Lincoln Drill Hall

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Lincoln Drill Hall
The Drill Hall - - 790958.jpg
Broadgate frontage of the Drill Hall (the modern entrance is at the rear)
Lincoln Drill Hall is located in Lincolnshire
Lincoln Drill Hall
Lincoln Drill Hall
Location within Lincolnshire
Coordinates 53°13′47″N 0°32′15″W / 53.2298°N 0.5375°W / 53.2298; -0.5375Coordinates: 53°13′47″N 0°32′15″W / 53.2298°N 0.5375°W / 53.2298; -0.5375
Type Drill Hall
Site history
Built 1890
Built for War Office
Architect Goddard and Son
In use 1890-Present

Lincoln Drill Hall is a recently refurbished and modernised entertainment venue at Broadgate in Lincoln, England.[1]


Sculpture on the exterior wall by Rick Kirby

The building was designed by architects Goddard and Son for the 1st Lincolnshire Rifle Volunteers and construction was financed by Mr. Joseph Ruston, a former M.P. for the city.[2] It was opened in 1890 and, although purpose built for military training, community and social events were held in the hall from an early stage.[3] The 1st Lincolnshire Rifle Volunteers evolved to become to 4th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment in 1908.[4] The battalion was mobilised at the drill hall in August 1914 before being deployed to the Western Front.[5] The 4th Battalion was reconstituted after the Second World War and amalgamated with the 6th Battalion to form the 4th/6th Battalion in 1950.[6]

Various forms of entertainment were held at the hall - the most notable performance being a gig by The Rolling Stones' on New Year's Eve, 1963; the following day they made their debut on the BBC's Top of the Pops television show.[7][8]

In 1967 the 2nd (Duchess of Gloucester's Own Royal Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire) Company, 5th (Volunteer) Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment was formed in Lincoln.[9] The building continued to be used for military training for most of the rest of the century but increasingly fell into disrepair and closed in 1999.[3] However, by public demand it was reopened four years later following a £2.6m refurbishment programme.[3] The principle contractor was local company Lindum Construction.[10] In 2010 the Council passed day-to-day control to the independent Lincoln Arts Trust.[11] The building is now managed by the Ruston Hall Trust, a subsidiary charity of the Lincoln Arts Trust.[12] The building (with the adjacent clubhouse) is a grade II Listed Building.[13]


The main auditorium has a maximum capacity of around 500 and it has hosted various bands - Buzzcocks, The Damned, Stiff Little Fingers, Seth Lakeman and The Subways being notable examples. The venue has also hosted some brilliant comedy acts including Russel Howard, Marcus Brigstocke and Mark Thomas. It also acts as a cafe with a seating area inside during the day. It also hosts the Lincoln Beer Festival each year.[7]

Following the construction of the city's new music venue, the Engine Shed - which has enabled big name, established bands to visit the city - the Drill Hall has become the first-choice venue for up and coming bands from across the United Kingdom when they are in Lincoln. As well as bands, the Drill Hall hosts theatre, literature talks, films, classical music, the Red Herring Comedy Club among other comedy nights, workshops and business meetings.[14]


  1. ^ "Lincoln Drill Hall". Approved venues. Lincolnshire County Council. 
  2. ^ "Article". The Times. 26 May 1890. 
  3. ^ a b c "Drill Hall". Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  4. ^ Westlake, Ray (2010). Tracing the Rifle Volunteers: A Guide for Military and Family Historians. Pen and Sword. p. 157. ISBN 978-1-84884-211-3. 
  5. ^ "The Lincolnshire Regiment". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 25 June 2017. 
  6. ^ "4th Battalion, The Royal Lincolnshire Regiment". Archived from the original on 15 April 2007. Retrieved 25 June 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "Lincoln Drill Hall". Cultural Quarter. Visit Lincoln. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "31 December 1963". The complete works (of the Rolling Stones). Nico Zentgraf. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 631231A 
  9. ^ "Lincolnshire Regiment". British army units 1945 on. Retrieved 25 June 2017. 
  10. ^ "Drill Hall". Case studies. Lindum construction. 
  11. ^ Ionescu, Daniel (24 August 2010). "City Council sets Lincoln Drill Hall free". The Lincolnite. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "Ruston Hall Trust". (no.1137366-1). Charities Commission. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  13. ^ Historic England. "The Drill hall  (Grade II) (1388471)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  14. ^ "Comedy news". Lincolnshire Echo. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 

External links

  • Hall web site
  • Resident photographer Phil Crow
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