Blackfriars was founded in 1239 on the site of a Norman Castle. Their benefactor, King Henry III gifted timber for the building from the nearby Forest of Dean, some of which can still be seen in place today.The priory fell in to decline in the 16th century and was later bought by Sir Thomas Bell to be converted to a private residence and clothing factory. Engish Heritage own the building and did much resoration work; the local council have a temporary lease and it is now used mainly for private functions.
We visited the priory on a cloudless hot sunny day, expecting there to be quite a few visitors, there were none. Our recordings focused only on the under-croft and the end hall of the west building, shown in the picture above. There are three accessible areas that we could have recorded in but the church was being prepared for a concert and the north range was impossible due to a loud buzzing from the security room.
EVP 1: As we entered the courtyard, Rachel saw a young man wearing a staff t-shirt enter the under-croft door. On reaching the building he seemed to have disappeared but we could hear a man talking upstairs, this turned out to be a builder on his phone who came downstairs a few minutes later and departed. The staff member was not seen for the duration of the visit but we were most definitely not alone in the building.
EVP 2: The under-croft floor has deep drainage channels leading to a central drain, it is unclear how old these are because the floor doesn't appear to be sections of stone. The area was used as part of a clothing factory in the 16th century. It's good to know that the speaker is able to observe us but his accent is not local and the language is modern, who he is we do not know.
EVP 3: This is a curious EVP message. Is it us that the speaker dislikes or someone in his state of existence? We have recorded many negative messages over the years, they do not concern us but it is sad that a being wherever they are should be suffering.
EVP 4: We were delighted to hear this gentleman's comment. Rachel has long mentioned Ivy in séances, as a member of our group on the other side but we have never captured evidence of her being with us. Tracey was the first to hear a woman's voice in the under-croft but soon after Rachel could hear it faintly too.
EVP 5: Although this message does not relate to the priory, it is tremendously significant to Rachel as affirmation of the research work that is done on a small laptop computer.
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