Guildford Black Friary
The Friary Centre lies on the site of the friary
|Diocese||Diocese of Guildford|
|Founder(s)||Queen Eleanor of Provence|
|Important associated figures||Richard Fitz Alan, Earl of Arundel and Surrey; Henry VIII|
|Public access||Not applicable|
A house of Dominican friars was founded in Guildford by Queen Eleanor of Provence, at some time after the death of her husband Henry III. The friary was on the east bank of the river, north of the current High Street in Guildford at the end of the present Friary Street, In 1275 on 6 March, Edward I granted the Dominican friars a road leading from Guildford to the royal park opposite, across the river to be enclosed for enlarging their area. Later, Henry VIII had a hunting lodge built within the precincts of this enlarged area. However, he later retained the priory in his own lands, and converted the friary house into a dwelling as an occasional royal resort.
The friary was dissolved on 10 October 1538 but the house remained standing until 1606 when it was partly pulled down on the instruction of Sir George More, who carried away the materials by leave of George Austen, possibly to build the wing which Sir George added to Loseley Park. In 1630 the site was granted in fee simple to the Earl of Annandale, and on this site he had a new house built by Inigo Jones. This property was eventually changed into barracks in 1794, and pulled down in 1818.
The site of the friary later was built over and occupied by the Friary Brewery and latterly Guildford's Friary Shopping Centre.
Friary of Crutched Friars
Before the shopping centre was built, the site of the Friary was excavated in 1974 and 1978. During these excavations, traces of an earlier building were found under the Dominican building. This building had pottery dating after 1250. It has been suggested that this was the House of the Friars de Ordine Martyrum at Guildford. Also referred to as the 'Fratres Ordinis S Morise de Ordine Cruciferorum', this was a small and short-lived order, who came to Britain in 1244. In 1260 they were given permission to inhabit a piece of land they had acquired at Guildford. The Friars de Ordine Martyrum was dissolved by the Council of Lyons in 1274, along with a number of the smaller orders including the Friars of the Sack and the Pied Friars. The excavations revealing a structure built after 1250 but which must have ceased to exist before 1275, along with the documentary evidence for the presence of the Friars de Ordine Martyrum supports the suggestion that this was the original Friary. The Friars de Ordine Martyrum, were one of a number of small orders that have been loosely grouped under the umbrella of the Crutched Friars or Crossed Friars, all of whom followed the Augustinian tradition, and who came to England in the 13th century from Italy.
There has also been the suggestion of a later House of Crutched Friars in Guildford associated with the Spital, or St. Thomas's Hospital, that once stood in the angle between the Epsom and London roads in Guildford. However, the only authority for the existence of a house of crutched friars at Guildford is Speed's "History of Great Britaine" in 1611. But no other writer mentions this group.
- H.E. Malden (editor) (1967). "Friaries: Dominican Friars of Guildford". A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 2. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- H.E. Malden (editor) (1911). "The borough of Guildford: Introduction and castle". A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- Guildford Borough Council - The Friary
- HER 1654 - House Of Friars De Ordine Martyrum (Pre 1260?), Guildford
- HER 1653 - Alleged Priory Of Crutched Friars, Guildford
- John Caley, Sir Henry Ellis, Bulkeley Bandinel, William Dugdale, Monasticon anglicanum: a history of the abbies and other monasteries, hospitals, frieries, and cathedral and collegiate churches, with their dependencies, in England and Wales; also of all such Scotch, Irish, and French monasteries as were in any manner connected with religious houses in England., p1587, (Longman)