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The Charterhouse

A historic complex of buildings in Smithfield, London, dating back to the 14th century and home to the famous almhouse.

Smithfield, London

The Charterhouse gate
Free for members
Facilities
  • Accessible loos
  • Accessible parking
  • Easily accessible without car
  • Facilities for children
  • Mostly wheelchair accessible
  • No parking
  • Picnic area
  • Shop
for the latest information.
Accessibility
  • Accessible parking
  • Hearing loops
  • Large font signs and leaflets
  • Guide dogs welcome
  • Wheelchair ramps/routes
  • Accessible toilets
  • Access statement available
Does our information need updating?
Let us know here

Set in the heart of Clerkenwell, the Charterhouse has been living the Nation’s history since 1348.

Initially a Black Death burial ground, the site became home to the largest Carthusian monastery in the world until it was brutally dissolved in 1537 when 16 monks became proto-martyrs of the Reformation.

A grand Tudor mansion replaced the monastery. Elizabeth I spent the first days of her reign at the Charterhouse and James I (of England) created 133 Barons in the Great Chamber prior to his coronation.

In 1611 Thomas Sutton acquired the mansion and site to house his new Charity, an almshouse and school. The school separated and moved out of London in 1872 but the almhouse thrives to this day amidst the medieval, Tudor, Jacobean and later architecture that makes the site so fascinating.

Opening Times

Please note: The information on the Historic Houses website is advisory, but please always check the website of the house or garden you intend to visit before travelling.

View website

Museum: All year round, Tuesdays to Saturdays, tours at 11am and 2:15pm.

 

Admission

We are open 10.30am to 4.30pm and basic admission to the Museum and Chapel is free.

We also have two guided tours a day, Tuesdays – Saturdays – see details here.

Historic Houses Members must now pre-book online for their free tour at https://thecharterhouse.org/visit-us. Members should select ‘Charterhouse Tour’ and their preferred date and enter code HHMembers2023 at the checkout. This code is valid only for a free Charterhouse Tour – one hour, usually charged at £15 full price, £12 concessions (other tours are available but not free for members). You will still need to show a valid membership in person on the day in order to redeem your free tour.

Group Visits

We can schedule our regular or specialist guided tours for groups of up to 40 people, and we can also offer catering options ranging from tea and coffee to a light lunch. Group bookings (minimum of 10 people) are subject to a deposit payable in advance of the tour. Attendance must be confirmed one month in advance.

Prices are inclusive of VAT. Terms and conditions apply.

Please book here using the online form (scroll down to Groups) or contact us with any queries you have on:

tours@thecharterhouse.org  or call us on 0203 818 8873

Educational Visits

The Charterhouse is an amazing place for pupils to learn about the changing face of England. From monks to monarchs, discover the fascinating stories of those who have helped shape the history of our nation. We have sessions available for KS1, KS2 and KS3 pupils and we also have a variety of online and downloadable resources. Book your school trip now!

Please book here using the online form or contact us with any questions you have on:

learning@thecharterhouse.org or call us on 0203 818 8873

for the latest information.
Accessibility
  • Accessible parking
  • Hearing loops
  • Large font signs and leaflets
  • Guide dogs welcome
  • Wheelchair ramps/routes
  • Accessible toilets
  • Access statement available
Does our information need updating?
Let us know here

The pensioners who live in the almshouse here at the Charterhouse are very pleased to share their extraordinary home and its unique history.

Old drawing of The Charterhouse London

Getting here

Smithfield, London

Between the Barbican and Smithfield Market in Charterhouse Square, London EC1.

London Underground (Barbican and Farringdon) Circle & Hammersmith and City Line.

Rail Thameslink – Farringdon.

Buses 4, 56, 153 (all stop at Barbican Station).

charterhouse on map

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The Charterhouse London courtyard

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