Franciscan Friary, Dundee

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 40150 30300, map


Barrack Street
Barrack St

Also known as:

  • The Howff
    derivation unknown


The north wall and path of the present tenements is believed to be the position of the friary. The current burial grounds is where the friary's orchard was located.

K. Nichols


The friary was situated to the south west of the lands it owned and had orchards and gardens to the north of the friary complex. It is known that the grounds and buildings were attacked and set alight in 1335 and possibly again in 1385. The repairs to the property, amounting to £100, were funded by the Countess of Errol. A surviving record states that the church 'was of some size and much magnificence' with 'great aftir windows', an east gable and a steeple with more than one bell. It also contained the tombs of the earls of Crawford. The church was again targetted during the Reformation when the icons were smashed. Five years later there was a fire but damage is not recorded. From 1559 the burgh council took over responsibility for the property. In 1562 Mary Queen of Scots made an order that buildings left undemolished by recent events be turned into 'godlie uses'. As the Dundee friary is not on that list it is assumed that the building had been demolished before 1562. This is further enforced by the Queen's charter that declared the land was to be used 'to bury their deid in that place and yardis quilk sumtyme wes occupyit be the Gray Cordeliers friars.'

K. Nichols


  • Friary: Founded ( to 1289)
  • Friary: Damage (1335)
    by fire, and again in 1385
  • Friary: Repair (1481 to 1482)
  • Friary: Damage (1543)
  • Friary: Destruction/demolition (1559 to 1562)
    precise date unknown