Gloucestershire Places of Worship

We have 11 Images Blackfriars Friary (Restoration), Gloucester (1) (110k) Blackfriars Friary (Restoration), Gloucester (2) (111k) Blackfriars Friary (Restoration), Gloucester (3) (63k) Blackfriars Friary (Restoration), Gloucester (4) (85k) Blackfriars Friary (Restoration), Gloucester (5) (97k) Blackfriars Friary (Restoration), Gloucester (6) (59k) Blackfriars Friary (Restoration), Gloucester (7) (122k) Blackfriars Friary (Restoration), Gloucester (8) (69k) Blackfriars Friary (Restoration), Gloucester (9) (61k) Blackfriars Friary (Restoration), Gloucester (10) (44k) Blackfriars Friary (Restoration), Gloucester (11) (61k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of John Williams
Blackfriars Friary (Restoration), Gloucester
Blackfriars Friary (Restoration),
Blackfriars, off Southgate,
Gloucester, Gloucestershire.


We don't know whether this Church had a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded in 1239, but we understand it was closed in 1538.

Blackfriars Friary is said to be "the most perfectly preserved example of a Dominican Friary in Britain", and it's easy to see why, from these photographs. It was founded by Sir Stephen de Hermshall (Harnhill) in the late 13th century, with funds and materials donated by King Henry III, and consecrated in 1284. It is on the opposite side of Southgate to Greyfriars Priory (q.v).

Originally it was a cruciform church, with a long chancel, a crossing with north and south transepts, and an aisled nave. After the Dissolution it was reduced in size, and converted into a house for Sir Thomas Bell, a merchant cloth maker and draper, whilst its cloisters became his cloth manufactory. Following it being put to various domestic and commercial uses during the 18th and 19th centuries, it was adopted by the Ministry of Works in about 1960, as a Ancient Monument, and it is now in the care of English Heritage.

The third photograph in this set, taken from Ladybellegate Street, shows the start, to the right, of a range of buildings associated with Blackfriars. [Sources: the British Listed Buildings website, Religious Heritage (in 2010) on Gloucester City Council website, and John Williams]

Other photographs show inside the buildings, whilst the final photograph shows English Heritage's reconstruction of the Blackfriars as it may have appeared in 1539.

  1. The North Range, The Priory Church
    The 13th century church was originally much longer but was reduced in size when Thomas Bell turned it into his mansion after the Dissolution in 1539.
  2. South Range
    Ground Floor: school rooms plus the passage and buttery for the refectory.
    First Floor: the library with carrels built into the thickness of the walls for the individual desks of the Friars.
  3. West Range
    This range was built as the Refectory with a lodging at its north end, behind you and to your left.
    Three terraced houses were built into it in the early 19th century.
  4. East Range
    Ground Floor: rooms converted by Thomas Bell into his kitchen.
    First Floor: part of the friars' Dormitory.
  5. The Cloister
    Lean-to alleys (the cloister walks) constructed of timber linking the four principal ranges. After the Dissolution the cloister was converted to two storeys to allow communication at both ground and first floors.


Now or formerly Dominican.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.


This Church was located at OS grid reference SO8297118428. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:


I have found many websites of use whilst compiling the information for this database. Here are some which deserve mention as being of special interest for Gloucester, and perhaps to Local History and Places of Worship as a whole.

The above links were selected and reviewed at the time I prepared the information, but please be aware their content may vary, or disappear entirely. These factors are outside my control.

Information last updated on 10 Nov 2018 at 15:31.

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This Report was created 8 Aug 2022 - 02:18:20 BST from information held in the Gloucestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 13 Oct 2021 at 14:13.

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