Friary Street

Just below the site of Friary Station and just off Exeter Street is a small street known as Friary Street. Before the War there was also a Friary Green and Friary Gate (the original Friary Gate was taken down in 1763) in the vicinity too. All of them owing their name ultimately to the foundation established by the Carmelite Friars back in the thirteenth century. A victim of the Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538 the property was surrendered to the Crown with just five of the brethren living there. Thereafter the surviving buildings had a colourful history, until the site was massively redeveloped in the 1870s to accommodate the new railway station there. Last used for passenger traffic in 1958 the site has been redeveloped again and is now a mix of housing and warehousing, with Courts and Focus Do It All having outlets there. The Friars here incidentally were White Friars, as opposed to the Grey Friars who had a monastery beyond what, in medieval terms, was the southern edge of town, off New Street on the Barbican. Curiously, despite the popularity of the name locally, there has never been an order of Black Friars here.