Chartwell was the much loved family home of Winston Churchill from 1924 until his death in 1965 aged 90. Winston fell instantly in love with Chartwell, for him it was a place of pleasure, fun and great happiness right from the beginning.
Now in the care of the National Trust, the property reflects the career and interests of this great statesman, writer, painter and family man.
Tucked away in the beautiful countryside and just 22 miles from Cumberland House, the property stands proud with its spring fed lake and breathtaking views across the Weald of Kent. The hillside gardens evoke Churchill’s love of nature and the landscape, through visiting the lakes, Lady Churchill’s rose garden, the kitchen garden and Marycot a playhouse created especially for Churchill’s youngest daughter.
The house has the feeling of a warm and friendly lived in home decorated with many personal items belonging to the Churchill family. You don’t need to be a war historian or even know much about Churchill to enjoy the house as throughout the season, staff and volunteers at Chartwell provide talks and tours, helping you to appreciate it at its best.
The Churchill’s entertained some very famous people including Charlie Chaplin, Lawrence of Arabia and, of course, Royalty over the years. The usage of many of the rooms was changed while they were there, particularly in the period after the Second World War. For example the library was used as a sitting room prior to Sir Winston finally leaving, the dining room was converted into a cinema and the drawing room was, for a while, used as his painting studio. For showing, the drawing room, the library, Lady Churchill’s bedroom and the dining room all had to be reinstated as they were in the 1930’s when Winston, Clementine and their four children were in residence.
On show in his painting studio is a large collection of Churchill’s artwork reflecting his well known love of painting. His other little known interests ranged from games to cinema, swimming, bricklaying, horse racing and butterflies.
The gardens are open all year, with plenty of winter border interest provided by the heathers and cyclamen and during summer there is plenty of opportunity to find that secluded reading spot or shady tree, ideal for a summer picnic.
Admission to the house is by timed tickets and is open from early March until late October. Whatever the season there’s something to catch your eye, so do leave plenty of time for your visit to Chartwell.
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/chartwell or telephone: 01732 868 381