Chartwell


Chartwell

Picture is copyright John Darch and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence.

 

Name: Chartwell
Address: Mapleton Road, Westerham, Kent, TN16 1PS.
Telephone: 01732 868381

Chartwell was famously the residence of Sir Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine. He began living at the residence in 1922 and left the property for the last time in 1964. Upon the death of Churchill in 1965, the house was presented to the National Trust by his wife, Clementine.

The estate that houses Chartwell was built upon as early as the 16th century and it was originally called Well Street. It is believed that Henry VIII stayed at the house on the estate during his courtship of Anne Boleyn at Hever Castle. During the 19th century the farmhouse that once stood was renovated and enlarged substantially.

The property is set on the side of a small Kentish valley that looks across the combe and has a garden that falls steeply to wooded slopes and beautiful countryside. When Churchill was asked why he bought Chartwell he replied that is was “for that view”.

Chartwell is very much a reflection of Churchill himself – his life and his tastes. It was a conscious decision on behalf of his wife and the National Trust to preserve Chartwell in a manner as if Churchill was still in residence. His colourful paintings still adorn the walls, with a half finished canvas still resting on an easel in his garden studio with paints laid out nearby. His famous wide brimmed hats and cigar boxes can be found in the rooms at Chartwell as well as medals and uniforms that reinforce the devotion of his life to his country. Some correspondence has remained in the house such as a visitors’ that contains the names of Field Marshall, Montgomery, Lloyd George and Balfour as well as the signatures of a wide range of younger members of the family portraying Churchill as a man that enjoyed the company of his family and friends.

It was Churchill’s family that decided to mark the 50th wedding anniversary of Winston and Clementine by the planting of much of the glorious borders that run down the old kitchen garden. The National Trust have worked to restore the gardens at Chartwell to try to reflect how they would have been during the 1930’s and 1940’s, which includes the re-introduction of fruit trees and vegetable varieties that were in the gardens at the time.

Unfortunately in 1946 it was established that the Churchill’s could no longer afford to live at Chartwell, so consortium of wealthy businessmen and friends that was organised by Lord Camrose purchased the estate from the Churchill’s on the condition that upon the payment of a nominal rent by Winston and Clementine, they would be permitted to live at Chartwell until their deaths after which the house would be passed to the National Trust. When Winston died in 1965, his wife decided to pass the property over to the National Trust that year and they have been maintaining the property ever since.

What’s There?

  • The house belonging to one of Britain’s finest and most charismatic leaders.
  • Memorabilia belonging to Winston Churchill lies intact within the rooms.
  • Beautiful gardens with spectacular views.
  • Buy produce from the Chartwell kitchen garden.
  • A gift shop.
  • Car park.
  • Baby change.
  • Children’s quiz and trail.

Trivia

A half finished painting by Churchill remains on the easel in the Garden studio at Chartwell.

Prices

Admission to the house, garden and studio at Chartwell is £10.60 per adult, £5.30 per child and a family ticket costs £26.50.

There is free admission for all National Trust members.

See more information on National Trust Membership.

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