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GREENWICH GREYFRIARS

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Franciscan friary of Observant Friars established at Greenwich in 1485 after Edward IV had been granted permission by the Pope. This was situated on land adjacent to the palace and was the first Observant House in England and originally consisted of a warden and 12 friars. The Franciscan Observants were suppressed for rejection of papal authority in 1534 and the friary was refounded as a Franciscan Conventual house which was dissolved in 1538. It was re-established again in 1555 for Observants but they were finally expelled in 1559 by Elizabeth I. No remains survive, but some idea of the plan and extent can be garnered from two drawings by van den Wyngaerde made in 1558. These suggest that the church was a simple nave and quire separated by a walking space, over which was a centrally placed belfry. The domestic buildings lay to the South. The buildings were demolished after the Restoration, and the North-West wing of the present hospital now stands on the site.

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