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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)
PriorRobert Gay
Important associated figuresThomas of Jorz
LocationOxford, England
Coordinates51°45′22″N 1°15′37″W / 51.756121°N 1.260206°W / 51.756121; -1.260206Coordinates: 51°45′22″N 1°15′37″W / 51.756121°N 1.260206°W / 51.756121; -1.260206
WebsitePriory website
Blackfriars Hall
Blackfriars Hall Oxford Coat Of Arms.svg
Arms: Gyronny sable and argent, a cross flory counterchanged.
LocationSt Giles', Oxford
Latin nameAula Fratrum Praedicatorum
Establishedas a hall, 1994
Named afterThe black cappa of the Dominican friars
RegentRev. John O’Connor, OP[1]
WebsiteHall website

Blackfriars Priory (formally the Priory of the Holy Spirit) is a Dominican religious community in Oxford, England. It houses two educational institutions: Blackfriars Studium, the centre of theological studies of the English Province of the Dominican Order (although it numbers members of other orders and lay people among its students and lecturers); and Blackfriars Hall, a constituent permanent private hall of the University of Oxford. The current prior of Blackfriars is Robert Gay, and the regent of both the hall and the studium is John O'Connor. 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
The entrance gate to Blackfriars
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,[2] 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.[3]

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.[4] The original priory building was designed by Edward Doran Webb and completed in 1929.[2] 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.[5]

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.[6]

Blackfriars Hall

Blackfriars Hall is a Permanent Private Hall, meaning that it is owned and governed by an outside institution (in this case, the English Province of the Order of Preachers) and not by its fellows. Blackfriars Hall is a centre for the study of theology and philosophy informed by the intellectual tradition of St Thomas Aquinas. It admits men and women of any faith for Oxford undergraduate degrees in theology schools, PPE and for a wide range of postgraduate degrees.

Blackfriars Hall is the home of a number of other institutes including, the Las Casas Institute on ethics, governance and social justice.[7] Launched in November 2008, the institute contributes to the hall's founding vision to be a centre of the social as well as the sacred sciences.[8] Its founding director (from October 2008 to January 2011) was Francis Davis;[9] As of 2022 the director is Richard Finn.[10]

The Aquinas Institute was established in 2004 under the directorship of Fergus Kerr.[11] It aims to foster study of St Thomas at Oxford through seminars, conferences, summer schools and programmes. Patrons of the institute include John Haldane, Alasdair MacIntyre and Eleonore Stump.[12]

People associated with Blackfriars

Notable former students

Further information: Category:Alumni of Blackfriars, Oxford

Fellows and academics

Further information: Category:Fellows of Blackfriars, Oxford

Burials at Blackfriars Abbey, Oxford


  1. ^ "New Regent Announced". Blackfriars, Oxford. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Blackfriars, the Priory of the Holy Spirit". The Encyclopaedia of Oxford. 1988. pp. 43–44.
  3. ^ Graham, Malcolm (2019). On Foot from Carfax to Turn Again. Oxford Heritage Walks, 5. Oxford Preservation Trust. ISBN 978-0-9576797-6-4.
  4. ^ Delany, Bernard (May 1934). "Father Bede Jarrett, O.P.". Blackfriars. 15 (170): 303–312. doi:10.1111/j.1741-2005.1934.tb04225.x.
  5. ^ Brockliss, Laurence (24 March 2016). The University of Oxford: A History. Oxford University Press. p. 560. ISBN 978-0199243563.
  6. ^ "Dominican Studium: Introduction". Blackfriars, Oxford. Archived from the original on 9 July 2013.
  7. ^ "Blackfriars - Hall - Las Casas Institute". Archived from the original on 9 July 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  8. ^ "New Las Casas Institute launched at Blackfriars Hall". Archived from the original on 7 October 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Las Casas director appointed government advisor". Archived from the original on 7 October 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  10. ^ "People: Las Casas Institute". Blackfriars Hall. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  11. ^ "Blackfriars - Hall - Aquinas Institute". Archived from the original on 9 July 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  12. ^ "People: Aquinas Institute". Blackfriars Hall. Retrieved 31 March 2022.