The residents of the almshouse, both men and women, are known as ‘Brothers’. This is a purely traditional term for those living in this community and acknowledges the past when there was a monastery on the site.

The Brothers were originally those who could supply ‘good testimonye and certificat of theire good behaviour and soundnes in religion’ those who had been servants to the King ‘either decrepit or old captaynes either at sea or land, maimed or disabled soldiers, merchants fallen on hard times, those ruined by shipwreck or other calamity’.

Brothers at tea in th Great Hall

The Brothers are selected from a wide variety of professions, which includes teachers, clergymen, writers and editors, musicians and artists. At entry they have to be over 60 years of age, in need of financial and social support and in good health. They must be able to live independently but have a desire to be part of a supportive community following a very simple set of rules. Their accommodation is entirely private. All the meals are taken together in the Great Hall and many Brothers participate in the many social events that take place. Many Brothers contribute to the life of the Charterhouse by giving their time as tour guides, arranging entertainment and visits, editing the Charterhouse Magazine (a twice yearly in-house publication), cataloguing the extensive artwork and volunteering to help with events. The Brothers meet as a group at least four times a year with the Master and other senior staff to discuss current topics.

Becoming a Brother

The ethos of being a Brother of the Charterhouse

The Charterhouse buildings and staff provide accommodation for the Brothers, who enjoy privacy and independence while being part of a community which offers companionship and support. All members of the community do their best to accept the responsibilities of ‘good neighbours’ – to be unhurried, considerate, and practically helpful. We aim at expressing our founder’s spirit of generosity and gratitude in the way we live.


There is accommodation for over 40 Brothers. The accommodation varies between the main building and the Admiral Ashmore building. In addition, there are 11 rooms in the Queen Elizabeth II Infirmary a registered Care Quality Commission Care Home. This is available for the Brothers for either respite or longer term care.

Would I qualify to join the Charterhouse?

  • I am single
  • I am older than 60
  • I am in financial, housing and social need
  • I have no significant debts (credit cards, loans or other)
  • I am able to live by myself and anticipate continuing in good physical and mental health for at least two years
  • I am keen to contribute to a community
  • I am a UK resident (for at least two years)

Unfortunately, we are not able to accept pets

How to apply

If you can answer ‘yes’ to all of the above, then please print out and complete the First Stage Application Form and post it as follows:

The Clerk to the Brothers
The Charterhouse
Charterhouse Square

We will look at your First Stage Application Form and then contact you to explain what happens next and perhaps ask some further questions.

N.B. The Charterhouse has very limited accommodation and is not in the position to admit all those who apply.  As a result, difficult decisions need to be made and the vast majority of applicants do not proceed through the various stages of the entry process.  Like many almshouses, the policy of the Charterhouse is not to enter into discussion or to provide reasons for refusing or offering places.

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