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OXFORD BLACKFRIARS

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Site of Dominican priory 1221-circa 1237. In 1221, 13 Dominican Friars arrived from Italy in the train of Peter de Roches, Bishop of Winchester. After a sojourn in Canterbury and London, they arrived in Oxford on 15-Aug-1221, led by their prior, Gilbert de Fresnoy, and founded their first foundation there, on a site to the east of St Aldate's Street. An oratory dedicated to the Virgin Mary was built, and the friars began to teach in the schools. They entertained the Franciscans upon their arrival in 1224, and in 1233, there were some 80 friars in both orders in Oxford. A house for converted Jews, recorded in 1234, was probably under the Dominicans. Needing a larger site, land was obtained in St Ebbe's between the town wall and the river in Littlegate Street. Building began there circa 1237, and the friars entered the new site in 1245, selling the old site soon afterwards. (See SP50NW37 for the later site).

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