Historic Finsbury monastery could go public following £145,000 grant

The Charterhouse is set to be opened for the first time in 650 years as a landmark project gets unde

The Charterhouse is set to be opened for the first time in 650 years as a landmark project gets underway - Credit: Archant

A centuries-old former monastery has received more than £100,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund which could see it opened for tours for the first time in its 650-year history.

Charterhouse, a former Carthusian monastery dating back to the 14th century – formally known as Sutton’s Hospital in Charterhouse – received £145,000 towards a £3.3million scheme, meaning it can soon apply for a further £1.5million.

The Revealing the Charterhouse project, in partnership with the Museum of London, would see key parts of the historic site opened to visitors and schoolchildren for the first time in its 650-year history.

Sharon Ament, director of the Museum of London, said: “This collaboration is a tremendous initiative that uses the expertise and assets of both organisations.

“We see great prospects in The Museum of London at the Charterhouse vision for opening up new ways of discovering London’s astonishingly rich heritage.

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“We are particularly looking forward to creating imaginative new schools programmes for this historic and fascinating site.”

If the further £1.5million is successfully secured the funding gap will need to be plugged by fundraisers for the project, which it is hoped will open in 2015.

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A new learning centre would be created where students can learn about key moments and characters in English history from Thomas More, who spent time with monks there as a young student to Elizabeth I, to King James I, who held his first court at the site.

Illustrious past governors of the Charterhouse have included Oliver Cromwell, John Donne, the Duke of Wellington and William Gladstone.

Archaeologists working on Crossrail recently uncovered 13 skeletons in two laid out rows on the edge of Charterhouse Square at Farringdon, which are thought to be up to 660 years old.

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