Charterhouse, Somerset

Charterhouse, also known as Charterhouse-on-Mendip, is a hamlet in the Mendip Hills in Somerset.   The name is believed to come from the Carthusian order of Chartreuse in France, which was established in Witham (near Frome) in 1181 and formed a cell at Charterhouse in 1283 with a grant to mine lead ore.

There is evidence, in the form of burials in local caves, of human occupation since the late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age along with mining activities which were further exploited by the Romans from AD 49. 

Roman lead mines    photo Ron Strutt

After the dissolution of the monasteries, the land and buildings were granted to Robert May who constructed a substantial house here and one of his descendants, John May, became High Sheriff of Somerset in 1602.

There is further evidence of mine workings in the medieval and Victorian periods, along with of a rectangular medieval enclosure.

There are several caves of the Mendip Hills in the limestone around the village including Manor Farm Swallet and Upper Flood Swallet.