Plan your visit

The Charterhouse was hidden behind closed doors for more than 650 years - but now welcomes the public to come in and discover its unique history

Welcome to the Charterhouse

We are delighted to announce the Charterhouse is open for tours and free access to the Museum and Shop.

Tours take place each day at 11:00am and 2:15pm Tuesdays to Saturdays. See the range of tours below, and to see the programme of tours available and to book your visit, please click here.

Please note: as of 26th January, in accordance with the latest announcement by the Government, face coverings is now encouraged but not compulsory. Please bear in mind that there are vulnerable people who live on site.

(Please note we have been accredited with the VisitBritain ‘We’re good to goCOVID-19 Industry standard.)

Visitors are welcome to browse in our museum and shop free of charge without having pre-booked a tour.  You will also be able to make bookings in person at the front desk – including for the same day if there is availability.

We are open 10.30am to 4.30pm, Tuesday – Saturday.

Two tours run daily at 11.00am and 2.15pm

The museum and shop are open and free to visit during opening times.

Due to the nature of the site as a functioning almshouse, the Charterhouse may occasionally need to change opening times or the tour programme, or close at short notice.  We will endeavour to always give good notice of this on our homepage.

The Charterhouse
Charterhouse Square
London
EC1M 6AN

Tel: 0203 818 8873

Please note that Charterhouse School is located in Godalming, Surrey.

Train

The nearest stations are Barbican and Farringdon. From Barbican tube, turn left out of the station, and then left again. You will walk into the south of Charterhouse Square, and the entrance is on the opposite side of the Square.  From Farringdon station, walk down Cowcross Street, turn left into Charterhouse Street, then fork left towards Charterhouse Square. Walk past Malmaison Hotel, and our Gatehouse, along the chequered wall and you come to our main entrance.

Bus

Buses 4, 56, and 153 stop in front of Barbican station on Aldersgate Street, a five minute walk from Charterhouse Square.

Parking

We have a small number of disabled parking spaces for Blue and Orange Badge holders. Please call us in advance to book a space on 020 7490 7738.

There are a limited number of places on the west side of Charterhouse Square.  Please see signs as charges apply.

Our highest priority remains keeping you, our Brothers, and dedicated team of volunteers and staff safe. We want your visit to us to be a relaxing and enjoyable experience, and we want to offer that at the same time as ensuring the safety of our team.

Masks and face coverings

Face coverings are encouraged but not compulsory. Please feel free to wear one if you would like to.

On arrival

The historic rooms are large enough to allow for ample social distance between visitors.

Enhanced hygiene

Hand sanitiser dispensers are available at certain points throughout the site and our staff regularly clean and disinfect door handles, taps, lift buttons and surfaces.

We encourage you to use contactless payment where possible, however we are able to take cash.

If you feel unwell

Please do not visit if you feel unwell or have Covid-19 symptoms or if you are currently testing positive.

There are many cafés and restaurants in the area but we are delighted to say that the local PAUL has very kindly offered our tour visitors 30% off their food & drink at the local Farringdon branch, and LEON in Cowcross Street has offered 15% off. Gordon Ramsay Street Burger is now also offering 20% off for tour visitors. All are just a few minutes minutes walk away and vouchers can be collected from the front desk on arrival.

 

NB if you are booking a Group Tour we can offer a selection of refreshments that can be ordered when you make your booking.

General accessibility

All public areas of the museum including the reception area, learning centre and cloakroom facilities are fully accessible for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility. The chapel is also fully accessible for wheelchair users. A wheelchair is available to borrow during your visit.

There are accessible toilet facilities and baby changing facilities in the museum reception area. (The nearest Changing Places toilets are at the Barbican Centre)

Large print guides are available in the museum and we welcome guide dogs. We have dedicated resources available for visitors with special educational needs. Click here to see our Visual Story.

Tour accessibility

Please note that the historic buildings of the Charterhouse include some uneven surfaces and a cobbled courtyard. Tours take place all year round and visit outdoor areas. Please dress appropriately for the weather.

