The Constitutional Club one of Lincoln’s finest Victorian buildings features on The Victorian Society’s Top Ten Endangered Buildings list 2023

Lincoln’s former Constitutional Club is on The Victorian Society’s Top Ten Endangered Buildings list 2023. The Grade II listed 1895 building is empty and for sale.

Photo credit: Connor McNeill for The Victorian Society 18/06/2023

Griff Rhys Jones, The Victorian Society President said: “This a phenomenal ready-made social opportunity. It was built to allow business to be conducted face to face. The building is replete with possibilities. It is handsome. It is in a key spot in this cathedral city. It needs a new use and visionary buyer to match the ambition of its existing class. It could be offices or a restaurant. It seems to have worked well as an entertainment venue for quite some years. Is this an option? It certainly deserves our respect and Lincoln’s attention”.

This former Constitutional Club designed by William Watkins is one of Lincoln’s finest Victorian buildings. It makes quite an impact with its Flemish Renaissance gabled appearance with dome and a frieze of national crests between the windows. This striking, and now decaying, building on a corner plot in the city centre represents, in built form, the extension of the right to vote to more men by the Representation of the People Act 1884. The Association of Conservative Clubs was formed in 1894 to assist and encourage the formation of social clubs. The idea was that many new Conservative voters would want to belong to a club. Gentleman’s clubs were all the rage in the Victorian period and at the turn of the 20th century London alone boasted approximately two hundred gentleman’s clubs.

The Lincoln club was comprised of a reading room, library, and lecture room amongst other amenities. It closed in 1996 and remained empty and semi-derelict for 15 years until 2011. It then hosted two different nightclubs and a Brazilian restaurant. The club was put on the market in March 2020 and remains for sale. There must be a sympathetic buyer for this landmark central Lincoln building.

The full Top Ten list 2023 can be read here and includes an earl’s mansion that became a hostel for the homeless, a church where the congregation can’t hold services, and two engineering marvels that saved lives through improving sanitation.

The list is based on public nominations from across England and Wales, and the buildings selected represent industrial, religious, domestic, and civic architecture from across the nation with unique historical and community significance and value. Nominated buildings must be dated between 1837 and 1914. The Victorian Society has announced its Top Ten list of Endangered Buildings thirteen times.

Endangered Buildings Archives