The charity was founded as The Charterhouse Mission in 1885 by old boys (Old Carthusians) of Charterhouse School at 40 Tabard Street, where the Missioner also lived with his family. He conducted worship, and was helped in the much needed parish work, especially running clubs for men and boys, by volunteers from the school and the community.
Very soon, Tabard Street could not contain the work and the large congregation, and funds were raised to build St Hugh’s Church (Charterhouse in Southwark), and the entire building at 32 Crosby Row, just around the corner from Tabard Street, in the 1890s. By the 1930s it was felt that the charity should extend its work to girls and the building at 39 Crosby Row was acquired for their use. A variety of projects helped the local community for many decades until September 2008 when, after exploring other options, Trustees felt that the best way to continue to serve the local community in the 21st century would be to become a fundraiser rather than a direct provider of services. Charterhouse in Southwark continued to run the Arc Nursery until March 2009 when its operation passed to an unrelated charity on a commercial lease.
In October 2010, Trustees of a related charity, The Charterhouse in Southwark Endowment Fund, resolved to merge with Charterhouse in Southwark. The investent income from both Charterhouse in Southwark charities will help contribute to helping those in need in Southwark, particularly children and young people, into the future.