There are easy alternative routes for wheelchair users on all stops on the tour, and we have portable chairs to take with you on the tour should you need one.

For more information about tours of the Charterhouse please visit the book a tour page.

Charterhouse Tour (60 mins):
Join a professional guide to discover the evocative remnants of the medieval monastery and the courtyards of the opulent Tudor mansion. Our tours cast new light on well-known stories from British history and introduce our visitors to the unique heritage of the historic Charterhouse – living the nation’s history since 1348.

Brother’s Tour (up to 90 mins):
Discover Thomas Sutton’s charity and life at the Charterhouse today in these historic surroundings. These tours are given from the perspective of each individual Brother – no two tours are the same. They provide an in-depth look at the long history of the site and the lifestyle of the Brothers through the centuries and are a unique opportunity to learn more about the nuances of this fascinating historical gem hidden in the heart of London.

Garden Tour (60 mins):
Led by a gardener and a Brother, this is a rare opportunity to enter the enchanting secret gardens of the Charterhouse. Hidden away for more than 650 years, the Charterhouse gardens are now revealed in all their glory – an oasis of calm and great beauty where a collection of courtyard gardens gradually unfold, cleverly reflecting different moods and providing colour and interest throughout the seasons. (Spring and summer only)

House and Garden Tour (up to 120 mins):
An opportunity to take in the full splendour of the whole site, combining the two main tours described above. (Spring and summer only)

Family Tour (45 mins):
Join us on a journey through the Charterhouse as we look for Thomas Sutton’s missing Talbots. Discover medieval monks, regal royals, terrible Tudors and naughty schoolboys as we search high and low for cuddly, teddy Talbots. Can you help us find them all?

Art and Historic Interiors Tour (75 mins)
A closer and more detailed look at our historic room design and unique artworks collection including our wonderful Flemish tapestry collection, which is not included on any other tour.

The Charterhouse by Candlelight (60 mins)
A chance to experience the beautiful buildings lit by candlelight – discover the treasures of the Charterhouse in the early evening with a glass of wine. (October to March only)

British Sign Language Tour (60 Mins)

A British Sign Language tour of the Charterhouse led by our volunteer, Deaf BSL Guide, exclusively for Deaf and hard of hearing visitors, highlighting key features of the Charterhouse and bringing to life its 600 years of history, using BSL.

Book your tour here.

We very much welcome Group Bookings, with a capacity of 20 people per tour (when there are more of you we can arrange to split into two tours).  Do get in touch to see how we can accommodate your group travel plans.

Did you know you can now order home-made refreshments for a just a small extra cost per person (prices inclusive of VAT), this includes FREE exclusive hire of our Portal Trust Learning Centre! (Usual cost £250+VAT per hour)

Please fill out our online Group booking form and we will get back to you shortly. You can also email tours@thecharterhouse.org or call 020 3818 8873 to make an enquiry about group bookings.

Group booking form

Min. 10 people, max. 20 people per tour. If your group is larger than 20 people, please state the estimated number, as we may be able to run two tours for you. 
Final numbers must be confirmed one month before your visit.

Cost per person (Inclusive of VAT)
Brother’s Tour: £18
Charterhouse Tour: £12
Art and Historic Interiors Tour: £18
Garden Tour: £18
House and Garden Tour: £27

Terms and Conditions

  • We will require a holding deposit of £60 (Charterhouse Tours) or £90 (Brother’s, Garden, Art and Historic Interiors Tours) or £120 (House and Garden Tours) to confirm your booking. This is payable by card, BACS, or cheque. All prices inclusive of VAT.
  • The total cost of your visit, based on final numbers of visitors and any refreshments requests, will be agreed one month in advance of your visit. This is to prevent loss of income from last-minute dropouts.
  • The balance of payment – payable by card, BACS, or cheque – will be due one month before your visit, except in exceptional circumstances as agreed with the Charterhouse. The holding deposit will be deducted from your final balance.
  • The booking will include exclusive free private hire of the Learning Centre which usually costs £250+VAT per hour.
  • Please make cheques out to ‘Carthusia Ltd’ and post to The Charterhouse, Charterhouse Square, London, EC1M 6AN.
  • Once the final balance has been confirmed and the final invoice has been issued, we cannot reduce or amend the final balance or numbers due to last minute group drop-outs, so the full amount will be expected to be paid.

