Place:Austin Friars, London (City of), London, England


NameAustin Friars
Coordinates51.51557°N 0.085579°W
Located inLondon (City of), London, England

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Austin Friars, London was an Augustinian friary in the City of London from its foundation, probably in the 1260s, until its dissolution in November 1538. It covered an area of about 5.5 acres (2.3 ha) a short distance to the north-east of the modern Bank of England and had a resident population of about 60 friars. A church stood at the centre of the friary precinct, with a complex of buildings behind it providing accommodation, refreshment and study space for the friars and visiting students. A large part of the friary precinct was occupied by gardens that provided vegetables, fruit and medicinal herbs.

In addition, some of the precinct and land immediately adjoining it was used to build rented tenements which were occupied by a number of notable figures including Erasmus and Thomas Cromwell, the principal official of King Henry VIII. As Cromwell's fortunes rose, he obtained more of the friary's land to build one of the largest private mansions in London. However, his house was seized by the Crown following his fall from power and execution in July 1540. It was sold off along with the friary precinct, much of which was subsequently demolished. The mansion became the Drapers' Hall, while the nave of the friary church became the Dutch Church at Austin Friars.

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