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OXFORD GREYFRIARS

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The Franciscans arrived in Oxford in 1224, and built their first infirmary and chapel in St Ebbe's parish, between the city wall and Frerern Street, (Church Street), in 1225-6. An extension was acquired on the South side of the city wall in 1244, and construction on their church began in 1246-8. Following the dissolution of the Friars of the Sack (1309-19), they acquired that friary's possessions, including their conventual church, St Budoc's, (SP50NW387). This site adjoined the Greyfriars to the West. Extensive excavations have recovered the plan of the church and part of the plan of the cloisters. The church was built in 8 phases. The first, of 1246-8 was a simple nave and quire in one. Between 1270-1330, the nave with North aisle was added. Unusually for a mendicant house, a `North transept' was also built at this time. This was partly demolished in the mid-14th century, when a second, `North nave' was built at right angles to the nave. 10 chapels were created against the East wall of the second nave. The cloister lay to the South of the nave, and there may have been a second cloister to the South of it. The cemetery lay to the North of the church. Part of the East precinct wall was also located. The most celebrated friar who attended the friary was the 13th century scientific intellectual, Roger Bacon, author of the `Opus Majus'.

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