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.
The Charterhouse opened its garden square and a new museum early in 2017.
Museum and chapel: Tuesdays to Sundays, 11am to 5.20pm (last admission 4.45pm).
Access to other parts of the site is by guided tour only (not free to Historic Houses members). Various tours are available, find out more here.
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).
- Offers bike storage
Limited parking for disabled visitors may be provided.
- Accessible parking
- Hearing loops
- Large font signs and leaflets
- Guide dogs welcome
- Wheelchair ramps/routes
- Accessible toilets
- Access statement available
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0203 818 8873 to make an enquiry about group bookings.
Group bookings (minimum of 10 people) are subject to a deposit of £50 for standard tours and £75 for Brother’s tours. Attendance must be confirmed one month in advance.
The maximum capacity per tour is 20 people. Prices are inclusive of VAT.
A word from the owner
43 pensioners live permanently at the Charterhouse and they have observed many film crews at work. The films include Downton Abbey, Great Expectations, Taboo and Tulip Fever.
- The site was London's largest Black Death burial ground in 1348-49.
- Thomas More studied at the Charterhouse when it was a Carthusian monastery and considered joining the order.
- Elizabeth I spent the first five days of her reign as a guest of Lord North at the Charterhouse.
- Governors of the Charterhouse include all Monarchs including and after James I. Oliver Cromwell was a Governor as well. Other Governors include the first Duke of Wellington, Judge Jeffries, John Dunne, the Duke of Monmouth and Robert Peel.
- John Wesley, William Makepeace Thackeray and Robert Baden-Powell were all pupils of the school when it was based at the Charterhouse.
- The Association Football offside rule as we know it was invented at the Charterhouse.
The Charterhouse offers a unique environment for you to entertain your clients or hold meetings or events with colleagues.
Catering is provided, all made on site. A range of rooms available depending on your requirements and we will do everything to ensure that your needs are met.
Everything worked like clockwork and judging by the messages that I have received from a host of people, they all enjoyed the day immensely, and were glowing in their praise for the reception and lunch. Your staff are a great bunch and are obviously well trained.
The Charterhouse is an amazing place for students 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 are also an ideal location for special schools and SEND units. Our historic interiors offer an immersive environment in which to capture the imagination of pupils with additional needs.
Students in higher education can visit the Charterhouse for a guided tour or work with us on an in-depth project.