An 1838 map names the site of today’s friary as ‘Flower’s Ground’, on farmland on the Batcombe/ Hilfield Parish boundary. In 1888, Flowers Farm was built here, around the courtyard. The 1901 and 1911 censuses name the tenant farmers. In 1913 George Montague, (later the ninth Earl of Sandwich) established the Little Commonwealth here, a radical community, with a Montessori school attached. 3 cottages, were built. Homer Lane superintended, though the children took the decisions. Photos show the child citizens laying concrete, and building the pump house. In 1919, The County Council leased it for ex-soldiers. Montague, still hoping to use it altruistically, offered it to Br Giles.