The Charterhouse is a former Carthusian monastery in Clerkenwell, to the north of what is now Charterhouse Square. Since the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century – when all but one of the Carthusian Brothers was horribly executed – the house has served as private mansion, a boys’ school and an almshouse, which it remains to this day.
A good number of Company guests arrived at 5.30pm for said evensong in the chapel, along with a handful of the present occupants, also known as ‘Brothers’. The Chapel contains the fine monument to Thomas Sutton, beneath which he was interred in 1614.
After evensong we had a tour of the main buildings with the atmospheric accompaniment of Chartusian chants from the Thomas Sutton singers. The Charterhouse remains a place of real history even though the principal buildings were severely damaged by enemy action in 1941. They were restored under the direction of Seely and Paget.
The reception was held in the great hall, where there was more singing, food and a speech from Sharen Ament, the director of the Museum of London who talked about their plans to make this historic place wore accessible including a new museum designed by Eric Parry, who was also present; works are due for completion in autumn 2016.