Blackfriars Friary, preaching cross and cemetery, and hospital and chapel of St John in Hereford


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Blackfriars Friary, preaching cross and cemetery, and hospital and chapel of St John in Hereford
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1010797.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 13-Nov-2019 at 02:41:50.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SO 51187 40444

Reasons for Designation

A friary was usually an urban settlement housing a community of male mendicants, of which the Dominicans (Blackfriars) are one of the principal English religious orders of friars. Such sites are usually characterised by a discrete group of buildings and open spaces bounded by a precinct wall. As the main concerns of the friars were preaching, evangelism and learning, they were not segregated from the secular world and often friaries were located close to town gates and main thoroughfares. The orders allowed no private property and the friars subsisted solely through alms and gifts of benefactors. Hereford Blackfriars is an important religious site with a rare example of a preaching cross. The priory represents a late foundation established upon a cleared site and as such has special significance for providing information on the changing architectural, social and demographic patterns of friaries of the 14th century.


The monument includes the remains of a medieval Dominican friary, associated monastic buildings, a precinct area and a cemetery and preaching cross. The friary and cemetery area were only partly enclosed within a precinct wall with its northern edge defined by the Tan Brook. The friary, established in 1322, included a church and a cemetery, and a variety of associated domestic and religious buildings. Excavations in 1958 confirmed the below ground plan of the walls of the cloisters and the nave of the church. Documentary records have also identified a gatehouse to the west and a variety of domestic buildings and tenements, surrounded by gardens, orchards and a drainage system. The cemetery lies to the west of the friary, and burials have been discovered in the gardens which now cover part of the site. The cemetery includes a 14th century friar's preaching cross which was restored in 1864. Today, the only standing parts of the original monastic buildings are those of the western range of the prior's refectory and a section of the wall of the cloisters to the east. Other standing buildings include those of the Coningsby Hospital, a Grade II* listed building, in the north western area of the site, which was built from stone of the first friary buildings after they were partially destroyed in 1538. The hospital stands on the site of the chapel and hospital complex erected in 1200 by the Knights' Hospitallers (Order of St John of Jerusalem). The Coningsby Hospital and the twentieth century structures in the area, including an ambulance station are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Butler, L A S, 'Trans Woolhope Club' in Excavations at Blackfriars, Hereford, 1958, (1958), 334-42
Knight, M G, Shoesmith, R, 'Trans Woolhope Club' in Blackfriars Preaching Cross: The Restoration of 1864, (1983), 227-243
Marshall, G, 'Trans Woolhope Club' in The Blackfriars Monastery And The Coningsby Hospital, Hereford, (1918), 239ff


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].