The church of St Matthew in Skegness is turning out to be a bit of a mystery…
Unsourced local history books claim that George Frederick Burley carved the Foundation Stone for the church in 1886.
In an article in the Lincolnshire Chronicle Friday 27 September 1878 it was hoped that the foundation stone would be laid in Spring, 1879.
The church is said to have been built in 1880.
None of these suggestions have I been able to verify in the newspapers, indeed they appear not to have reported on the foundation-stone-laying, nor the construction of the church itself.I have been unable to find a foundation stone on visiting the church, and the same is unknown to the church wardens.
However, the cuttings below from the Skegness Herald 24th July 1885 reporting on the Description and Consecration of St Matthew’s Church, reveal some interesting little snippets!
The Church of St Matthew, Skegness, was consecrated on 22nd July, 1885 by the Lord Bishop of Lincoln, the chancel of the sacred edifice having just been completed.
The first portion of the church was opened under license by the late Bishop of the Diocese on the 21st of September, 1880. As the chancel was not built at that time, the church couldn’t be consecrated.
St Matthew’s Church was erected on a site given by the Earl of Scarbrough.
The Corner Stone was laid by the Countess of Scarbrough, assisted by the then Lord Lumley, on 5th November, 1879.
The architect for the building was Joseph Fowler of Louth, and the first portion of the building work was carried out by Messers Walter and Hensman, builders, of Horncastle.
The second portion of the work was commenced in autumn, 1884, and on 20th November 1884, the ceremony of laying the Corner Stone of the chancel by Mrs Tippet, took place.
That’s all I can find so far, but will look up Tippet’s cornerstone laying in the old newspapers to see if THAT sheds anymore light!
Source: Skegness Herald 24th July 1885