Chapterhouse

Cloister

Refectory

Library

Great cloister

Cells of the monks

Cemetery

Church sanctuary

Church choirs

Entrance

ST. HUGH' S CHARTERHOUSE, PARKMINSTER

There were twelve Carthusian monasteries in the British Isles before the Reformation. The first Charterhouse (anglicised version of “Chartreuse”, the Mother House in France) was built at Witham, Somerset, in 1178. Saint Hugh of Lincoln was its first prior.

Under Henry VIII all these monasteries were destroyed and the communities disbanded. Some monks were martyred. At the request of the Catholic hierarchy, the Carthusians returned to England in 1873. They built the monastery of St Hugh on a large scale in order to accommodate the monks that were expelled from the continent some years later.

The buildings reproduce the invariable design of a Charterhouse. It is built to visibly express and practically favour the living of a spiritual ideal, the radical following of Christ.

Solitude is assured by the individual hermitages and the surrounding enclosure walls. A cloister links the hermitages and connects them to the church and to the other conventual buildings in which the community life takes place. The soaring tower surmounted by a cross proclaims the upward elevation of the ensemble through Jesus Christ towards God.

"Stands The Cross, Still Point Of The Turning World" (Carthusian motto)