Bridgwater Museum
The Franciscan Friary
When was it built? The Friars Minor arrived in Bridgwater in about 1231 and later in about 1245 built the only Franciscan Friary in Somerset, in the west part of the town (near West Street). They lived there peacefully for over 300 years. The Friary was closed in 1538 by Henry VIII when he disbanded all Catholic religious houses in England. Where was the Friary? Friarn Street is significant to locating the Friary as it was the original road which led people to the Friary and so it acquired its name for that reason. The earliest reference to Friarn Street is in a document dated 26th July 1298 which records the lease of a property in Frernstret. At the end of Friarn Street was the Friary. The Friary grounds can be found on Bridgwater’s oldest map called the Strachey Plan. This shows where the Friary was before the land was built on in recent years.
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The Strachey Plan
Text reproduced by permission Hannah West
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