Great Houses Make Not Men Holy: Mendicant Architecture in Medieval Oxford
Video written and produced by Jim Knowles and Michal Koszycki, Duke University
Introduction: In 1538 King Henry the 8th ordered the dissolution be England’s religious houses. For much of the previous three centuries most prominent of these buildings in Oxford had belonged to the Dominican Order, or Blackfriars, and to the Grey Friars – the Franciscan Order. On this late 16th century map of Oxford, made by a land surveyor Ralph Agus, almost no trace remains at the Friars churches and conventional buildings. So little was left for the map maker to see in fact that he misapplied the label Greyfriars, attaching it instead to the site at the Blackfriars next door. Where had they gone? What had become of these vast houses that English writers in the previous centuries had so loudly railed against? What had become of the church’s cloisters in great libraries at once upon a time the daily homes have such imminent Oxford friars is John Dun Scotus, William of Ockham and Robert Holcot?
See also the article Great Houses Make Not Men Holy: A Study of the Franciscan and Dominican Foundations in Medieval Oxford, by Jim Knowles