Sheila Sweetinburgh’s book on English medieval hospitals looks especially at the hospitals of Sandwich, Dover, and Canterbury. She has also written numerous articles on a wide variety of medieval and early modern social history topics that use case studies from Kent, ranging from late medieval piety to Canterbury’s fifteenth-century business-women. She is particularly interested in medieval towns and their townspeople, and she uses such studies in her postgraduate teaching at Canterbury Christ Church University and at the University of Kent.
Settling in Canterbury in the thirteenth century, the Dominican friars were favoured by Henry III and Edmund Rich, his archbishop. Thereafter they prospered, continuing to receive royal favour and assistance from the Canterbury see, albeit relations with the two premier monasteries of Christ Church Priory and St Augustine’s Abbey were sometimes more challenging. Situated close to the river, the friary was on a large site and even though only two of the buildings survive, the guided tour will investigate their location and what they can reveal about the wealth and place of the Blackfriars in the city’s religious landscape.