Greyfriars Church, (Chichester)

Denomination:

Roman Catholic.

Internet:

Church website.

Address:

Priory Park, Chichester, West Sussex.

Grid reference: 486255, 105120, View on: Google Maps, Open Street Map, Streetmap, National Library of Scotland Map or Oldmaps.

Incumbents:

Currently there is no incumbent information available.

Registers:

Baptisms:

There are no baptisms in the OPC database.

No baptism IGI batches known.

Burials:

There are no burials in the OPC database.

No burial IGI batches known.

Marriages:

There are no marriages in the OPC database.

No marriage IGI batches known.

Monumental inscriptions:

There are no monumental inscriptions in the OPC database.

Images:

Roughwood Churches Album has images and notes about this church.

There are 8 images of this church in the OPC database.

Building information:

Built: c. 1230.

Closed: 1558.

Style: Early English.

Current use: Commercial.

(Guildhall - Chichester District Museum)

Harrison's description (1911):

In the Priory Park, the chapel (or choir of the church) of a monastery of Franciscans or Grey Friars should be visited. It has been restored; its magnificent E. window of five lights, divided by lofty shafts and foliated capitals, is a fine example of E.E. at its best (c. 1230).

Documents:

There are no documents about this church in the OPC database. If you have one, please contribute a transcription!

Publications:

There are no books about this church in the Sussex OPC Bibliography.

There are 3 articles about this church in the OPC Sussex Archeaological Collections Index.

Notes:

The Franciscans arrived in England in 1225, and probably came to Chichester within a few years. The man who brought the order to England, William de Colville, had family connections in the city and may have suggested it as a suitable site.
Their first friary was in St Martin's, but in 1269 it moved to the site of the old castle in Priory Park. Building work advanced quickly, as it was ready to hold an ordination ceremony in 1282.
Little is known about the exact layout of the church, but altars to St Katherine, Our Lady and St Francis were referred to in wills from the 15th and 16th centuries. The only rooms mentioned in an early inventory were a guest house, parlour, library, refectory, brewhouse and the cloister. Only the choir of the church was mentioned, suggesting that no more was built.
In October 1538, the monastery was dissolved by King Henry VIII, as it had an annual income of less than £200. In fact the house was £10 in debt and only seven brethren were resident.
The site of the friary was given by the King to the Mayor and citizens of Chichester. In 1540 the King also sold them the friary church which became the Town Hall or Guildhall.
Source - Chichester District Museum website.

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