This was a heavy personal blow for Scott who had also lost his younger sister, Mary Jane, the previous year.

Scott’s Recollections, II 327.
Scott, T. (ed.) ‘The Chronicles of Eight Men’ (unpublished family history, n.d. circa 1992, Aylesbury Local Studies Collection). pp. 85-6.

All Saints - Saxby All Saints

Scott carried out this reconstruction of an older church between 1845-9 in a Thirteenth Century style to seat 226 people. It is built from limestone and includes glass by Kempe. The tower was added in 1873 by Neville.

St Peter and St Paul - Skendleby

In 1876-8, Scott restored this church including a new nave roof the same shape as at Holton, new heating system and floor tiles, possibly adding tracery to the windows. He also carried out general repairs to the roof and walls.


St Nicholas's - Skirbeck

This church was restored, enlarged and refitted by Scott initially between 1869-75 for the Rev. Robert Roy at a cost of £3000. The nave was restored in length and height to medieval proportions, it was re-roofed, the external walls were refaced and windows renewed. The north aisle was made vertical again and the original floor level was restored. The work was continued beyond Scott’s death to 1880.


St Mary and St Nicholas - Spalding

Scott restored this parish church between 1865-7 at a cost of around £9000. His work included a new west window, a new north chapel, chancel aisle and arcade, renewing the seating and removing the galleries. There is also a drawing of his in his Drawing Collection (RIBA) for a rood screen which was executed by John Thompson of Peterborough.

St Peter's, Priory Road - Spalding

This church was built by Scott in 1875-7 from brick, in early English style, for the Vicar of Spalding, Canon Moore, who had earlier commissioned Scott for the restoration of the parish church. It had lancet windows and circular clerestory windows, plus a bell turret. Fees were paid to Scott of £408 for the work. It was demolished in 1968.

St Paul's, Fulney - Spalding

This was designed by Scott in 1877-8, again in conjunction with Canon Moore, the vicar of Spalding, when Fulney became a new ecclesiastical parish in 1877. It was not actually built until after Scott's death, in 1880. It was a large red brick and stone church in Early English style, the steeple attached to the church with an arcade. Scott was so impressed with the design of the chancel arcades at Boxgrove, with their pairs of arches grouped under large semi-circular arches, that twelve years later he reproduced this feature here. The pulpit was executed by Farmer and Brindley. As a member of the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society, the earliest provincial association for the encouragement of antiquarianism, Scott had close links to the town.

Cole, D., The Work of Sir Gilbert Scott (The Architectural Press, London, 1980), p. 160.

St Paul's Vicarage - Spalding

At the same time as working on the church, Scott designed a red brick parsonage, north west of the church, built between 1877-9. It is reported that Miss Charinton paid for the work for this, the school and the church, a total cost of £30000 with an endowment, with the hope that her nephew Richard Guy Ash would become the first Vicar of St Pauls, as he did.


St Paul's School - Spalding

The school, built at the same time as the church and vicarage, was north-east of the church and connected to it by a walkway. It is a single cell building of red brick with a tiled roof and bellcote at the west end. The three buildings were designed by Scott to be seen together as one composition, the church dominating. They were one of his last works and were still being built when he died.

St John the Evangelist's - Washingborough

This church was restored by Scott in 1859 and 1861-2 in conjunction with H. Goddard for the Rev. Humphry Waldo Sibthorpe, the rector. It was almost all exterior work, including new roofs and new clerestory windows. The lectern, an eagle with semi-precious stones and the candelabra attached to the choir stalls, as at Holy Trinity, Coventry, might be by Skidmore.

St Mary's - Weston

Scott restored this church between 1858-67, including a new chancel roof in 1863, new transept windows, the north and south transepts were restored, the east side of the south transept with a new pointed window with three trefoil headed lights. There was also a later restoration by Pearson in 1886.

All Saints - Winterton

Scott drew up plans for the restoration of this church for Mr Atkinson, the churchwarden, completing five drawings for it in 1867. However, Scott’s plans and specifications were ‘pirated’ and the restoration was carried out but not under his superintendence, the church re-opening in 1872. John Oldrid must have visited the site as he wrote to Irvine from there in a letter dated 16 November 1870, but Scott’s work is not apparent. The fees of £42 were also never paid.

Scott’s Drawings Collection, p. 76 (b), RIBA.
Royal Commission for Historic Monuments (S).
Scott’s Office Ledger 1875-1914, p. 95, RIBA.