Blackfriars Priory, Gloucester was founded in 1217 by St Dominic to fight the twin evils of "Heresy and Doubt". The friars acted as teachers and evangelists, and would travel the countryside or live together in urban friaries. The monks that lived at Blackfriars took on traditional monastic vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and would have to attend church nine times a day unless excused.
The Friary continued throughout the next 200 years, the Dominican friars acted as confessors to many significant people, who would in turn give generous gifts to the friary in which many of them would have been laid to rest. In 1991 a Cemetery was discovered on the site and was found to have women and children buried within, indicating that Blackfriars may have been operating as a hospice or hospital for the families of benefactors.
By the early 16th Century Blackfriars Priory was very much in decline, at it's height it once housed forty friars, reduced to a prior and six brethren living in poverty at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries. It was later purchased by Sir Thomas Bell, a wealthy Gloucester capper and clothier, who went one to become Mayor of Gloucester. He purchased the property for £240 and remodelled the Church into a private dwelling house with other buildings converted into a cloth manufacturer providing employment for over 300 townspeople, making him one of the largest employers in the City Of Gloucester.
During the 1790's parts of the cloistral ranges were converted into dwellings and other buildings housed a wool-stapler and stonemasons workshop, by the 19th Century a private school had been established there. The west range was altered substantially in the early 19th Century to form three houses facing onto Ladybellegate street, this building originally housed friars refectory, where all the friars would have eaten together.
By the 1930's Bell's mansion had been converted into 2 separate houses and other tenants of the site included a printing firm and a mineral water manufacturer.
Restoration of Blackfriars Priory began in the 1960's under the direction of the Ministry of Works. The building is now currently owned by English Heritage and has undergone much restoration work.
Ghostcallers UK invite you to join us as we investigate one of Gloucester's oldest buildings, and one of the oldest Dominican Priories in Britain - Blackfriars Priory.
29th April 2017
9.00pm till 3.00am
Over 18’s Only.
Parking available nearby
Hot drinks and light refreshment will be available throughout investigation
We recommend that everyone attending this event wrap up warm and wear sensible footwear.
You are welcome to bring along any equipment ie torches, cameras, video cameras, emf meters, laser thermometers etc along to this event.
Please allow for any delays that you may encounter whilst traveling to this event.
Please be advised that there are no sleeping facilities available at this location.