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Smithfield: London’s Amazingly Hidden Space

For many years, it was one of London’s most hidden spaces, open for the odd pre-booked tour, but still a mystery to most beyond its walls. Now the Charterhouse is unveiling a new museum to tell the story of this singular institution. Built in 1371 for Carthusian monks, it was converted in 1611 to an almshouse for those of ‘good testimonye and certificat of their good behaviour and soundnes in religion’. More than 40 ‘Brothers’ still live here, around peaceful gardens waiting to be unveiled.


Charterhouse Revealed opens this month. The museum is free to visit and tours of the complex cost £10. The nearest Underground station is Barbican, on the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines. Book into one of the atmospheric rooms at the Fox and Anchor a few doors down; and don’t miss a drink from a pewter tankard in its panelled bar.

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