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BRISTOL GREYFRIARS

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Franciscan friary founded by 1230, dissolved 1538. Originally built within the city walls, it was moved circa 1250 to a new site West of the Benedictine Priory in the suburbs. The site was enlarged in 1386. The inventory of the site in 1538 records the quire, vestry, hall, parlour, buttery, chambers and kitchen. William of Worcester recorded the church, which appears to have had a nave and quire of equal length, circa 85 feet long. The chancel was between 27-31 feet wide, and the nave, with its two great aisles, circa 80-90 feet wide. This was an unusually short nave, but that may be explained by the fact that the cemetery was West of the church and prevented expansion in that direction. Excavations in 1974 recovered the plan of the church. The earliest church was a simple rectangular structure, 50 m long by 9m wide. When the church was enlarged fom 1386, the West end was demolished and the church extended to the South, so that the former nave became the new North aisle. A bell tower was added between the nave and the new chancel. The chapter house formerly stood as a separate structure to the North of the church, but cloisters were added in the late 14th century, incorporating the chapter house, and the chapter house was enlarged.

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