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.