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Religious Houses

Knights Templar and Knights Hospitallers

On the site where the Angel and Royal Hotel stands now, there was an earlier building called the Angel Inn. This was used as a Commandery of the Knights Templar, and after 1308, when the Templar order was suppressed, it passed to the Knights Hospitallers. A Commandery was an estate or manor of a subordinate community of the Knights Templar or Knights Hospitallers.


There was a Franciscan Friary in Grantham, also known as Greyfriars, due to the whitish-grey colour of their habits. It was founded before 1290 and was dissolved in 1539, during the Reformation. The Friary buildings were located on the west side of the Market Place in Grantham.

Friars were very different to monks from ‘closed’ orders, like the Cistercians. The closed orders lived a secluded life in religious contemplation, and owned land from which they gained an income in rent. Friars were mendicants; that is they lived on alms. Friars also mixed with the communities in which they lived, often founding their friaries in towns. They were often travelling preachers and teachers. They not only set up schools for themselves, but they also educated those who were training to be parish priests, which had never happened before. Their enthusiastic reforming approach to religious life, which was so different to that of the ‘closed’ orders, had a big impact on society in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

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Last updated: 3 March 2011

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