Welcome to the Charterhouse
The Charterhouse is an active community and home to our residents who are known as Brothers, although no longer exclusively men. We welcome visitors during Opening Hours to our small museum display, Chapel and shop. Anyone who wishes to explore our historic buildings can book a place on one of our Tours to find out more about our story. Tours take place all year round and include outdoor areas, so if booking onto a tour please do come prepared for the day’s weather conditions. Please visit our Group Bookings page for information about visits for 10 people or more as a private group.
We run a programme of lectures, open gardens and events. See What’s On to find out more and subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates and special offers. If you are a family with young children visiting us, just ask at the desk if you would like a free printed children’s trail to use in the museum and Chapel.
Charterhouse Square is also open to enjoy from early in the morning until the evening, Tuesday to Saturday. It offers a green space in the heart of the city where you can relax or enjoy a picnic with the backdrop of our historic site.
Please note we do not have a café on site, but there are a wide variety of cafés, restaurants and pubs nearby in Clerkenwell and Barbican.
For further information or to discuss how we can assist you during your visit please contact us on 0203 818 8873 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The museum, Chapel and shop are open 10.30 – 16.30, Tuesday to Saturday.
Tours take place each day at 11.00 and 14.15 Tuesday to Saturday and advance booking is recommended.
The Chapel is open for regular services at 08.00 and 17.30 each day, and anyone can drop in and take time out in this tranquil space.
As we are a functioning almshouse we may occasionally need to change opening or tour times, or close at short notice. We will give as much advance notice of any changes as possible on our website and social media.
Tel: 0203 818 8873
Please note: There is no access to the Charterhouse or Charterhouse Square from Clerkenwell Road or Queen Mary University of London Charterhouse Square Campus. If you are having difficulties locating us, you can use the postcode ‘EC1M 6AH’ for the Malmaison Hotel, which is right next door to the Gatehouse entrance and just down from the museum entrance.
The nearest Underground stations are Farringdon (take the Barbican exit from the Elizabeth line) and Barbican.
Buses 4, 56, and 153 stop in front of Barbican station on Aldersgate Street.
There are a limited number of paid parking spaces on the west side of Charterhouse Square.
Entrance to the museum, Chapel and shop is on Charterhouse Square and is step-free and wheelchair accessible. The public areas of the reception, museum display, Chapel, learning centre and cloakroom facilities are fully accessible for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility. There is a lift in the reception area which can be used for visitors to the Great Chamber; please let us know in advance if you require ramp access for a Saturday tour but weekday tours do not require advance notice.
- There are accessible toilet and baby changing facilities but please be aware that there is limited buggy parking. The nearest Changing Places toilets are at the Barbican Centre.
- We have a small number of disabled parking spaces for Blue and Orange Badge holders; please call us in advance to book a space.
- We do not have a dedicated quiet space apart from the Chapel, but you are welcome to get in touch with us before your visit to discuss your needs.
Tour & museum accessibility
The historic buildings of the Charterhouse include some uneven surfaces and a cobbled courtyard. There are easy alternative routes for wheelchair users on all stops on the tour. A wheelchair is available to borrow during your visit and we have portable chairs that you can take with you on the tour.
- We run tours led by a registered BSL guide every few months so please do check our Tours page for information and to purchase tickets.
- Large print guides are available in the museum, and we welcome assistance dogs.
- Our Visual Story also contains visitor information and sensory guide tips and can also be useful for neurodiverse visitors to help plan a visit.
- We have dedicated resources available for visitors with special educational needs.
We welcome any feedback from visitors on how to improve access at the Charterhouse, please contact Museum & Tours | 020 3818 8873 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 3818 8873 to make an enquiry about group bookings.
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 Bartholomew 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 Roman Catholic Church. The legacy of these institutions lives on in Clerkenwell and Smithfield in the surviving buildings and in the philanthropic and caring work that is still a major feature of daily life at these landmark sites.
If you are walking in the area do take a moment to enjoy Charterhouse Square, and you may like to explore some of the other historical sites using the 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. You can also book onto a walking tour of Clerkenwell’s Monastic Quarter with Islington Guided Walks.
The London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) is located nearby in Clerkenwell, and holds the records for Sutton’s Hospital, Charterhouse, the majority of which cover the period 1611 – 1993. The LMA is a public research centre which specialises in the history of London, caring for and providing access to the archives of businesses, schools, hospitals, charities and all manner of other organisations from the London area. It also has a programme of events, exhibitions and conferences.