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DONCASTER GREYFRIARS

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Franciscan friary, founded before 1284, dissolved in 1538. It was situated on an island formed by the rivers Cheswold and Don at the bottom of French or Francis gate, at the North end of Friars' Bridge. It covered a substantial area, its possessions including 4 fishponds at the Dissolution. Remains of a rectangular building with a North porch uncovered in 1842 during canal excavation were long thought to be those of the conventual church. However, Buckland et al reviewed the earlier accounts and reinterpret the remains as possibly those of the Friary's guest house. The building's dimensions, compared with the known inventory of possessions at the Dissolution, suggest that it was too small to have been the church. The so-called North porch would also have been unparalleled in Franciscan architecture. If it was the guest house, the North porch would be an ancillary structure pointing towards the cloisters and church lying to the North of the building. If so, further remains of the Friary may survive to the north of the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Canal.

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