Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: July 26, 2017.
Webpage updated: July 26, 2017




The Franciscan Friary was founded about the year 1384, when King Richard II licensed Mr William Cole, Mr Thomas Fisher, Mr Geoffrey Couche and Mr Humphrey Passour, to alienate (to give away a right) to them six acres of land in Plymouth for a church, belfry, houses, buildings and closes.

Unfortunately, the friars quickly got in to trouble because they not only erected their convent without the Bishop's license but they even got it consecrated by one Mr John Berham, who pretended to be the Bishop of Naples.  The Bishop of Exeter, Bishop Brantyngham, was displeased and put the Friary under an interdict.

The Friary was in what became Woolster Street, within a short distance of Sutton Pool.

After the Dissolution in 1538, it was owned at first by the same Ilsham (or Iselham) brothers who had acquired the Carmelite Friary.  Part of the house was used as the Old Mitre Inn and it was said that it was entered from the road by an arched doorway which led into a quadrangular courtyard.   On the eastern side of the building was a cloister supported by twisted spiral pillars.

The last remains of the Friary and the Old Mitre were removed in 1813 when the Exchange was built on the site.