Blackfriars is one of the most complete Dominican priories to survive from the Middle Ages in England. The mendicant orders, established themselves across Europe in the early 13th century. They were particularly engaged with preaching and charitable work with the laity.
The Dominicans, or Blackfriars, first came to Gloucester in 1239 at the instigation of Sir Stephen de Hermshall. The building of the house began almost immediately, largely with materials and funds donated by Henry III, and was completed in about 1270 as home for some forty friars.