Grimsby Imp – Grimsby, England - Atlas Obscura

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Grimsby Imp

A 12th-century church that houses a dark creature. 


Grimsby Minster is an imposing church in an otherwise quiet fishing town. However, a 700-year-old legend states that it was once tormented by an imp that was sent by the Devil himself. 

The tale connects the Grimsby Imp to the Lincoln Imp, and claims that both were sent by the devil to wreak havoc. As the story goes, the imps were so good at their job that God sent an angel to deal with them. The angel warned the imps, commanding them to repent or else.

One of the imps listened and hid under a table, while the other bravely started throwing rocks at the angel. The angel then turned that imp into stone, creating the Lincoln imp. He then warned the other imp to stay out of trouble. 

The remaining imp agreed but of course, had no intentions of keeping its word. And so it traveled to Grimsby where it started to terrorize the neighborhood again.

The angel returned and decided to smack the imp on its backside and turned him into stone.

Some believe that the carving is not actually an imp, but a man who is bending over to hold the beams up with his back.


Know Before You Go

The figure of the imp can be found at the top of a column supporting the bell tower. While facing the altar from the main doors, it is the nearest column on the right, the opposite side to the font, with the memorial chapel in front of you. 

Check the church website for opening hours.

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December 7, 2022

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