The first Dominican priory in Cambridge was founded in 1238, and played an important part as a studium generale (general house of studies) in the life of the mediaeval university until its dissolution in 1538.
The Return to Cambridge
Four centuries later, the Order of Preachers returned to Cambridge thanks to the generosity of Mrs Enrichetta Bullough, who, after the premature death of her husband, gave their family home to the Dominicans, of whom their son, fr Sebastian, was one.
Blackfriars Priory Today
Since its revival in 1938 the house has maintained a very strong intellectual apostolate, in Cambridge and in a number of other universities and academic institutions. As a result the Cambridge priory became known as a ‘house of writers’. Among the fruits of this work is the still acclaimed Blackfriars edition of the Summa Theologiae, edited by fr Thomas Gilby OP, affectionately known as the ‘Gilby Summa’. Members of the Community have also carried out an active pastoral ministry, in the chaplaincies and parishes in Cambridge and the surrounding area. Since 2000 the Priory of St Michael the Archangel has been the Novitiate house for the English Province. The priory accepts up to six novices each year.