City of London

Charterhouse, City of London

Carthusian Monks

The London Charterhouse is mostly post-Dissolution buildings now forming part of a boys school and part of a hospital.

The original priory was founded in 1371, the gatehouse and some of the cloister still survives from this early building, although nothing of religious structure is left to see. As one of the few major monastic communities in London it was a rich and powerful house and Thomas Cromwell wasted no time in targetting it during the Dissolution. The prior and two monks who refused to leave were executed. Then Cromwell had an unusual softening of heart and allowed the Charterhouse a two-year grace. He then returned and jailed the remaining ten brothers, chaining them to posts to starve to death. One survived this and was carted off and executed.

The site was sold to the Duke of Norfolk who built a large hall here, and then to Thomas Sutton from Lincolnshire who constructed much of what we see today. The famous Charterhouse School moved out to Godalming in the 1960s, but the school maintains links with its original site to this day.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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