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Parkminster (Charterhouse)


St. Hugh's Charterhouse, Partridge Green, Horsham, Sussex, England; Southwark diocese. This carthusian monastery was founded in 1873 from La Grande Chartreuse as a refuge in anticipation of the possible expulsion of religious orders from France. This need coincided with the desire of the English Catholic hierarchy to restore the Carthusians to England, and a property in Sussex called Parknowle (changed to Parkminster) was chosen. Building commenced in 1876, using local and Bath stone and paving stones from Belgium for the cloisters. More than 600 workmen of different nationalities were employed, and the foundation stone was laid in October of 1877. In 1883, the first prior was appointed, the novitiate opened, and the church consecrated. The spire has become a wellknown landmark. There are 4,000 feet of cloisters, the main garth being one of the largest of its kind in the world. A fine library houses 30,000 volumes, including valuable MSS dating from the earliest days of the order. Parkminster is the only charterhouse in England today and continues the tradition of the nine English charterhouses (from witham to sheen) prior to the Reformation.

Bibliography: a monk of parkminster, "The Return of the Carthusians to England," The Southwark Record (Sept.Oct.1939). St. Hugh's Charterhouse (Marseille 1963), guidebook.

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