1902 Encyclopedia > Abbey > Buildings of Mendicant Friars (cont.): Dominicans, Norwich; Franciscans, Gloucester; Carmelites, Hulne.

Abbey
(Part 20)



(F) Buildings of Mendicant and Preaching Friars (cont.)

Houses of Dominican Friars at Norwich and of Franciscan Friars at Gloucester


As examples of English friaries, the Dominican house at Norwich, and those of the Dominicans and Franciscans at Gloucester, may be mentioned. The church of the Black Friars of Norwich departs from the original type in the nave (now St Andrew's Hall), in having regular aisles. In this it resembles the earlier examples of the Grey Friars at Reading. The choir is long and aisleless; an hexagonal tower between the two, like than existing at Lynn, had perished. The cloister and monastic buildings remain tolerably perfect to the north. The Dominican convent at Gloucester still exhibits the cloister-court, on the north side of which is the desecrated church. The refectory is on the west side, and on the south the dormitory of the 13th century. This is a remarkably good example. There were 18 cells or cubicles on each side, divided by partitions, the bases of which remain. On the east side was the prior's house, a building of later date. At the Grey or Francisca Friars, the church followed the ordinary type in having two equal bodies, each gabled, with a continuous range of -windows. There was a slender tower between the nave and choir.

Houses of Carmelites at Hulne

Of the convents of the Carmelite or White Friars we have a good example in the Abbey of Hulne, near Alnwick, the first of the order in England, founded A.D. 1240. The church is a narrow oblong, destitute of aisles, 123 feet long by only 26 feet wide. The cloisters are to the south, with the chapter-house, &c., to the east, with the dormitory over. The prior's lodge is placed to the west of the cloister. The guest-houses adjoin the entrance gateway, to which a chapel was annexed on the south side of the conventual area. The nave of the church of the Austin Friars or Eremites in London is still standing. It is of Decorated date, and has wide centre and side aisles, divided by a very light and graceful arcade. Some fragments of the south walk of the cloister of the Grey Friars exist among the buildings of Christ's Hospital or the Blue-Coat School. Of the Black Friars all has perished but the name. Taken as a whole, the remains of the establishments of the friars afford little warrant for the bitter invective of the Benedictine of St Alban's, Matthew Paris:-- "The friars who have been founded hardly 40 years have built residences as the palaces of kings. These are they who, enlarging day by day their sumptuous edifices, encircling them with lofty walls, lay up in them their incalculate treasures, imprudently transgressing the bounds of poverty, and violating the very fundamental rules of their profession." Allowance must here be made for jealousy of a rival order just rising in popularity.





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