St Hugh's Charterhouse, Parkminster

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St. Hugh's Charterhouse
St. Hugh's Charterhouse.JPG
Monastery information
Other names Parkminster
Order Carthusian
Established 1873
Mother house Grande Chartreuse,
Isère, France
Dedicated to Hugh of Lincoln
Heritage designation Grade II* listed
Location Parkminster,
near Cowfold, Horsham, West Sussex, England
Coordinates 50°58′22.84″N 0°16′57.85″W / 50.9730111°N 0.2827361°W / 50.9730111; -0.2827361Coordinates: 50°58′22.84″N 0°16′57.85″W / 50.9730111°N 0.2827361°W / 50.9730111; -0.2827361
Public access Only to chapel

St Hugh's Charterhouse, Parkminster is the only post-Reformation Carthusian monastery in the United Kingdom. It is located in the parish of Cowfold, West Sussex, England.

The monastery was founded in 1873, when the property formerly known as Picknoll was acquired for its construction in order to accommodate two houses of French Carthusians in exile. Building took place between 1876 and 1883 to designs by a French architect, Clovis Normand, who had at his disposal a generous budget. The number of monks has varied: 30 in 1883, 70 in 1928, 22 in 1984 and there are currently 26 monks as of January 2017

The buildings are in a French Gothic Revival style described by some as "weak",[1] although Pevsner's judgement was that "The plan is magnificent and can only be properly seen from the air". The church has relics of Saint Hugh of Lincoln, Saint Boniface and the Virgin Mary; and an unusually tall (203 ft) spire. It stands in the centre of buildings including a library with a collection of rare books and manuscripts and a chapter house decorated with images of the martyrdom of the monks' predecessors.

The Great Cloister, more than a 115 metres long and one of the largest in the world, connects the 34 hermitages to the church and the other buildings, embracing four acres of orchards and the monastic burial ground.[2]

It is a Grade II* listed building.[3]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Robin Bruce Lockhart, Half-way to Heaven: The Hidden Life of the Sublime Carthusians (London: Thames Methuen, 1985)
  • Nancy Klein Maguire, "An Infinity of Little Hours: Five Young Men and Their Trial of Faith in the Western World's Most Austere Monastic Order" (roman à clef, = novel based on real-life stories) (New York: PublicAffairs Books 2006, a division of Perseus Publishing, ISBN hardback ISBN 978-1-58648-327-2, paperback 978-1-58648-432-3)


  1. ^ see Cowfold Parish Council website
  2. ^ Christopher Martin, A Glimpse of Heaven: Catholic churches of England and Wales, English Heritage, Swindon, 2006, pp 159-160
  3. ^ Historic England. "ST HUGH'S MONASTERY (1027084)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 

External sources[edit]