Excavations at the priory of the Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, Clerkenwell, London


Barney Sloane, Gordon Malcolm


The Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem was formed to support pilgrimages to Jerusalem and run a great hospital there. A house of the Order was founded in Clerkenwell in 1144. It became the Order's only priory in England, and its headquarters here. Archaeology shows that the religious house evolved into a sumptuous palatial complex very different from a normal monastic institution. This volume looks at the priory sequence, including the round-naved church, cemetery, Great Hall, gatehouse, and an outer precinct housing financial officials. Thematic chapters consider the foundation, architecture, living standards and Dissolution of the priory.

Monograph Series 20

MoLAS, London 2004. ISBN 1-901992-20-9. Pb434pp. 202 bl/wh and col ills.


… this book provides a fascinating insight into the history and archaeology of a unique site.
Review in Islington Archaeology and History Society Newsletter Winter 2004

The complex archaeology which underpins this masterwork of interpretation is very well handled, no mean task given the limited size of some of the excavations. Without a doubt this is a first-class piece of work which should stimulate further work on the Hospitaller Priory of England … In its London context it shows what can be accomplished by taking a wide view, with levels of historical and architectural research that one rarely sees undertaken in developer-funded archaeology. MoLAS and the authors of this report are to be congratulated on a job well done.
Glyn Coppack in Archaeological Journal 2005

Overall the report builds on the success of the previous MoLAS monographs focusing on London’s monastic houses and as such provides a significant contribution which is reasonably priced, informative and highly readable.
Simon Roffey in Medieval Archaeology 2005