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Gloucestershire Business News

Major development project could unearth missing Gloucester priory

The historic sites of national importance Blackfriars, Greyfriars, St Oswalds Priory, Llanthony Priory, all trip off the tongue in Gloucester - but Whitefriars is all but forgotten.

According to the British History website the house of Carmelite friars was founded close to 1268 near Brook Street, outside the then city walls at the north-east corner of the town.

Parts of it are thought to have made it through the Civil War before disappearing completely when a new cattle market was introduced in the early 1820s.

It is believed the site of the missing priory is now occupied in part by the old, and soon to be demolished, bus station.

And it is this phase of the redevelopment of the city centre - preparation for the rebuild of Kings Quarter, linking it to the new transport hub - which will allow archaeologists to survey the site before building work begins.

"Somewhere around here it is believed was Whitefriars Priory," said city council leader Paul James.

"King Henry III is believed to have helped construct it through the giving of materials and money. But that is the priory that has been lost and of which we know the least.

"It we can find it it will help us learn more about an important part of the city's history."

Workmen have begun stripping out the inside of the former Furniture Recycling Project building, on the corner of the site off Market Parade in readiness for demolition.

The canopy, railings and external structures that once made up the old and much derided bus station will also come down.

It is understood the parade of shops, including Tesco Express, will remain for the time being - as will the multi-storey car park, described by Mr James as "not the most attractive".

Plans are for the car park to eventually be replaced with a new multi-storey.

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