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THETFORD AUSTIN FRIARY

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The monument includes the site of an Augustinian friary which was established within an Iron Age earthwork enclosure (TL 88 SE 123) in the late 14th century, on land to the south of Castle Lane. The friary was founded circa 1387 by John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, on land granted by Sir Thomas Morley and Simon Barbour, and was a small house of no more than six friars. In 1408 the friars obtained a license from the Crown to demolish a house standing between the friary and the street, in order to extend the church and cloister and build a hermitage. The friary was dissolved in 1538. A plan of the foundations, drawn in the early 18th century, shows a broad nave, possibly aisled, a narrower, rectangular east end which would have contained the choir and presbytery, and a cross passage between the nave and choir which was a characteristic feature of friary churches. Although nothing of the friary is now visible, remains of the foundations are believed to survive below the ground surface. Scheduled.

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