Record Details

NHER Number:4266
Type of record:Monument
Name:The site of the medieval Dominican or Blackfriars Friary


The site of the medieval Dominican Friary. The friary was founded in the 1270s on a site just inside the town walls (NHER 4294). In 1525 the church burnt down; it was not rebuilt before the friary was dissolved in 1534. After 1534, buildings were built on the site, including the now demolished 17th century Drury House. Fragments of the friary have been observed incorporated into some of the post medieval buildings, while sections of the church and burials were recorded during building work in the 1970s. Roman, medieval and post medieval pottery, medieval stonework and a medieval millstone have been collected.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 526 067
Map Sheet:TG50NW

Full description

Site of Dominican/Blackfriars Friary.
Against south side of town wall, Friars Lane area. Founded 1271 to 1281; church burnt 1525; disolved 1534. Remains, especially in Feathers Inn, noted by (S1).

1946. Medieval fragments found, built into 'South Star' public house on South Quay.

1970. Observations.
Butress recorded.

1971. Field Observation.
In building fire station at TG 5256 0281 revealed walls, buttresses, pillar bases, undercroft and fifteen inhumations from the friary church. Stone coffin and gargoyle, half a small Neidermendig millstone, part of centre shaft of window tracery also found.
See (S2) for further information and information from (S8).
M. Langham-Lopez (HES), 11 July 2013.

1973. Excavations on site. For both 1971 and 1973 work, see reports in file (S2 and S3) and in (S4).
Many medieval/post medieval sherds.
E. Rose (NAU), 4 November 1982.

1977. Demolition of properties in northwest corner of site (South Quay/Friars Lane) produced skeletons, medieval sherds, carved stone, and evidence that church extended at least one bay further west than in plan published in (S4).
Also one unabraded black burnished 2nd century Roman sherd.
See (S5).
(S6) shows cloister buildings at least still remaining then.
E. Rose (NAU), 20 August 1985.

Within this area (at 121 South Quay) stood Drury House, a fine 17th century mansion, demolished post 1949. Staircase now at Blickling Hall. See leaflet (S7) in file (announching prematurely its salvation).
E. Rose (NLA), 30 October 2000.

Monument Types

  • FRIARY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FRIARY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • INHUMATION (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOUSE (16th Century to 17th Century - 1600 AD to 1700 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • COFFIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MILLSTONE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW GLASS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WINDOW GLASS (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 50 NW 53 [2].
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Photograph: 1971. Blackfriars, Great Yarmouth.
---Newspaper Article: Yarmouth Mercury. 1971. Workmen dig up stone coffin. 19 February.
---Newspaper Article: 1971. Priory site yields plundered coffin. 17 February.
---Unpublished Document: Wells, C.. A Note on skeletal remains from Blackfriars, Great Yarmouth.
---Article in Serial: Palmer, C. J. 1852. Remarks on the Monastery of the Dominican Friars at Great Yarmouth. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol III pp 377-393.
---Monograph: Manship, H.. 1854?. History of Great Yarmouth.. 2.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2015. Plaque marks site of medieval friary born out of great wealth. 6 October.
<S1>Documentary Source: Martin, T. c. 1700-1799. Collections of Church Notes. Norfolk Records Office. c. 1730.
<S2>Unpublished Document: Rye, C.G.. Blackfriars. Great Yarmouth. Features..
<S3>Unpublished Document: Rye, C.G.. 1973. Blackfriars. Great Yarmouth. Later information..
<S4>Article in Serial: Rye, C. G. 1973. Great Yarmouth. Blackfriars Church. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXXV Pt IV pp 498-502.
<S5>Article in Serial: Rye, C. G. 1979. Great Yarmouth - Blackfriars Church. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXXVII Pt II p 208.
<S6>Map: 1588. Map of Great Yarmouth.
<S7>Unpublished Document: Great Yarmouth Historical Buildings, Ltd.. A public appeal for funds to save a fine old Yarmouth house..
<S8>Article in Serial: Wilson, D. M. and Hurst, D. G. 1972. Medieval Britain in 1970. Medieval Archaeology. Vol XV (for 1971) pp 124-179. p 139.

Related records - none

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