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The Charterhouse London

The Charterhouse London

The Charterhouse London

March 16, 2017 Rachel Finlay Comments Off

Having been hidden from view and closed to the public for over 650 years, The Charterhouse London underwent an extensive remodelling and conservation programme. Bakers of Danbury were appointed Principal Contractors.

"Revealing the Charterhouse" Project

“Revealing the Charterhouse” project involved the remodelling of the Grade I listed building to house a new museum, learning centre, cafe, reception area and public toilets. Conservation and restoration works also took place to the external fabric of Charterhouse Chapel together with a re-design of Charterhouse Square.

The £4 million project was funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund and other generous supporters.  The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh opened the building on 28th February 2017. The conservation and alteration works to The Charterhouse London received a Civic Trust 2018 Commendation

“Revealing the Charterhouse” not only opened the Charterhouse to the general public, but as depicted by the projects name, made the historic gem visible to passers-by, who otherwise may not have noticed the beautiful medieval buildings partially hiding behind a hedgerow.

Chapel Court

Bakers of Danbury replaced the hedges with new landscaping including entrance gates with the motto in old French “virtue is the only nobility”.

A beautiful pathway was constructed of Scoutmoor Yorkstone to lead through the entrance gates to the museum entrance. Chosen for its durability; the slabs of the Scoutmoor Yorkstone pathway measured as large as 1500mm x 1500mm. Trial holes were made to Chapel Court and inspected by the Museum of London Archaeology team before the 63mm thick Yorkstone path could be laid. To keep excavation to a minimum, the path was laid on a raised reinforced concrete base.

Before proceeding through the gates, at your feet you will find a feature stone with a brass inlay outlining the original footprint of the monastery. As you then enter Chapel Court you will find a cast bronze model of the existing Charterhouse buildings. After the model was cast, it was sent away for patination – a decorative technique in which chemical solutions are applied to react with the surface, to provide a thin layer of coloured corrosion which gives an antique appearance.

The new landscaping to Chapel Court depicts the footprint of the original Chapel walls which was built in 1349 for the victims of the Black Death. It gives pride of place to the new memorial of Sir Walter Manny – the monastery’s principle founder. The memorial marks his final resting place and is constructed of a beautiful Travertine tombstone, with base, plinth and eased arrises also of Travertine stone. On it is carved Sir Walter Manny, Died 1372.

Charterhouse Chapel

Bakers of Danbury carried out conservation and restoration works to the external fabric of the Chapel visible from Chapel Court. The extensive fabric repairs include stone cleaning and lime mortar repointing to the whole chapel and tower, as well as the traditional method of shelter coating to help preserve the softer friable stone. Where necessary Kentish Ragstone and Elm Park Bath stone supplied by Bakers of Danbury’s sister company Collins and Curtis Masonry sympathetically replaced stone which was beyond repair.

Museum and Learning Centre

Bakers of Danbury carried out the base build for the new museum including climate control and secondary glazing. Bakers also relocated the sculpture representing Faith, Hope and Charity, to its new location looking over the museum.

The new reception area and learning centre is a contemporary design with European Oak paneling and a painted plaster finish. A breathable silicate paint was used on existing solid walls, to prevent any moisture in the walls from causing ‘blistering’ and ‘bubbling’ of the paint.

The new reception area showcases an impressive coffered ceiling, with indirect lighting within octagon recesses continuing through the learning centre. The octagon coffered ceiling was designed to echo the octagon recess detail on the Chapel ceiling.

Charterhouse Square

As part of the project, Charterhouse Square was re-designed, inspired by its 18th century layout. This included the installation of gas lamps, a new pavilion, new benches and the refurbishment of the Grade II listed entrance gates and railings surrounding the square. The square was enlarged by removing parking bays.


Ann Kenrick OBE, Master, the Charterhouse London said:

“We are hugely grateful for the works carried out by Bakers of Danbury and for their unwavering dedication to the Revealing the Charterhouse project. The skilled craftsmen from Bakers work to an extremely high standard producing a finish which has exceeded all of our expectations. They were a pleasure to work with, always keeping to their word, and we couldn’t be happier with their overall approach and diligence.I would recommend Bakers of Danbury to anyone.”