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Llanfaes Friary (Franciscan);Greyfriars

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Map ReferenceSH67NW
Grid ReferenceSH6091677341
Unitary (Local) AuthorityIsle of Anglesey
Old CountyAnglesey
Type Of SiteFRIARY

Site of a Franciscan friary founded in 1245 by Llywelyn ap Iorwerth in memory of his wife Joan, daughter of King John. The friary was associated with and derived much of its income from the borough of Llanfaes - probably sited nearer to the parish church (NPRN 43609) some 700m to the north-west - until its removal to Newborough (NPRN 32992) in 1303. The friary was involved in the disturbances at the opening of the fifteenth century and the house was reported to be deserted in 1401. The community was reconstituted in 1414.
Speed's plan of Beaumaris, published 1611/12 shows the friary as a mansion set within an embattled precinct.
There are now no visible remains. Fragments of some fourteenth century encaustic tiles have been found on the site, along with fragments of matrices. The conventual church still survived in 1855, much mutilated and serving as a granary and stable (plan in Archaeological Journal 84 (1927), 100). In this building, about 35.4m by 10.5m, can be identified the nave, opening onto a south transept or chapel, a steeple passage and quire.
The tomb slab thought to belong to Princess Joan, daughter of King John and wife of the founder, now lies in SS Mary and Nicholas' Church, Beaumaris (NPRN 43619).

Sources: HLJ in Archaeologia Cambrensis 3rd series I (1855), 73-81
RCAHM Anglesey Inventory (1937), 66-7
Carr 'Medieval Anglesey' (1982), 291-4
NMR Site File

John Wiles 17.07.07