Revealing the Charterhouse, London

The Charterhouse, a Grade I Listed Building, was opened by the Queen in February 2017 after a significant refurbishment project, providing new visitor facilities, including a new museum room by GuM. The project has been developed with The Museum of London, which has provided support and advice on learning and visitor facilities, and with curatorial help with the collection.

The Charterhouse charity was founded in 1611 and a section of the exhibition examines the man who brought it into existence; Thomas Sutton. Sutton left part of his fortune to be invested in establishing an almshouse for ‘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’, known as Brothers. The Charterhouse still functions as an almshouse and today the Brothers are both male and female, over 60 years of age and include teachers, clergymen, writers and editors, musicians and artists.

The exhibition seeks to introduce visitors to the present and past residents of The Charterhouse. A new film recording the daily lives of the Brothers is set alongside a display case containing personal possessions that the Brothers donated to the museum. An interactive cabinet reveals the talent and fame of particular Brothers, in Art, Film and Books, with an accompanying flipbook encouraging the visitor to delve deeper.

The Brothers are invited to contribute to their community by guiding income generating tours around The Charterhouse site. These personalised tours, which can last up to two hours, give a memorable insight into over six hundred years of history, from the present day to a time when the Black Death swept through London, and Charterhouse Square was the site of an emergency burial ground.