London's newest museum at Charterhouse

 

Charterhouse, a 7-acre enclave just outside the City of London's square mile, has a 660-year history, and now a museum to tell its story.

The museum opened last Friday, and traces the area's history as a burial ground, monastery, mansion, school and almshouse supported by a charitable foundation. 

The medieval monastery was much larger than the buildings seen today; part was destroyed in the WW II blitz, and other parts at different times. The museum starts with exhibits on the life led by the 40 retired Carthusian brothers who live at the monastery today, and, with dimmer and dimmer lighting to show the passage of time, traces the site's other uses. 

Another section traces the history of the Charterhouse School, which was part of the foundation until it moved in 1872. Besides the museum, the site itself has a new aspect; because of nearby construction, parts of buildings and walls unseen for years are now visible.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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