22 July 2021

Uncovering the Lost Priory of Gloucester

Squeaky Pedal have been commissioned by History Hit to produce a new and exciting one off 40 minute documentary exploring the remarkable story of Whitefriars. Presented by Gloucester City Archaeologist Andrew Armstrong, it will have exclusive access to the archaeological dig sites to log finds as they are discovered. 

During the 13th Century, the Gloucester Whitefriars friary was once one of the most important religious institutions in the medieval town of Gloucester. The town of Gloucester at this time, was a key strategic location and royal centre, as it was a focus for trade up and across the river Severn, and it boasted an impressive collection of churches, abbeys and friaries. Although it has been said to be founded by Queen Eleanor of Provence 300 years before, the dissolution of the monasteries in 1538 the friary was disbanded and sold off.

Later, during the English Civil War, the priory served as a blockhouse by the Parliamentarians during the siege of Gloucester, yet it was later demolished. Following this, the final building of the priory and all evidence of its existence was lost.

However, in 2020, during the demolition of a car park, as part of the Kings Quarter redevelopment scheme, the location of the lost Whitefriars was rediscovered. This exciting discovery led to an archaeological dig, which is where, we at Squeaky Pedal, come in. 

The documentary will utilise 3D graphics to recreate and explore the priory for the first time in over 400 years. This will allow us to see what the priory would have looked like.

So far, we have filmed at Gloucester Cathedral, Blackfriars, Greyfriars, and Llanthony Secunda Priory. These locations will explore and demonstrate the rich wealth of religious buildings that served medieval Gloucester and that still survive today.

We will also be interviewing experts in medieval Gloucester, the dissolution of the monasteries, and members of the Carmelite friar community who still preach and serve their communities today. Pictured down below, are Andrew and friars, Richard Copsey and Pat O'Keefe. 

At this moment in time, the project is still ongoing, but we can't wait to share the final product with you all!

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