List Entry Summary
This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.
Name: THE CHARTERHOUSE
List entry Number: 1298101
THE CHARTERHOUSE, CHARTERHOUSE SQUARE
The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
County: Greater London Authority
District Type: London Borough
National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.
Date first listed: 29-Dec-1950
Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.
Legacy System Information
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System: LBS
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List entry Description
Summary of Building
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Reasons for Designation
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TQ3181NE CHARTERHOUSE SQUARE 635-1/77/228 (North side) 29/12/50 The Charterhouse
The Charterhouse buildings reflect five principal building periods. The first is the building of the Carthusian Priory of the Salutation of the Virgin Mary, founded by Sir Walter Manny in 1371; the early buildings of the Priory are attributed to Henry Yevele. The second is the transformation of the monastic buildings into a Tudor mansion, following the suppression of the Priory in 1537; this happened in two stages, first and principally under the hand of Sir Edward North, from 1545, and secondly under that of Thomas Howard, fourth Duke of Norfolk, from 1565. The third is the adaptation of the mansion to the purposes of the Hospital of King James in Charterhouse, generally known as Sutton's Hospital, founded in 1611 by Thomas Sutton, partly as a free school for forty boys and partly as almshouses for eighty male pensioners; these works were carried out in 1613-14 and were to the design of Francis Carter; the almshouses continue to this day. The fourth stage consists of alterations to the existing buildings and the addition of Preachers' Court and Pensioners' Court by Edward Blore in 1826-40; Preachers' Court was largely demolished after the Second World War; Pensioners' Court is separately listed. The fifth stage was the reconstruction of the buildings following bomb damage of 1941 when all four sides of Master's Court were burned out, the great staircase was destroyed and the Great Hall and Great Chamber were badly damaged. The reconstruction was carried out by Seely and Paget, architects, and ended in 1959; it also involved the removal of work by Blore to bring the buildings nearer to their original condition. Inner gateway An early C16 four-centred arch of stone with hollow chamfer, set in a wall of stretcher bond brickwork with a Lombard frieze to the tiled coping. Conduit House The south-western conduit house of the Priory, abutting the inner gateway. Much restored. Red brick in Flemish and English bond, with stone dressings, roof of copper. Square in plan. Steps up on the north-east side to Tudor-arched stone doorway; Lombard frieze; steep hipped roof with inswept profile, by Seely and Paget, similar to one in existence in 1755. Master's Court The principal part of the Tudor mansion, built over the site of the monastic Little Cloister and incorporating stonework from the monastic church, particularly in the east range. c.1550. Kentish ragstone with freestone dressings, stair tower in the inner north-west corner of red brick in English bond, porch to north range and bay to south face of south range faced with ashlar, some red brick dressings also to north range; roof of tiles. Two storeys with dormers except for the Great Hall in the north range; windows generally of two, three and four lights, and Tudor-arched with hoodmoulds. The south face of the south range is all but symmetrical: central entrance gateway with basket arch and Thomas Sutton's arms and the date 1611 over, flanked by two-light windows and then by external stacks; then a two-window range to the right and one-and-a-half to the left, then outer, gabled, bays with carved emblematic figures to kneelers and apex, dating from the restoration of the 1950s and carved by Michael Groser; the centre bay also gabled with similar figures; the outer bays have, on the right, a two-storey bay with two-light flat-arched window to the ground floor and a five-light, one transom, flat-arched window above, and parapet; and, to the left, a two-storey bay with round-arched window to first floor and lean-to roof. Hipped dormers; offset stacks with diagonal linked shafts. Within the Court, there are five-window ranges to east, south and west; four-centred-arched doorway leading to Washhouse Court to the west; staircase tower built by Thomas Howard in north-west corner with a flat-arched three-light window with two transoms and ovolo mouldings. In the middle of the north range is the Great Hall of four bays: single-storey porch to west end of late C17 date, elliptical-arched with keystone and chamfered quoins, cornice, brick parapet with Royal Coat of Arms upstanding to centre, Tudor-arched doorway to hall; two four-centred, five-light and one-transom windows to the right with ogee tracery, hoodmoulds and gauged brick heads above, and a panelled buttress with offsets between them; then an oriel window with five Tudor-arched lights and two transoms to the south, cornice and blocking course; a band of blank quatrefoils, presumably reused from the monastic buildings, runs below the windows on this range; the upper windows are of three lights, that to the left with one transom; cornice, brick parapet, and pedimented sundial to the centre. Lead rainwater butts to the south range, one with the initials SIM and the date 1738, another with the date 1806. The north side of the north range is of five bays, the end bays projecting under hipped roofs; five flat-arched windows to ground floor, chiefly of three lights with one transom; the