Ancient Monuments

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Blackfriars Friary, preaching cross and cemetery, and hospital and chapel of St John in Hereford

A Scheduled Monument in Hereford, Herefordshire,

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Latitude: 52.0602 / 52°3'36"N

Longitude: -2.7134 / 2°42'48"W

OS Eastings: 351187.47404

OS Northings: 240441.679999

OS Grid: SO511404

Mapcode National: GBR FL.D7LH

Mapcode Global: VH85N.XHD0

Entry Name: Blackfriars Friary, preaching cross and cemetery, and hospital and chapel of St John in Hereford

Scheduled Date: 26 November 1928

Last Amended: 11 March 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010797

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13610

County: Herefordshire,

Civil Parish: Hereford

Built-Up Area: Hereford

Traditional County: Herefordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Herefordshire

Church of England Parish: St Peter with St Owen and St James, Hereford

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes the remains of a medieval Dominican friary,
associated monastic buildings, a precinct area and a cemetery and
preaching cross. The friary and cemetery area were only partly enclosed
within a precinct wall with its northern edge defined by the Tan Brook.
The friary, established in 1322, included a church and a cemetery, and a
variety of associated domestic and religious buildings. Excavations in
1958 confirmed the below ground plan of the walls of the cloisters and
the nave of the church. Documentary records have also identified a
gatehouse to the west and a variety of domestic buildings and tenements,
surrounded by gardens, orchards and a drainage system. The cemetery lies
to the west of the friary, and burials have been discovered in the
gardens which now cover part of the site. The cemetery includes a 14th
century friar's preaching cross which was restored in 1864. Today, the
only standing parts of the original monastic buildings are those of the
western range of the prior's refectory and a section of the wall of the
cloisters to the east. Other standing buildings include those of the
Coningsby Hospital, a Grade II* listed building, in the north western
area of the site, which was built from stone of the first friary
buildings after they were partially destroyed in 1538. The hospital
stands on the site of the chapel and hospital complex erected in 1200 by
the Knights' Hospitallers (Order of St John of Jerusalem). The Coningsby
Hospital and the twentieth century structures in the area, including an
ambulance station are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground
beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A friary was usually an urban settlement housing a community of male
mendicants, of which the Dominicans (Blackfriars) are one of the
principal English religious orders of friars. Such sites are usually
characterised by a discrete group of buildings and open spaces bounded
by a precinct wall. As the main concerns of the friars were preaching,
evangelism and learning, they were not segregated from the secular world
and often friaries were located close to town gates and main
thoroughfares. The orders allowed no private property and the friars
subsisted solely through alms and gifts of benefactors.
Hereford Blackfriars is an important religious site with a rare example
of a preaching cross. The priory represents a late foundation
established upon a cleared site and as such has special significance for
providing information on the changing architectural, social and
demographic patterns of friaries of the 14th century.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, L A S, 'Trans Woolhope Club' in Excavations at Blackfriars, Hereford, 1958, (1958), 334-42
Knight, M G, Shoesmith, R, 'Trans Woolhope Club' in Blackfriars Preaching Cross: The Restoration of 1864, (1983), 227-243
Marshall, G, 'Trans Woolhope Club' in The Blackfriars Monastery And The Coningsby Hospital, Hereford, (1918), 239ff

Source: Historic England

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