Coventry’s Charterhouse is one of only two Carthusian Monasteries in the UK with any significant remains and the only one with any intact interiors. The main buildings are the Prior’s House and Refectory completed around 1417, housing fine examples of medieval and Elizabethan wall paintings. The Prior’s House has uniquely been little altered since the 16th century, when it was converted to residential use at the time of The Dissolution. The monastery contained an inner and outer precinct with some 600m of stone walls remaining today. The remains of the church have been previously excavated, but the grounds are expected to contain further substantial archaeological remains especially within the Great Cloister. The whole is Grade 1 listed and the site is classified as an Ancient Monument.
We are currently working with Heritage Lottery Find (HLF) on a restoration project which includes the main monastery buildings including the mediaeval wall paintings and opening of to the Charterhouse to the public as a visitor and educational venue. It will include an interpretative display, focused on the lives of the Carthusian monks, their lifestyle, cultural importance and influence, medieval and later Elizabethan heritage and the history of the Heritage Park area through to the C20th, telling the story behind the various landmarks within the Heritage Park. Organic gardens will be replanted and the Great Cloister will become a high quality landscaped walled garden with information on archaeological remains included in new display and interpretation material. The former stables and coach house will be restored and linked to The Prior’s House with a new, purpose built café with terrace and a first floor venue, suitable for weddings, celebrations, business conferences and training. The venue will create a hub of activity, and a place of excellence in the city generating revenue to help to sustain the Charterhouse.
The development takes in parkland around the main buildings to re-create the setting of the Charterhouse as a monastery. It includes meadows, orchards and fishponds as re-instate heritage features. Work is expected to start in spring 2017. In the short term the house is open to the public on various dates throughout the year and everyone is welcome to feed into the public consultation on future use of the house and gardens. We are always looking for volunteers, particularly to help out in the gardens and conduct house tours.