An almshouse is a housing charity. At the Charterhouse we provide a home and care for single people who are over 60 years old, who are in financial and social need and who are capable of living independently.
There are over 2,000 almshouses in England. What makes us unusual is that we live as a community. The charity’s beneficiaries live in private flats. They are free to come and go as they please, eating out, taking advantage of local cultural venues and going on holiday. However they eat most of their meals in the historic 16th century Great Hall, often joined by members of staff and get involved in community activities like book club and keep fit sessions.
We are keen to increase the diversity of our community and encourage applications from all who meet our criteria. We are delighted now to be getting more applications from women – and hope to welcome many more. (You might like to read Sue Payn’s story about how she came to live here, and what she loves about the Charterhouse.)
Unsurprisingly, there are many settled practices in a place where we’ve been looking after people for over 400 years. One of these is that beneficiaries – who until 2018 were all men – have been (and still are) called Brothers. Another is the place of our Chapel in community life, and the saying of grace at lunch. Not all beneficiaries are practising Christians, but it’s expected that everyone respects our Church of England origins.
At the same time, we’re caught up in an area of London, and in a cultural environment, which has both an extraordinary history and lively and evolving community today. We like to think that we balance the dynamic of change with the provision of continuity so that residents who like a bit of action (for example, guiding tour parties, volunteering for the Christmas Fair, writing for the in house magazine) can enjoy it and those who want rest and quiet can find it in our beautiful gardens. For a short introduction to life here, please do watch our little film below (with thanks to Charlie Scrimgeour).
Becoming a Brother
The ethos of being a Brother of the Charterhouse
The Charterhouse buildings and staff provide accommodation for the Brothers, who enjoy privacy and independence while being part of a community which offers companionship and support. All members of the community do their best to accept the responsibilities of ‘good neighbours’ – to be unhurried, considerate, and practically helpful. We aim at expressing our founder’s spirit of generosity and gratitude in the way we live.
There is accommodation for over 40 Brothers. The accommodation varies between the main building and the Admiral Ashmore building. In addition, there are 11 rooms in the Queen Elizabeth II Infirmary a registered Care Quality Commission Care Home. This is available for the Brothers for either respite or longer term care.
Would I qualify to join the Charterhouse?
- I am single
- I am older than 60
- I am in financial, housing and social need
- I have no significant debts (credit cards, loans or other)
- I am able to live by myself and anticipate continuing in good physical and mental health for at least two years
- I am keen to contribute to a community
- I have the right to live in the UK
Unfortunately, we are not able to accept pets
How to apply
If you can answer ‘yes’ to all of the above, then please download (or print out) and complete the First Stage Application Form and either email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post it as follows:
The Clerk to the Brothers
If you would like to ask any questions or need help completing the form, please email Hannah Crane (as above) or call 020 3817 4172. We will look at your First Stage Application Form and then contact you to explain what happens next and perhaps ask some further questions.
N.B. The Charterhouse has very limited accommodation and is not in the position to admit all those who apply. As a result, difficult decisions need to be made and the vast majority of applicants do not proceed through the various stages of the entry process. Like many almshouses, the policy of the Charterhouse is not to enter into discussion or to provide reasons for refusing or offering places.