Laying the foundations

1221 - 1230s

Read the story of the arrival of the first Dominican Friars in 1221 and their journey on foot to found the first English priory in Oxford.

The Expansion

C13th - C14th

Explore how the Dominicans shaped the earliest Oxford colleges and championed St Thomas Aquinas’ systematic theology in Medieval England.

The Black Death

C13th - C15th

Learn how the bubonic plague ravaged Medieval society and how the Friars weathered the storm of this devastating pandemic.

The Reformation

C15th - C16th

The Reformation had a profound impact on British society, dividing the nation. Learn how King Henry VIII imposed his royal supremacy on the Dominican Friars, leading to the closure of their last priory in 1539.


C16th - C19th

In their time of exile and crisis, the Friars found a new home in Bornhem in the Netherlands and from here went on mission to their native lands.



The Friars experienced new growth in the age of steam and medievalism, starting new urban parish churches in Newcastle, London, and Manchester and founding schools for the very poor.

The Return


The Twentieth Century saw the Dominican Return to the university cities! Discover the amazing story behind the creation of the new Blackfriars in Oxford and how the Dominicans arrived in Edinburgh and Cambridge.

Dominicans in the Twenty-first century


In this century, we have experienced a renewal, embracing communications technology and responding to the challenges of these unprecedented times.

Thank you for visiting our exhibition and celebrating with us on this, our eight-hundredth jubilee! Please explore other ways you can take part in our celebrations and, if you are able to, please support our mission by making a donation.