London Charterhouse set to open to the public for the first time
PUBLISHED: 12:21 04 May 2016 | UPDATED: 12:22 04 May 2016
The London Charterhouse is set to open its doors to the public this autumn for the first time in its 660-year history.
Located in the heart of Clerkenwell, the Charterhouse is an assembly of historic buildings dating back to the 14th century.
Over the years the site has been home to a priory, a grand Tudor mansion, a school and an almshouse for more than 400 years.
Parts of the site are set to open to the public for the first time in November, revealing the building’s fascinating history.
In partnership with the Museum of London, the Charterhouse will be creating a new museum within the Tudor mansion, as well as a Learning Centre and an exhibition space which will tell the story of Charterhouse and its role in key moments in English history.
The story of the site begins in 1348 during the Black Death, when the land was used as a burial ground for victims of the plague.
The Charterhouse itself was built in 1371 and was home to a Carthusian priory, which was dissolved in 1537.
The site was largely rebuilt after 1545 as a large courtyard house. It was there that Elizabeth I convened the Privy Council in the days before her coronation in 1558, with James I following in her lead by staying at the Charterhouse before his coronation.
In 1611, a wealthy businessman named Thomas Sutton bought the Charterhouse and established an almshouse and a school for up to 40 poor scholars and
80 ‘Brothers’ (elderly residents in need of financial and social support).
Although large parts of the buildings were damaged during the Blitz, it was restored and is now home to over 40 ‘Brothers’.
The museum, cafe and learning lentre will be accessible through Charterhouse Square, the site of a medieval plague pit.
Sir Michael Graydon, chairman of the Charterhouse, said: “I am very proud to be the Chairman of the Charterhouse at this important moment for the charity.
“My fellow Governors and I are custodians of one of the nation’s longest standing and most noble charities and we look forward to opening our doors and revealing some of the remarkable history to visitors from all corners of our nation and from the world.”
To find out more visit thecharterhouse.org