The Charterhouse, a former 14th century Carthusian monastery is a short walk from the society’s premises, to the north of what is now Charterhouse Square off of Carthusuian Street, near Smithfield.
The building is formally known as Sutton’s Hospital in Charterhouse and since the dissolution of the monasteries, it has served as a private mansion, a boys’ school, and is home to 40 “Brothers”.
The Brothers were those who could supply ‘good testimonye and certificat of theire good behaviour and soundnes in religion’, those who had been servants to the King ‘either decrepit or old captaynes either at sea or land’, maimed or disabled soldiers, merchants fallen on hard times, those ruined by shipwreck or other calamity’. The brothers are still there, and our tour was given by the very knowledgeable brothers Alan Scrivener and Stephen Green.
We entered through the large medieval gateway, past Master’s Court to the buildings that housed the chapel. Portions of the medieval wall are still visible and include some wonderful memorials such as the one belonging to Sir Thomas Sutton. Other highlights were the great hall, the old wood- panelled and galleried dining room and the Norfolk cloister. Inside the cloister, a single monk’s cell still remains, built 1349 and uncovered during post war restoration work.