Coventry’s Charterhouse, one of only nine Carthusian monasteries in the country, was founded in 1381. It is situated within half a mile of Coventry's City Centre and is surrounded by green space. After the dissolution of the monasteries (1536-41) , the site was converted to a private house and it was gifted to the people of Coventry by Colonel Wyley, the last private owner.  It was then used for a number of purposes by Coventry City Council until 2010 when it was decided to sell on the open market. After protestations by the local community, Charterhouse Coventry Preservation Trust was formed and Charterhouse ownership was transferred to it in November 2011. In 2015, The Charterhouse Coventry Preservation Trust became Historic Coventry Trust.

The Charterhouse building is an indication of how important Coventry was in medieval times.  Historic Coventry Trust’s £8million restoration of Charterhouse has been carried out in conjunction with Coventry City Council. Major grants have been secured from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England and several trusts and foundations including Garfield Weston, Wolfson, Foyle and Historic Houses Foundation, Edward Cadbury and AllChurches. The Charterhouse will be opening to the public in 2023.

The earliest surviving painting at Charterhouse depicts the Crucifixion in the centre with the Virgin Mary and St Anne on either side and several smaller figures in between.  The main figures are very large, and the painting would originally have covered the whole of the south wall of the monastery’s refectory. What remains has been restored. Due to extensive Post Reformation alterations to the building, only the bottom half now remains.

This is the only surviving wall painting in a Carthusian monastery in England which means it is of national importance – it is one of the best pieces of Medieval art in the whole country. Whilst much has been lost, large areas remain intact and in good condition, whereas a lot of medieval paintings are badly degraded.

On Sunday 11 September it was possible for the general public to get a look inside the building as part of the Historic Open days. 

Photographs from the day

Hard Hat Tours of Charterhouse

For more about the history please go to Coventry Charterhouse Association

To find out more about the Charterhouse please go to Historic Coventry - Charterhouse

Speaking with Canon Tom Farrell, Parish Priest of Christ the King and Dean of Coventry,  “It is wonderful to see the restoration of another medieval building in Coventry. It is a reminder of the strong Christian heritage of the city and it’s importance in medieval times.  Often Coventry is thought of as a post war industrial city famous for motor manufacturing, but the Charterhouse is a reminder of its long history at a time of historic reflection.”

In addition, Coventry has the remains of St Mary's Priory and Cathedral was a religious institution, founded in the 12th century, and destroyed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the early 16th century. It was located on a site north of Holy Trinity and the former St Michael's parish churches in the centre of the city, on a site bordered by Priory Row to the south, Trinity Street to the west, and the River Sherbourne to the north.  . It was the only medieval cathedral to be demolished at the Reformation. Excavated remains from the west end of the cathedral are open to the public.

For more information about St Mary's Priory and Cathedral please go to Historic Coventry - St Mary's

For more information on the Coventry deanery please go to Coventry Catholic Deanery