Today I spent time at the historic Chaterhouse buildings in Clerkenwell, meeting with the master and a number of the residents (known as “brothers”) who live in the sheltered accommodation there.
The Charterhouse dates back to 1371, when a Carthusian monastery was established on the site. The building was sold in 1611 to Thomas Sutton, who established a charitable foundation to educate children at the Charterhouse school and care for elderly men at the London site, a mission which continues to this day.
The foundation is currently undergoing a number of significant changes, largely as a result of financial pressures following the 2008 crash. These include plans to open up part of the Clerkenwell site as a museum, and to open up the private gardens in Charterhouse Square for public access.
Opening up these historic buildings and the beautiful garden square for public access are welcome steps to make this institution – an important part of Islington’s history and cultural heritage – available for everyone to enjoy.
It was also great fun to spend time with the residents and enjoy another lively debate, although we didn’t agree on everything – least of all votes for 16 year olds!