Sunday in the newly restored Augustinian Friary at Clare, in Suffolk. The handful of local Catholics—about 30—who for many years have travelled seven miles to Haverhill for Sunday Mass will now be able to go to the Friary.
Sir Richard de Clare, seventh Earl of Gloucester and Hereford, brought the friars to Clare in 1248 to establish the first house of the order in England.
Fr. Joseph Curtis, OSA., who has today (Friday) taken up residence as Prior, will be the first of the Austin Friars to live there since the dissolution by Thomas Cromwell in 1539.
The house pictured above is of a later dale than the rest of the buildings. It is in perfect condition and was until last week used as a nursing home. One room has been turned into a temporary chapel, and in September the building will become a house of studies.
But first priority for the friars is the church. The original infirmary with 13th-century flint walls. Hying huttresses and a line. heavy, timber beam roof will, when the interior is redecorated and restored. become the parish church.
In the seven acres of well-kept grounds and gardens lie the tombs of many of the nobility. including Joan of Acre, second daughter of Edward I and Queen Eleanor.
Osbert of Clare was a member of the near-by community of Benedictines —a cell to the Monastery of Bec, In Normandy. and founded in England by Gilbert de Clare within the precincts of the castle in 1090.
Osbert at the beginning of the 12th century was the great defender of the doctrine of the immaculate Conception—a feast then steadfastly maintained by the English Benedictines.
it is thought probable that Co. Clare in Ireland was named after another member of the Clare family— Thomas de Clare, who in 1565 received a grant from Henry HI of all the lands he should conquer from the Irish.