Record Details

NHER Number:374
Type of record:Monument
Name:Austin Friary Precinct, King Street, Norwich

Summary

The Austin Friary was established around 1290, and received its first charter in 1293. In 1360 it acquired the church of St Michael in Conesford (NHER 594), demolished it and undertook an expansion and rebuilding of the precinct, which was finished in 1368. A new library was built in 1457, and a hospital in 1492, but the priory was supressed in 1538 and the buildings demolished in 1547. Excavations in the 1960s recovered evidence of the Friary, and noted the plan of the buildings. The church was known to be dedicated to St Mary the Virgin and St Augustine, and may have been as been as much as 137m long. Unfortunately this church and the majority of the other buildings were demolished in 1547, although it is possible that the precinct gateway lies beneath Howard House (NHER 741). Excavation has also revealed Late Saxon to Norman riverside deposits on this site, including a reused Saxon boat, and there have been a number of medieval road, wall and suface features noted. Evidence for land reclamation may date to the medieval or post medieval period, but it is recorded that in 1662 this area was laid out as a pleasure garden. The designer, Lord Henry Howard, also had a 'Summerhouse' built in the northwest corner of the precinct, and the gardens stretched from this right down to the river. This area became known as the 'Lords Garden', and the summerhouse 'Howards House' (NHER 741).

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 2355 0827
Map Sheet:TG20NW
Parish:NORWICH, NORWICH, NORFOLK

Full description

Established around 1290.
First charter 1293. It acquired the church of St Michael in Conesford in 1360. The buildings were then rebuilt (completed 1368). A new library was built in 1457. It was suppressed in 1538 and the buildings demolished in 1547. In 1631 it was suggested to build a pest-house here but there is no evidence that this was actually built. In 1662 the land was laid out as a pleasure garden, with a 'Summerhouse' in the northwest corner of the precinct. The work was carried out by Lord Henry Howard and became known as the 'Lords Garden'.
The precinct extended from King Street, west; the river, east; St Vedast's Lane, north; and St Anne's Lane, south. William of Worcestre gave the dimensions of the church as following: Total length = 140 paces, breadth = 38 paces, nave alone = 60 paces.
A plan of the friary was given in Taylor (1821). This may be correct in general plan but the excavations of 1968/9 (NHER 84) showed buildings on a slightly different alignment and with the cloisters further to the south.
Church dedicated to St Mary the Virgin and also to St Augustine. 450ft (137m) long, 90ft (27m) wide with cloisters on north and south sides. Church and conventual buildings demolished 1547.
Within the precinct of the Austin Friary: hospital founded 1492, buildings gone by 1905.
M. Leah, 25 February 1991.

See file for further details along with documentary sources (S1), (S2) and (S3).

April 1998. Evaluation. Contexts 2-74.
Late Saxon to Norman riverside deposits including a reused Saxon boat.
Medieval linear features, road and wall.
Medieval to post medieval garden surfaces.
See report (S4) in file.
See also (S17).
E. Rose (NLA), 14 July 1998.

1998. NAU Report No. 388.
An archaeological impact assessment emphasizes the historical significance of King Street, the north-south spine of the Late Saxon town and the character of the site, which was occupied from an early date although just outside the line of the defensive circuit. The waterfront area of King Street was of growing importance to institutional 'developers' from the 13th century, with ecclesiastical and commercial interests dominating in the 15th century (resulting in 'Dragon Hall'). After the Dissolution the major ecclesiastical precinct, the Austin Friars, became private gardens to the Duke of Norfolk's townhouse, Howard House. Development here will have a major impact on the remains of the defensive circuit and may provide an opportunity to examine further the Late Saxon remains and the medieval friary and waterfront complexes.
See (S16).
D. Holburn (HES), 5 December 2011.

1999.
Excavation on the site of a former Augustinian Priory and a 17th Century town house recovered elements of the priory plan and burials. An early road surface and the fabric of a former ?priory gatehouse were recorded.
See (S15).
D. Holburn (HES), 21 November 2011.

A. Shelley (NAU) in lecture to RAI November 1999 states: Taylor in fact shows a double cloister plan; nobody knows why or what was his evidence. In the late 14th century the walls were refaced in brick. The precinct wall remains by Baltic House. A hollow way crossed the site east to west. The gatehouse may remain beneath Howard House to north.
See (S5).
E. Rose (NLA), 10 November 1999.

March to April 2003. NAU evaluation. Contexts 800-836.
A wall and dark soil appear to have been associated with the post medieval gardens of Howard House.
See (S6).
J. Allen (NLA), 19 August 2003.

April to May 2003. NAU Watching Brief. Contexts 837-842.
Three pile proving test pits were excavated by contractors in order to determine the condition of existing piles and pile-caps within a former brewery building. An archaeological watching brief was maintained during these operations.
See (S7) in file.
See also (S14).
M. Horlock (NLA), 7 August 2003.

See also press cuttings (S8), (S9), (S10) and (S11).
T. Sunley (NLA) 2 November 2007.

