Augustin Friars

   In Broad Street Ward, on the west side of Old Broad Street.
   A priory of Augustinian Friars founded by Humfrey Bohun, earl of Hereford and Essex 1253, enlarged 1334, rebuilt 1354 (S. 178) (Cal. P.R. 8 Ed. III. 1334-8, p. 31).
   The church consisted of a choir, with north and south aisles, chapels of St. John and St. Thomas, transepts, and nave of two aisles. It had a fine spired steeple, small, high and straight (S. 178). Destroyed 1362 and rebuilt.
   At the dissolution of the monasteries the great mansion within the close, with hall, cloyster, etc., was given in 1539 by the King to Sir Richard Ryche (L. and P. H. VIII. XIV. (1), p. 588) and other parts, viz. the church, etc., were given to William Poulett, lord Seynt John, who built a large house called Powlet House, or Winchester House, within the precinct and walls of the Priory 1539 (ib. p. 421).
   The west end of the church was enclosed from the steeple and choir and in 1550 granted to the Dutch nation in London (S. 177). It is 153 ft. long and 85 ft. wide.
   The steeple and east end were pulled down between 1603 and 1618, in spite of the remonstrances of the Mayor and Aldermen, who described it as one of the beautifullest and rarest spectacles of the City (Strype, ed. 1720, I. ii. 114).
   All but the outer walls and columns of the existing church dividing the nave and the aisles were destroyed by fire in 1862, and after this fire it was proposed to pull down the church and erect a chapel on its site. But the determined opposition of the trustees supported by Gilbert Scott to this act of vandalism prevented the destruction of these noble remains, one of the few relics of 14th or 15th century work left in the City.
   Gilbert Scott described the building as a noble model of a preaching nave, for which purpose he considers that it was specially designed, being of great size and openness, upwards of 150 ft. by 80 ft. internally, supported by light and lofty pillars sustaining 18 arches. The style is Early Perpendicular.
   The church was accordingly restored in 1863-5 under the direction of the architects l'Anson and Lightly.
   There is a good account of the church in the Trans. L. and M. Arch. Soc. II. i.
   There was a fraternity of the Holy Blood of Wilsnak in Saxony in the Church of the Friars in 1490, and the ordinances of the brotherhood are set out in Trans. L. and M. Arch. Soc. IV. p. 47.
   A 14th-century archway and wall have been discovered in the wall of a house standing north side of the nave. Perhaps a portion of the Priory cloisters (M. and H. Notes and Q. VI. p. 69).
   The site of the monastery is now occupied by Austin Friars, Great Winchester Street, Little Winchester Street, Austin Friars Passage, the Dutch Church, etc. (q.v.).
   See Winchester Place.

A Dictionary of London. . 1918.

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