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GLOUCESTER GREYFRIARS

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Gloucester Greyfriars consists of the remains of a Franciscan friary, which was founded in 1231. Substantial remains of the nave and north aisle of the friary church, dating to the early Tudor period, remain behind and alongside a 19th century house now in use as a library. Remains of the scissor-braced dormitory roof of the friary are also still extant. The church, incorporating the remains of an even earlier church building on the site, was constructed in around 1518. It was built to a Perpendicular Gothic Style with funds provided by the patron, Lord Berkley. The friary was surrendered to King Henry VIII in 1538, and after it was dissolved the buildings were put to many subsequent uses. In 1643, a siege of the city by Royalist forces caused considerable damage. By 1721 only the nave and north aisle survived, the quire and cloisters, which lay south of the church, having been demolished.

In the 18th century a brewery and several houses were built within the walls and in around 1810, a substantial house was built in Classical Style into the west end of the medieval remains. In the 1960s, the remains of the church to the east were cleared of later structures, the masonry consolidated and the house converted into a public library for use by Gloucestershire County Council. A cemetery originally lay to the north of the church. Excavations in 1966 revealed chapels on the south side of the choir, the site of a tower demolished circa 1700, and pottery of circa 1230 sealed beneath an early floor. The church was built of ashlar and rubble and the extant remains include the remnants of four-light and six-light arched windows (including perpendicular tracery and window heads), walls, floor slabs and buttresses.

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