10 South Street, Boston


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
10, South Street, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 6HE


Ordnance survey map of 10 South Street, Boston
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Statutory Address:
10, South Street, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 6HE

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Boston (District Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


A late-C19 or early-C20 building containing substantial remains relating to Boston's C13 Dominican Friary.

Reasons for Designation

* Architectural Interest: The building is of more than special interest for the substantial survival of medieval fabric to the ground floor and north wall, despite later rebuilding. The extensive survival of medieval fabric is rare, and generally merits listing at a high grade. * Historic Interest: The medieval fabric, the C14 remains of the Dominican Friary founded soon after 1221, is of particular significance for its association with further remains of the Dominican Friary in Blackfriars Arts Centre listed at Grade II*, with which it has parity of interest. * Rarity: Medieval monastic remains in an urban context are nationally rare, and the surviving fabric of the Dominican Friary is the only surviving evidence of a number of medieval monastic settlements in Boston including three other friaries. * Development: The building illustrates the development of Boston from its medieval origins and its continuing prosperity into the early C20, its imposing west elevation apparently deliberately referencing earlier periods of architecture including medieval forms.


Despite some fluctuation in its fortunes Boston remained a prosperous port and market town from the middle ages into the C19, its social, economic and political history reflected in its town plan and buildings. From the C12 to the C15 it was one of the busiest ports in England, its wealth based principally on the trade in wool, cloth and luxury goods. Boston's market was first recorded between 1125 and 1135, and the annual fair was one of the great trade fairs of Europe. The medieval town grew around streets on either side of the River Witham, now the High Street to the west and South Street to the east. The latter opens to a wide market place to the north, from which narrow medieval lanes travel east and north to Church Street, St Botolph's Church and Wormgate.

The medieval period is represented by fragments of the Dominican friary surviving as the Blackfriars Arts Centre (Grade II*) on Spain Lane, the only visible evidence of the four friaries established in the town in the C12 and C13. Evidence of the town's thriving C14 and C15 engagement in the North Sea wool trade survives in the Guildhall (Grade I) of the Guild of St Mary, one of several religious guilds in the town at this period. Following the incorporation of Boston as a borough in 1545 and the dissolution of the religious guilds two years later, the assets of the Guild of St Mary, including the Guildhall, were transferred to the Corporation. Later C18 fen drainage and the construction of the Grand Sluice realised the value of the Corporation's estate, the increase in income funding significant building projects in the town, including the Exchange Buildings of 1770-1772 (formerly the Corporation Buildings) to the west of the Market Place (Grade II*). This renewed prosperity continued into the first half of the C19, when agricultural enclosure generated new wealth from a now highly productive rural hinterland. The corporation invested in further public building, notably the Assembly Rooms, completed in 1822 (Grade II*) to the north of the Exchange Buildings. The Grade II listed buildings that form an irregular terrace, 42-50 Market Place, also date to the first half of the C19, as do eight Grade II listed warehouses. Between the mid-C18 and mid-C19 the town's suburbs grew to the north-west and east of the Market Place, with limited development to the west of the river.

Boston continued to thrive economically until the construction of the railway in 1848; this brought a station and growth to the west of the town, but withdrew outgoing goods from the port. A new dock constructed by the corporation to the south of the town in 1884 renewed seaborne trade and brought development to an area of previously agricultural land. By the late C19 the town had reached almost its present extent. Although there was new building within the town in the C20, notably the construction of the inner ring road, John Adams Way, much historic fabric has been retained; this is reflected in the comprehensive coverage of Boston in the National Heritage List for England.

The ground floor of 10 South Street contains substantial fragments of the Dominican Friary established in Boston soon after 1221. This seems to be the building referred to in the History of the Antiquities of Boston (1856) by Pishey Thompson, who thought its medieval fabric represented the only surviving remains of the Friary, and did not associate them with the 'Old Buildings' in Spain Lane, now the Blackfriars Arts Centre (pp 231-233). In fact the site of the friary seems to have occupied about five acres between Shodfriars Lane and Spain Lane, with Blackfriars identified as possibly part of the friary's south cloister range, perhaps the refectory. The function of the buildings represented by the medieval detail surviving in 10 South Street (and also in the yard of the Grade II listed Customs House immediately to the south) is uncertain. According to Pishey Thompson, the front of the building was 'taken down and modernised in 1820', but the present west elevation dates to the late C19 or early C20; although the partially eroded heraldic beast holding a cartouche that forms the pinnacle to the crow stepped gable is probably another early fragment. The ground floor is currently used as a picture framers shop and workshop, while the upper floors house a Club.


MATERIALS: Red brick with stone, and with stone and stucco dressings.

PLAN: This is a rectangular building of three storeys, the west elevation of five bays.

EXTERIOR: The west elevation has a five crow stepped gable, the bass of the gable ramped with stone scrolls. The top of the gable is crowned with a pinnacle of a medieval carving, a heraldic beast holding a cartouche. The first and second floors are divided by sill bands, and each bay is marked by a narrow pointed pilaster. At each end of the ground floor are double doors with overlights and arched heads, and in the centre is a small shop window. The first and second floor windows have pointed Gothic arches with stone hoodmoulds below which are stucco panels bearing shields. The first floor has three double casement windows alternating with two single-paned windows, and on the second floor there is a central double casement flanked by two single-paned windows of diminishing height. The pairs of windows to both first and second floors at the south end of the elevation have leaded panes and stained-glass margins; these windows light the stair case.

The north elevation is painted stone, with stone quoins up to and including the first floor of the return to the east gable end. Towards the east end at ground floor level is a C14 doorway with carved hood-mould with one worn stop to the west. To the west of this door are two blocked openings with brick segmental arches. The east elevation has one window under the gable and three regularly spaced windows to the first floor. Immediately below the south window is a blocked opening with a timber lintel.

INTERIOR: The C14 north door opens directly onto a ground-floor room, the east wall of which contains a low stone arcade with wide-chamfered arches and octagonal piers with moulded capitals. The south entrance opens onto a small lobby and staircase, beyond which is a store room. An arcade extends along the south wall of both, having three chamfered arches, slender octagonal piers and carved corbels within the spandrels of the arches. A stair contemporary with the late-C19 or early-C20 remodelling of the building is lit by the lead paned windows, its south wall uneven and undulating, indicating earlier stonework, possibly part of the medieval friary, or a later building. To the north of the stair is a large club room to the first floor, and other smaller service rooms and offices to both floors, none of which contain historic features.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Harris, J, Antram, N, The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire, (1989)
Thompson, P , History and Antiquities of Boston, (1856)
Cope-Faulkner, Paul, Boston Town Historic Environment Baseline Study, 2005,
Hewlings, R, The Public Buildings of Boston 1702-1822, 1988,


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 12 Sep 1999
Reference: IOE01/00274/32
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Ray Horrocks. Source Historic England Archive
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