There are a few priories in Gloucestershire, most of which are in Gloucester. The priories of Gloucester are all within walking distance of each other and make a great walk through history. There are many churches and the cathedral to see in the city, enabling you to experience the cities religious history.
What is a Priory
A priory is a monastery of men or women that live under religious vows that are headed by a prior or prioress. Priories may be houses of mendicant friars or nuns or monasteries of monks or nuns. Houses of canons regular and canonesses regular also use this term, the alternative being “canonry”.
Priories of Gloucestershire
The Anglo-Saxon St. Oswold’s Priory is located near to Gloucester Cathedral. It is a historically significant religious site in the city and has an interesting backstory. The current site is a preserved ruin in a park, it has many posters detailing the history of the artefact.
St. Oswald’s Priory was founded by Lady Aethelflaed of Mercia, daughter of Alfred the Great, in around 900AD. The original building was constructed using recycled Roman stones. Originally this site was a Christian burial site but in 909AD the relics of St Oswold were taken here, the building was then dedicated to St Oswold.
Llanthony Secunda Priory
Located to the south of Gloucester just off the canal towpath and a short walk from the historic docks. The grounds of Llanthony Secunda Priory are open all year round for you to explore and is home to many wildflowers and reeds in their pond.
Only a small part of the medieval priory has survived, this includes the great barn. What remains of this gives a good idea of the size and quality of the original building. The ruins of the original barn are accessible throughout the year while walking the grounds.
Llanthony Secunda Priory was established in Gloucester by the canons of Llanthony Priory. This was formed when they were driven out of their priory in Wales, due to constant raids by the Welsh.
In 1135 after frequent attacks from the local Welsh population, the monks of the original Llanthony Priory retreated and moved to Gloucester. This was when Llanthony Secunda Priory was created.
The site has various open days where you can explore inside with a guide.
Greyfriars Priory in Gloucester.
Greyfriars was a medieval monastic house founded about 1231. the current Greyfriars Priory site is the remains of the 16th-century friary church.
Gloucester Blackfriars was founded in 1239 for a community of Dominican friars, these were called Blackfriars due to the colour of their habits. Significant fragments of the church still survive including 13th-century roof timbers. At its busiest, the monastery was home to 40 friars. Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries meant that Blackfriars was closed in 1539. The buildings were sold to a local clothier called Alderman Thomas Bell, he converted the church into a mansion. The buildings around the cloister were used by him as a workshop.
Guided Tours are available on request and arranged through the local Civic Trust. The venue is also now available for use for weddings, corporate hire and other private events.