Blackfriars is a hidden gem, a tranquil space ten minutes’ walk from Hereford's bustling High Town and even closer to Old Market shopping. Once through the gates on Widemarsh Street, you enter the peaceful world of tranquil rose gardens within a listed monument. The Rose Gardens were originally planted in 1964 - a total of 28 rose beds which have been restored to their former glory over the last few years by the Friends of Blackfriars Rose Gardens.
This area was once the grounds of Blackfriars Priory, dating from 1319. Its church was consecrated in the presence of Edward III and the Black Prince. Today, the only standing parts of the original monastic buildings are those of the western range of the prior's refectory and a section of the wall of the cloisters.
Within the grounds is a 14th century preaching cross - a Grade II* scheduled monument and the ‘only surviving example of those erected by the friars in their cemeteries’.
Alongside the site is the Coningsby Hospital & Museum reached by a separate entrance off Widemarsh Street. Established in 1613 the almshouses, built for 12 old soldiers, sailors & servants, are still occupied. The museum is housed in the former dining hall and infirmary and includes the former chapel hospital of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem.
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