first floor has similar windows with panelled king mullions of, from right to left, eight, four, four and six lights, and then in the last bay, the window is four-centred with a wooden casement inserted; two brick buttresses with offsets between the centre windows, the right-hand bay with clasping buttresses with offsets; west return has ashlar porch, and five-light, two-transom, window above dating from Blore's work. INTERIOR: . The Great Hall has fielded panelling; the oriel window is framed by a four-centred arch with cusped panels to the soffit and jambs; at the west end, a five-bay screen dated 1571 in the frieze with the initials of Thomas Howard: three round-arched openings to the centre with elaborately detailed archivolts flanked by Corinthian columns; the columns and lion-head consoles support a frieze of interlaced work and bosses; panelled gallery divided by term figures with cornice breaking back and forth. On the north side of the hall, breaking into the north bay of the screen, is a coved gallery of early C17 date with tapering pilasters, term figures and tapering Ionic columns projecting above the balustrade; stone chimneypiece of 1614 by Francis Carter to the north wall with tapering pilasters, lintel on bracket with lionhead straps, the overmantel, flanked by stone canons, bearing Sutton's arms flanked by pilasters with strapwork. Roof of four bays with hammerbeam trusses, arched principals and elaborate pendants. North of the Great Hall is the former Priory frater, now the Brothers' Library, a room of five bays with beams carried on wooden Doric columns, and an early C17 chimneypiece with strapwork, consoles and pedimented central panel by Francis Carter. Part of the footings of the Priory cloister are exposed at the east end of the room, and part are below the existing floor; the C14 pointed-arched doorway at the north-east corner would originally have given onto the cloister. The building above the frater was reconstructed in the late C16 to form the Great Chamber with a decorative plaster ceiling of interlacing ribs, the panels decorated with the arms and motto of the Howard family; chimneypiece with painted decoration of late C16 with additional painting of 1626 by Rowland Buckett: the fireplace flanked by pairs of Tuscan engaged columns, the superstructure with projecting outer bays carrying a pair of Ionic columns each and entablature, the inner spaces and Ionic columns painted with the arms of Charles I to the central oval panel and of Thomas Sutton in the panel below. The Cloister Walk Otherwise known as the Norfolk gallery. Built in 1571 by Thomas Howard as a covered way and terrace leading to a tennis court, incorporating part of the western alley of the Great Cloister. Red brick in English bond, with Flemish bond to the upper parts of the east side and yellow brick dressings. One storey; eleven- window range to east side. Entrance in southernmost bay, segmental-arched with simple brick pilasters and pediment; windows segmental-arched with brick architraves and yellow brick heads, wooden casements, rectangular and lozenge-shaped panels of brick below and rectangular panels between; the seventh window from the south in a canted bay; brick storey band; parapet. The west side has five Tudor-arched entrances, all blocked except the northernmost, and metal lettering inserted in the wall reading 'ANNO 1571'. Inside, the Walk has a brick barrel vault, and the stone pointed-arched doorway to the Priory's cell 'B' is preserved at the south end. Wash-house Court Formerly the Priory lay-brothers' quarters. Early C16, and presumably of at least two builds. Kentish ragstone in random rubble with freestone dressings principally to east and south ranges and part of the north range; most of the west range and half of the north of red brick set in English bond. Two storeys with dormers, the east range higher than the rest; to the interior of the court there is a five-bay range to east, and four bays to the rest. Pointed-arched entrances dressed in stone to each range and a four-centred arch of brick in the west range. Windows generally of one, two and three lights, Tudor-arched; but there are two flat-arched three-light windows in the east range, one with a transom; and in the south range there is a pair of wooden casement windows to each floor, segmental-arched to ground floor and flat-arched to first floor; a third wooden casement to ground floor is inset under what appears to be a former four-centred arch; corbelled brick external stack to each range truncated at the eaves; hipped dormers to east, south and west, flat-arched lead-covered dormers to north. The west side of the west range is of nine bays; one four-centred arch to passage; scattered fenestration of one, two and four lights, some flat-arched, some Tudor-arched, some casements, the mullions generally double-chamfered; four-centred relieving arch near ground level to centre; pattern of IH and a cross in blue bricks also near centre; two external stacks corbelled out from first floor, one now truncated, and one additional panelled stack to centre; the south corner is chamfered, two bays of snecked stone. The north side of the north range has scatttered fenestration of one, two and three lights, chiefly Tudor-arched; three corbelled external stacks, with offsets and diagonal shafts; diaper brickwork to the west end, one hipped dormer. Chapel Court On the west side is the east range of Master's Court: Kentish ragstone in random rubble with Bath stone dressings, red brick set in English bond, roof of tiles. Three storeys, three bays. All windows flat-arched with hollow-chamfered mullions and of one, two and three lights; flat-arched entrance to right; two external stacks of stone with some brick infill, the shafts of brick