October-November 2008. Evaluation. Contexts 900-?.
Details are awaited.
H. Hamilton (NLA), 20 February 2009.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC?)
  • FINDSPOT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC?)
  • FENCE (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • PIT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • REVETMENT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • WATERCRAFT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • BOUNDARY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FENCE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FRIARY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • GARDEN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOLLOW WAY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOSPITAL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • REVETMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ROAD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • YARD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BOUNDARY (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GARDEN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GARDEN FEATURE? (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GARDEN HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • INFECTIOUS DISEASES HOSPITAL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Undated)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Undated)
  • BURNT FLINT (Early Mesolithic to Late Neolithic - 10000 BC to 2351 BC?)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Early Mesolithic to Late Neolithic - 10000 BC to 2351 BC?)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • PLANT REMAINS (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • WORKED OBJECT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BRICK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FISH REMAINS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • NAIL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PAINTED GLASS (WINDOW) (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PLANT REMAINS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • VESSEL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WORKED OBJECT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BOTTLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BRICK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CLAY PIPE (SMOKING) (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CLAY PIPE (SMOKING) (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • MOLLUSCA REMAINS (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG2308 AXT.
---Graphic material: Various. Various. Architectural plans..
---Slide: Various. 1999. Slides 85-295 An archaeological impact assessment by NAU Archaeology.
---Slide: Various. 1998. Slides 1-84, An Archaeological Evaluation at Norwich Breweries Distribution Depot, by NAU Archaeology.
---Slide: Adams, D.. 2003. Slides 428-235, An Evaluation at Norwich Breweries Distribution Depot, by NAU Archaeology.
---Unpublished document: NCM Staff. 1973-1989. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card - Norwich.
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Norwich - Post Roman.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Publication: Taylor, R. C. 1821. Index Monasticus. p 76.
<S2>Publication: Blyth, G. K. 1842. The Norwich Guide. p 137.
<S3>Monograph: Blomefield, F. 1806. The History of The City and County of Norwich, Part II. An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk. Vol IV. pp 102-4.
<S4>Unpublished document: Brennand, M. and Hutcheson, A.. July 1998. NAU Report No. 328. Results of an archaeological evaluation at Norwich Breweries Distribution Depot, 99-107 King Street, Norwich..
<S5>Unpublished document: Shelley, A. 1999. NAU Report No. 388. St Anne's Wharf, King Street, Norwich, Archaeological Impact Assessment.
<S6>Unpublished document: Adams, D.. 2003. NAU Report No. 830. Report on an archaeological watching brief at St Anne's Wharf, Norwich..
<S7>Unpublished document: Moss, N.. 2003. NAU Report No. 828. An Archaeological Watching Brief at Anne's Wharf, Mountergate, Norfolk..
<S8>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 5 Oct 1999.
<S9>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 17 May 1999.
<S10>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 10 Jul 1999.
<S11>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 19 May 1998.
<S12>Photograph: Crawley, P.. 2008. MWW-MWZ, MXA-MXC. Evaluation by NAU Archaeology at St Anne's Wharf, Norwich..
<S13>Slide: Crawley, P.. 2008. Slides 296-427. Evaluation by NAU Archaeology at St Anne's Wharf, Norwich..
<S14>Article in serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. 2004. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 2003. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt III pp 573-588. p 584.
<S15>Article in serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2000. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1999. Norfolk Archaeology. XLIII Pt III pp 521-543. p 534.
<S16>Article in serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 1999. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1998. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIII Pt II pp 369-387. p 380.
<S17>Article in serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 1999. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1998. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIII Pt II pp 369-387. p 380.

Related records

Site 2386Parent of: 97 King Street (Howard House) (Monument)
Site 2018Parent of: 99-107 King Street (Distribution Depot) (Monument)
Site 1545Parent of: 99-107 King Street (Monument)
Site 1547Parent of: 99-107 King Street (Monument)
Mon 682Parent of: Austin Friary, King Street (Monument)
Site 1088Parent of: Caley's Mineral Water Factory, 109 King Street (Monument)
Mon 1478Parent of: City Ditch (Saxon) (Monument)
Site 1695Parent of: Howard`s House, 97 King Street (Monument)
Site 1697Parent of: Howard`s House, 97 King Street (Monument)
Site 3548Parent of: Howard`s House, 97 King Street (Monument)
Mon 838Parent of: Howard's House, 97 King Street (Monument)
741Parent of: Howard's House, No 97 King Street (Building)
Mon 1031Parent of: Lords Garden, King Street (Monument)
84Parent of: Part of site of St Michael Conesford Church, No 99 to 107 King Street (Monument)
390Parent of: Site of churchyard of St Michael's Conesford, Norwich (Monument)
554Parent of: Site of St Anne's Chapel (Monument)
594Parent of: Site of St Michael's Church, Conesford, Norwich (Monument)
37411Parent of: St Anne's Wharf (Monument)
Mon 727Parent of: St Helen's Church, South of Bishopgate (Monument)
Mon 754Parent of: St Michael in Conisford Church (Monument)
Mon 696Parent of: St Michaels Conesford Churchyard (Monument)

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