Blackfriars Priory
Blackfriars, Oxford is located in Oxford city centre
Blackfriars, Oxford
Location within Oxford city centre
Monastery information
Full namePriory of the Holy Spirit
OrderDominican Order
Dedicated toHoly Spirit
Founder(s)Bede Jarrett (1921)
PriorRev. Nicholas Crowe, O.P.
Important associated figuresThomas of Jorz
LocationOxford, England
Coordinates51°45′22″N 1°15′37″W / 51.756121°N 1.260206°W / 51.756121; -1.260206
WebsitePriory website

Blackfriars Priory (formally the Priory of the Holy Spirit) is a Dominican religious community in Oxford, England. Its primary work is the administration of two educational institutions: Blackfriars Studium, a centre of theological studies in the Roman Catholic tradition; and Blackfriars Hall, a constituent permanent private hall of the University of Oxford. The current prior of Blackfriars is Nicholas Crowe. The name Blackfriars is commonly used in Britain to denote a house of Dominican friars, a reference to their black cappa, which forms part of their habit.

Blackfriars is located in central Oxford on St Giles', between the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies and St Cross College.


Blackfriars on St Giles'
Blackfriars on St Giles'
The entrance gate to Blackfriars

The Dominicans arrived in Oxford on 15 August 1221, at the instruction of a General Chapter meeting headed by Saint Dominic himself,[1] little more than a week after the friar's death. As such, the hall is heir to the oldest tradition of teaching in Oxford, a tradition that precedes both the aularian houses that would characterise the next century and the collegiate houses that would characterise the rest of the University of Oxford's history. In 1236 they established a new and extensive priory in the St. Ebbes district.[2]

Like all the monastic houses in Oxford, Blackfriars came into rapid and repeated conflict with the university authorities. With the Reformation, all monastic houses, including Blackfriars, were suppressed. The Dominicans did not return to Oxford for some 400 years, until 1921 when Blackfriars was refounded by Bede Jarrett as a religious house.[3] The original priory building was designed by Edward Doran Webb and completed in 1929.[1] The Dominican studium at Blackfriars had a close relationship with the university, culminating in the establishment of Blackfriars as a permanent private hall in 1994.[4]

Blackfriars' Studium

Blackfriars offers those preparing for the Catholic priesthood the Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (STB) granted by the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum in Rome. It is also possible for lay men and women to begin the Angelicum's STB programme by studying in the Blackfriars Studium and to conclude the programme with at least a year's full-time study at the Angelicum.[5]

Notable Friars

Burials at Blackfriars Abbey, Oxford


  1. ^ a b "Blackfriars, the Priory of the Holy Spirit". The Encyclopaedia of Oxford. 1988. pp. 43–44.
  2. ^ Graham, Malcolm (2019). On Foot from Carfax to Turn Again. Oxford Heritage Walks, 5. Oxford Preservation Trust. ISBN 978-0-9576797-6-4.
  3. ^ Delany, Bernard (May 1934). "Father Bede Jarrett, O.P." Blackfriars. 15 (170): 303–312. doi:10.1111/j.1741-2005.1934.tb04225.x.
  4. ^ Brockliss, Laurence (24 March 2016). The University of Oxford: A History. Oxford University Press. p. 560. ISBN 978-0199243563.
  5. ^ "Dominican Studium: Introduction". Blackfriars, Oxford. Archived from the original on 9 July 2013.