Lincoln council considers sale of Britain’s oldest friary building

The future of a 13th century friary building in Lincoln, believed to be the oldest in the country, is to be debated by councillors next week.

City of Lincoln Council’s Executive are expected to agree on the proposed sale of the former Greyfriars Museum, which is one of the earliest surviving Franciscan friary churches in Europe.

The building was last used on a permanent basis for the City and County Museum run by Lincolnshire County Council, who left the building eight years ago after the museum was replaced by The Collection in 2004.

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The Greyfriars building

Since then, the building on Free School Lane has only been used on a temporary basis for exhibitions and currently stands empty.

The council has said that investment in excess of £750,000 would be required to make the property suitable for commercial use, with £8,000 recently spent on resurfacing the main entrance roof.

The cost of purchasing the grade 1 listed property, placed on English Heritage’s buildings at risk register last year, is also likely to be relatively low taking into account the level of refurbishment necessary.

A report compiled by the council has concluded that selling the building on the open market is the only option to secure further investment in the property and a commercial use to pay for ongoing maintenance.

Members of the Executive are asked to approve the proposed sale subject to receiving expressions of interest for an appropriate use at a meeting on July 13 at City Hall.