Cancellation Policy

  • The Charterhouse operates a no refunds policy on tour deposits and tour bookings if the visit is cancelled by the customer.
  • If the event is cancelled by the Charterhouse the customer is entitled to a full refund by the original payment method.
  • In the event of a group postponing their visit, any deposit will be retained by the Charterhouse and applied to any rearranged date.

Open your loved ones eyes to the hidden world of the Charterhouse by purchasing a tour gift certificate. These are available for guests to attend either a Charterhouse or Brother’s Charterhouse tour and can be redeemed up to one year after purchase. This gift voucher makes an ideal gift for anyone passionate about history and London.

To purchase a gift voucher please click here and choose a tour.

There is plenty for families to enjoy at the Charterhouse. We have Family Tours once a month, we have a free Family Trail, special seasonal trails, baby changing facilities and buggy parking. Why not bring a picnic to have in our lovely Charterhouse Square, and you can pick up our free outdoor nature trail to follow while you are there.  And look out for family fun activities in the holidays. Click here for more details.

Our museum shop is open Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10.30am-4.30pm, with a range of Charterhouse souvenirs, gifts and books. We have something for everyone, from little children to grown-up gardeners. All purchases help keep the Charterhouse open to the public. Come and browse our online shop here.

The Chapel is currently open to visitors during Museum opening times, and also to those who would like to join our regular services. Please see our Chapel page for details.

We have designated every Wednesday lunchtime a special ‘Quiet Hour‘ when anyone can drop in, take a pew, and take time out in the tranquility of this peaceful space.

Photography is permitted across the Charterhouse site but we ask visitors to respect the residents’ privacy and not take pictures of people.  If you are posting your pictures on social media, please do tag us.  You can find our social media accounts linked at the bottom of this webpage.

Twitter @charterhouseec1, Facebook @theCharterhouseLondon, Instagram @charterhouselondon

 

If you are walking in the area, please do take a moment to enjoy Charterhouse Square, and you may like to explore some of the other interesting historical sites nearby, using a tour created by Geo Tourist as part of their Epic England series, which can be listened to if you download their app to your smartphone here.

The Charterhouse is just one of several monastic institutions which dominated the Clerkenwell and Smithfield area during the medieval period. The Monastic Walking Tour includes The Charterhouse, the Museum of the Order of St John, and the churches of St Barts the Great and The Priory and Hospital of St Bartholomew. The monasteries were all closed in the few years between 1536 and 1540 when Henry VIII broke with the Church of Rome but the legacy of these institutions lives on in Clerkenwell and Smithfield in the buildings that have survived and the philanthropic and caring work that is still a major feature of daily life at these landmark sites.

Book your walking tour of Clerkenwell’s Monastic Quarter here with Islington Guided Walks.

Connect with us

For further information or to discuss how we can assist you during your visit please contact us on 0203 818 8873 or email tours@thecharterhouse.org.

Connect with us online by following our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Why not subscribe to our newsletter which will have regular updates regarding any new tours or opportunities to visit the site as well as details of the online events we will continue to host: lectures, tours and more. We also offer the most stunning backdrop for private and corporate occasions, as well as filming and photography – you can find out more about venue hire here.  Please do also visit our online shop.

Absolute gem of a building, fantastic history & just a brilliant place. In amongst all the hustle & bustle of the city of London a little bit of tranquility.

(Paul B, Tripadvisor)

Discover the Charterhouse

"..In its rooms and quads and cloisters you get the feel of what it would've been like to be alive there at various times - and there's a wealth of handsome detail to look at - carvings, portraits, sundials, decorated ceilings, fireplaces and furniture...." (Tripadvisor review October 21) Book here

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