The Tudor Society

Discover the Tudors Tour Day 7 – London Charterhouse

London Charterhouse

After another delicious breakfast at the Arden Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon - French toast and I shared it with Francis I and Elizabeth I, as you can see! - we said our goodbyes to Stratford and set off for London. We arrived in London for lunch and then headed to London Charterhouse.

London Charterhouse has such a fascinating history. The land was used as a burial site for victims of the Black Death in 1348 and then in 1371, the Carthusian monastery was built. You might remember me telling you about that Carthusian Martyrs of Henry VIII's reign, monks from this very monastery who refused to sign the oath recognising Henry VIII as supreme head of the Church in England and who were brutally executed or starved to death. The monastery was dissolved in the 1530s and it then passed through the hands of Sir Edward North; John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland; North again; Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk; Philip Howard, 13th Earl of Arundel; Elizabeth I; Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, and Thomas Sutton. Elizabeth I visited it on several occasions.

It is a beautiful property and I became very moved as I sat in the Chapel, the former chapterhouse, and was told that that was where the monks were offered the oath to sign and where they refused. It was so very humbling.

Highlights for me included the chapel, the Great Hall with its large windows, the cloisters with the remains of the original monks' cells, and the upstairs room with its ceiling displaying the arms of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, along with Mary, Queen of Scots' thistles, a reminder of Norfolk's involvement in the Ridolfi Plot.

Our private tour from one of the Charterhouse Brothers was so interesting, and so was the museum. A wonderful afternoon!

After our Charterhouse visit, we headed off to our hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton Tower of London, which, as you can guess is right by the Tower of London. Here, we had an excellent talk by Dr Elizabeth Goldring on Robert Dudley and Elizabeth I- one of my favourite Tudor topics! - before enjoying a three-course meal. Our meal was brought to a lovely end by one of our tour participants, Roy, doing a reading of his writing for us. It really was beautiful.

And now, it's time for bed!

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Discover the Tudors Tour Day 7 – London Charterhouse