and, in one case, breaking through a run of flat-arched dormers, brick external stack near centre corbelled out from first floor. Five-sided staircase tower with hipped roof to south end. Chapel cloister of 1612-13 by Francis Carter. Ashlar and render to the south, red brick in English bond with stone dressings to the north, roof of tiles. Two storeys, three bays. On the south side, the ground floor is an arcade of ashlar with round arches, enclosed and glazed, with simple pilasters, keystones and projecting courses of stone giving the effect of rustication, ovolo cornice; the first floor has three flat-arched windows with wood casements, the intervening space panelled in render; frieze of lozenge pattern; three gables, their faces decorated with Sutton's crest, restored by Seely and Paget following a C18 view of the Charterhouse. The north side, much restored, is of two storeys and four-window range. Flat-arched windows of two and four lights with ovolo mullions; five-sided embattled tower at west end. Within the cloister the entrance to the chapel matches the south ground-floor arcade with the addition of straps, rings and pendants, the entablature interrupted by a mid-C19 memorial tablet. The Treasury Tower, that is, the former vestibule to the Priory chapterhouse with treasury at first-floor level. C14 with additions of c.1512, including the vaulting of the former treasury, and the upper stages of the tower, including bell turret and cupola, of 1613. Snecked stone and random rubble, with dressings of brick and stone. Square in plan. The south front has a three-light Tudor-arched window to ground floor, two-light flat-arched window above and a flat-arched wood casement above that; the west front has a two-light pointed-arched window above cloister level, and a five-sided stair turret with flat-arched window under a hipped roof; the north front has a Tudor-arched entrance with a flat-arched window above, three lights, one transom; corbel table to eaves and balustraded parapet; stair tower in the angle; brick angle buttress to south-west corner with three offsets, of 1613, stepped parapet coped with stone; arcaded wooden bell turret, square in plan, surmounted by an octagonal cupola with keyed oculi, cyma recta cornice and lead-covered dome with weather vane. On the ground floor, in the vestibule to the present chapel, the tower has a quadripartite vault with tiercerons, the bosses carved with emblems of the Passion; the former treasury on the first floor has a similar vault, with foliage carving to the bosses, a squint to the south, and a two-light window with ogee tracery to the north, now blocked. A border of stone paving marks the former sanctuary of the Priory church; east wall of random rubble with pointed-arched opening at north end, and a tablet commemorating the Carthusian monks and lay brothers murdered in 1535-37. The Chapel Of c.1613-14 and 1824. Brown brick set in English bond, random rubble with stone dressings and some flint work, stucco, roof of Welsh slate. Nave, north aisle of almost the same dimensions as the nave, and a further bay added to the north in 1824. East end has two windows with four-centred arches and Y-tracery, five lights to the nave, four to the aisle; parapet. South side has two similar windows of three lights, three buttresses of random rubble with offsets, and a pointed arch surrounded by earlier stonework towards the west end. On the north side the 1824 bay is stuccoed with angle buttresses, a lower tier of flat-arched windows with three lights and one transom under a hoodmould, and an upper tier of four-centred-arched windows of three lights under a hoodmould; parapet. INTERIOR: of the chapel. The nave panelled to east, south and west walls, the north side a three-bay round-arched arcade of Tuscan columns decorated with strapwork of 1613-14; panelled plasterwork to ceilings. Communion table of c.1613; communion rail with turned balusters; wooden polygonal pulpit on pedestal of 1613 by F.Blunt, Thomas Herring and Edward Mayes; stalls to the south wall integral with the panelling; panelled pews with Sutton's emblems, 1613 by J.Ryder. Five-bay screen to northern bay of 1841, the three-bay screen to west end presumably of a similar date; three-bay screen at west end of north aisle of C17 date with pilasters decorated with musical instruments and a bowed and angled gallery decorated with perspective panels and arabesques; cartouche over central arch flanked by consoles with putti and bearing Sutton's crest. Gallery to the 1824 bay of 1841. Tomb of Thomas Sutton at east end of north aisle, 1615 by Nicholas Johnson and Nicholas Stone. Of four stages: an alabaster chest tomb with recumbent effigy; an aedicule of black marble Corinthian columns and entablature, framing an inscription tablet flanked by figures of gentlemen and surmounted by emblems of old age and vanity; a bas-relief panel showing a preacher and congregation; and Sutton's arms in a setting of scrolled feathers; the third and fourth stages surmounted by emblematic figures. The tomb is surrounded by iron railings with spearhead finials by William Shawe. Memorial tablet to Francis Beaumont, c.1624, at east end of north aisle: kneeling figure surrounded by armorial bearings. Memorial tablet in the south wall, to Lord Ellenborough, c.1818 by Chantrey and to Matthew Raine, c.1811, by Flaxman. Memorial tablet over the west end to John Law. c.1614, by Johnson and Stone, a bas-relief bust flanked by angels. East window of 1844 by Charles Clutterbuck. (Arthur Oswald: The London Charterhouse Restored: London: 1959-).
Listing NGR: TQ3191181995
Books and journals
Oswald, A, The London Charterhouse Restored, (1959)
National Grid Reference: TQ 31911 81995
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