Join us for a brief pictorial tour around Carshalton’s very own Hermitage, plus a few facts and figures.
This quirky place stands in the grounds of St Philomena’s school, and was most likely built in the early 18th century by Sir John Fellowes.
Sometimes wealthy homeowners would employ someone to impersonate a hermit, to entertain visitors when they explored the gardens.
The stone floor entrance has the same tiles as used at St Paul’s cathedral.
The hermitage sits on the grounds of St Philomena’s school. You can spot old graffiti etched in to the soft Reigate Stone.
The ornate tiles in the round room were installed by landowners Daughters Of The Cross.
This room was originally the ice house, and is situated adjacent to the most westerly spring of the River Wandle.
The Carshalton House water tower and gardens begin open days each Easter. Pictures taken during public tour on 2021 open day.
Read more about the Hermitage and contacts for visiting
The hermits employed by Georgian industrialists were only paid their stipend at the end of their contract. They were usually required to live in complete solitude and could be dismissed if they broke the terms of their employment. Thus, if the hermit sneaked off to the pub and was caught before the end of the contract, his employer effectively got all the previous hermiting at no cost.
Carshalton Water Tower first opening on Sunday 24th April, opening Sundays 2.30-5. (Hermitage opening on 1st and 3rd Sunday, i.e. first opening in 2022 will be on May Day).