Visit to The Charterhouse – A Medieval Jewel
Report from the Master on our visit to The Charterhouse on 3rd November, 2022.
We were taken back through 700 years of history in a fascinating tour of this ancient complex of buildings that have evolved over the centuries.
Originally the site of a chapel built in the 14th century next to a mass grave for those who perished in the Black Death, it was developed to become a Carthusian Monastery until its dissolution under Henry VIII.
The monastery was largely demolished and the stones used to build one of the finest Tudor courtyard mansion houses in London.
It was bought by Thomas Sutton in 1611, described as the wealthiest commoner in England, who turned it into the famous Charterhouse School and an almshouse. The school moved to its current site in Godalming in Surrey in 1872, and the London site remains as an almshouse and museum.
The almshouse provides a home for 44 “brothers” of any gender, individuals who have fallen on hard times for whatever reason, and is largely funded by the trust bequeathed by Thomas Sutton, which has been invested very successfully over the years.
The funding for the maintenance of the fabric and infrastructure of the buildings and site is also supplemented by visits and hiring out, quite often for films.
There was some fine Leadwork on display, such as this cistern:
[See our own Leadwork on display at the Plumbing Museum and Workshop Trust at Amberley Museum.]
The visit finished with an excellent two-course lunch at Café du Marché just a two-minute stroll down Charterhouse Street:
This was a splendid informal social visit to start our new Master’s year.
The next informal function is a Lebanese Dinner on 26th January, look out for the flyer in due course. Before that we have the Ladle Dinner on 22nd November, the Carol Service on 7th December and the Court Lunch at the RAF Club on 17th January. Details on all these will also be out shortly. The Master and Sue hope to see as many of you as possible at one or more of these events.