Coventry’s Grade I listed Charterhouse is set to reopen to visitors after more than a decade of fundraising and restoration work.
The former monastery has announced that it will welcome visitors for the first time on Saturday, April 1 2023. After its opening weekend, a programme of ticketed events will launch and run over the Easter holidays and into the summer holiday period.
Charterhouse is the only Carthusian monastery in the country with surviving interiors. The new visitor attraction will include interactive displays charting the site’s history as well as the relandscaping of the inner precinct as a walled garden.
The restoration and funding work, carried out by Historic Coventry Trust, has been supported by £6m from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Last November, the 14th century Charterhouse was removed from Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register. Historic England awarded £1.2m in repair grants to the medieval building.
The 14th Century building features three conserved wall paintings of national importance, and now has a redeveloped garden and a new café and bar run by Michelin-star chef Glynn Purnell.
The building was bequeathed to the people of Coventry by its last resident Colonel William Wyley in 1940 as a museum and park, the building’s most recent use was as part of Coventry College until 2011.
Historic Coventry Trust, supported by local residents, was formed to acquire it with the aim of delivering Colonel Wyley’s vision to open it up to the public.
The surrounding land forming part of ‘Charterhouse Fields’ that remained under Coventry City Council’s control has since been reunited with the Charterhouse in Trust ownership to be used as part of the Heritage Park, which will be accessible to members of the public.
Ian Harrabin, founder and chair of Historic Coventry Trust, said the planned public reopening was a “huge milestone”.
“It has been a long road of more than a decade since our earliest meetings with the Council and local residents to save one of Coventry’s most important buildings. What has been achieved with the support of so many is testament to the power of working together.
Councillor David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities at Coventry City Council, added: “The story of Charterhouse is a true reflection of the nature of our fantastic city. Thanks to the hard work of a group of dedicated and passionate residents and volunteers, Charterhouse was saved and restored.
“I’m delighted that this stunning historic building will soon be opening its doors again, meaning current and future generations will be able to experience its charm.”