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LONDON WHITEFRIARS

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  WHITEFRIARS THEATRE
DESCRIPTION + /

The site of the former Carmelite Friary in the City of London, of which the only surviving evidence is part of a cellar. It was located in the area bounded by Fleet Street to the north, Whitefriars Street to the east, Temple Avenue to the west, and the Thames to the south. The Friary was founded in 1247 and the first church on the site was built around 1253. This was replaced by an enlarged church in the mid-14th century. The friary was dissolved by King Henry VIII in 1538 and the frater, library and kitchen were given to the King's Armourer.

In 1608, though possibly as early as 1606, Michael Drayton and Thomas Woodford converted the former refectory for use as a theatre. Between 1608 and 1609 the acting company Children of the King's Revels were based there and were succeeded by the Children of the Queen's Revels in 1609. They remained at the theatre until 1614 and in that same year, merged with the adult company, Lady Elizabeth's Men, before moving to the Hope theatre. The Whitefriars theatre closed in 1629.

Archaeological excavations have located dump material for pier bases, probably those of the second church, and burials from the cemetery.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.