Venue Focus 3: Chad Varah House

16 October, 2013

Located within the heart of Lincoln’s historic area, Chad Varah House is a listed property in close proximity to the cathedral, castle, and Bailgate as well as Steep Hill. Chad Varah House is situated at the corner of Wordsworth Street, Drury Lane, Steep Hill and Michaelgate, all streets full of history.

Even though the building has been constructed more than 300 years ago, it thankfully has not lost a lot from its original features.

Originally constructed as the County Hospital in the late 18th Century, it has since then been used for educational purposes and is now part of the University of Lincoln’s buildings. The property has since been used for educational purposes by the Theological College, DeMontford University and the University of Lincoln. The majority of the property provides teaching/office accommodation, with a chapel attached to the eastern side of the main building.

Historical facts about Chad Varah House

  • Lincoln County Hospital or Infirmary was built in the 18th century, and was a response to Lincoln’s expanding population during the Early Industrial Period.
  • The County Hospital was built by John Carr of York, a prolific English architect, and William Lumby, a secular architect.
  • In the late 19th century, the County Hospital was transformed into the Lincoln Theological College and has since then been occupied by educational institutions.
  • Chad Varah House was named after Chad Varah, the founder of the Samaritans who was educated at the Lincoln Theological College.
  • The building has also been known to be called the Bishop’s Hostel.
  • In 1906, a chapel was added by Temple Moore, an architect specialised in designing and renovating churches.
  • Chad Varah House’s garden is the only public open space in the Cathedral area.
  • Wordsworth Street was constructed to join Drury Lane with Steep Hill during the Late Victorian/Edwardian Period.


At Chad Varah House as part of Frequency 13:

Impermanent and Everlasting by Alexis Rago, Tony Conrad Completely in The Present exhibition and James Hubble, Ross Oliver and Joana Cifre’s ¼” Mulch

Take a look at the festival schedule!




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