The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 4

Allen, Thomas


Charter-house Square


Is formed on sides by very good houses, the is in part filled by the old walls of the monastery. It is not a thoroughfare for carriages. At the north-east corner is Rutland-court, so named from the house of that noble family, afterwards used as a theatre by sir William Davenant. The area of the square is handsomely railed, and shaded by intersecting avenues of old trees.

Sir William Munson resided in a house,



little gardens,

adjoining the west gate of Charter-house,

that openeth into the olde churchyarde,

in . Lady Finch, and her son Heneage, lived here in ; a pipe of water was granted to them for per annum.

. William lord Cavendish resided in the church-yard. He had water for per annum. In , lord Dunsmore and lady De la Warre were inhabitants of the churchyard. In the same century lord Grey of Warke, and lady Wharton lived in the square.

It is well known that the monastery of the Chartreuse was supplied by water from the springs near the place now called White Conduit house at , near . It appears from an old paper plan of the course of the pipes, copied from more ancient on parchment, that the square piece of ground used as a place for the Carthusian scholars to exercise their limbs in between the hours of study was, when the convent flourished, nearly a perfect square, with agate and porter's lodge on the south side leading to the church-yard; or, possibly, this square may represent that which forms the present entrance to the Charter-house. It had another gate on the east. The west represents a blank wall; and in the north-west corner is a small passage. Against the north side is a conduit, - as large as the area, in the shape of an equal sided cross. From this the pipe proceeds under a building into a narrow passage, on the east side of which are buildings with very high chimnies. This avenue leads to a square formed by houses on the east, west, and south sides, whose basements have only doors, and above them range of windows. Their fronts are pediments or gables. The pipe passes across the quadrangle, under a gate in the east wall, into the garden or wilderness. The north side has a gate with small buildings on either side.

The garden represents a perfect parallellogram, divided by what may probably be a bank from east to west. The north division has a gateway, near which is a row of trees from north to south, and an avenue east and west. The pipe passes, inclining to the north-east, under the gate, to a reservoir against the north wall.

Near it, to the west, is a gate leading to a building. In the


northeast corner is a small cell. The pipe goes north through Marcum's gardens, and thence to the garden wall, in

the waye to Ouldestreet.

Near it is a cistern; it then crosses

Wood's close


rather approaching the road to ; thence through meadow, called Whitwell-beach meadow; thence to the Nuns field, in which there had been a mill hill, then levelled; at the foot of it is a


It now reaches the receipts of Clerkenwell from the north-east, and crosses the Clerkenwell pipe. Here the pipe was of oak, but cased in hard stone where it passed under the road. It then goes north on the east side of a mill hill in the commander's mantel of St. John of Jerusalem. The pipes of the Chartreuse and cross a stone gutter not far from the conduit head of the nuns of St. Benedict, which was under a hedge, where further west the Chartreuse had a large receptacle, whence a stone and brick channel conveyed the waste water to the commander's mantel. Close to this reservoir, and to the east, was a wind vent, and head of the conduit to the priory of St. John. In this place the Chartreuse pipes were in number to the fons; after which they were reduced to , and passed fons to fons . This received a spring from some little distance east, brought in by Jeremy Lawes, plumber. The White Conduit house, as it is termed, stands perches south of the spring, between which and it were wells. Within the house was a leaden cistern, and in the bottom of it an aperture to carry off the waste water through a pipe of the same metal. Those pipes were all renewed from the Charter-house perches beyond the receptacle at the hedge, in and ; at which time it is probable the monastery underwent a thorough repair, and had some additions made, as the date of the chapel is ; and sir Robert Dallington, master of the Charter-house, had them thoroughly cleansed in .

In , the earl of Exeter requested that water might be conveyed to his house at , for the use of himself and his lady only. From what follows, we find that the springs often failed. They refused to let him have it from the fountain head, but granted him during pleasure a pipe from the water house of the hospital, carrying at the rate of gallons in an hour.

The pipes were cleaned again in ; but the water was so reduced, that the governors ordered water to be brought for the hospital; since which time they became annually worse, till the rage for building has entirely overwhelmed the pipes, and their situation is scarcely known.

The society of antiquaries have a drawing by G. Vertue, of an ancient parchment roll in the hands of Nicholas Mann, esq. master,


shewn them by Mr. Birch, , being a survey of the wells and waters of St. John, Clerkenwell, and those of the Charter-house, with a view or plan of the house, with the cells and chapter-house, the only shadow remaining of this ancient building. This roll was the plan of Sydney Godolphin, esq. and made .


[] The waste water from the cistern was given to this man, who erected another in Charter-house lane, and sold the water. This water was presented by the governors to the inhabitants, on condition of paving and keeping the lane clean, 1617.

[] British Topography, vol. i. p. 641.

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 Title Page
CHAPTER I: Site, local divisions, and government of the City of Westminster; history of the Abbey; Coronation Ceremonies; and lists of the Abbots and Deans
CHAPTER II: Westminster Abbey, and Description of the Tombs and Monuments
CHAPTER III: History and Topography of St. Margaret's Parish
CHAPTER IV: History and Topography of St. John's Parish, Westminster
CHAPTER V: History and Topography of the parish of St. Martin's in the Fields, Westminster
CHAPTER VI: History and Topogrpahy of the parish of St. James, Westminster
CHAPTER VII: History and Topography of the Parish of St. Anne, Westminster
CHAPTER VIII: History and Topography of the parish of St. Paul, Covent Garden
CHAPTER IX: History and Topography of the Parish of St. Mary-le-strand
CHAPTER X: History and Topogrpahy of the parish of St. Clement Danes
CHAPTER XI: History and Topography of the parish of st. George, Hanover Square
CHAPTER XII: History and Topography of the Precinct of the Savoy
CHAPTER XIII: History and Topography of the Inns of Court
CHAPTER XIV: History and Topography of the Precincts of the Charter-house and Ely Place, and the Liberty of the Rolls
 CHAPTER XV: Historical Notices of the Borough of Southwark
CHAPTER XVI: History and Topography of the Parish of St. Olave, Southwark
CHAPTER XVII: History and Topography of the parish of St. John, Southwark
CHAPTER XVIII: History and Topography of the parish of St. Thomas, Southwark
CHAPTER XIX: History and Topogrpahy of the parish of St. George's, Southwark
CHAPTER XX: History and Topography of St. Saviour's Parish
CHAPTER XXI: History and Topography of the parist of Christ-church in the County of Surrey
 CHAPTER XXII: A List of the Principal Books, &c that have been published in Illustration of the Antiquities, History, Topography, and other subjects treated of in this Work
 Addenda et Corrigienda