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Chartwell - The Family Home of Winston Churchill

Updated on April 25, 2012

Churchill's Chartwell

Chartwell is situated in the British countryside of Kent and was home to the Churchill family for 40 years. Winston Churchill, the two-time British Prime Minister first saw the property in 1921 and instantly fell in love with it. At the time he was suffering with financial problems and could not raise the £6,500 reserve price on the estate. However, in 1922 Churchill inherited money from a distant cousin and his finances were transformed. In late 1922 he bought the 80 acre estate for £5000.

Visiting Chartwell is a great family day out. Not only can you tour the house and learn the history, but there are extensive grounds for picturesque walks and picnics, as well as a pond that is home to a family of black swans.

Chartwell House
Chartwell House
Chartwell House and Garden
Chartwell House and Garden

The Chartwell estate was in disrepair when Churchill bought it, It took 2 years and £17000 to rebuild. His wife Clementine decorated the house in a 1920s style, the gardens were landscaped and the estate lake was made home to Australian Black Swans and Mandarin Ducks that had been given as gifts.

Chartwell Garden
Chartwell Garden

After Sir Winston Churchill died in 1965 his wife Clementine did not wish to continue living at Chartwell, so she relinquished the property to the National Trust. She still made several visits each year until her death in December 1977.

The National Trust now own and tend to the property which is open to the public from March to November each year. I have been lucky enough to visit this estate on more than one occasion, and it really is stunning, especially on a sunny day. The house and gardens are very much as the family left them, as requested by Clementine Churchill. Personal furniture, paintings (60 of which were painted by Churchill himself), and books are as they would have been situated when the family lived here.

There is a visitors' book on the Hall table that records the names of family and friends whom visited. Lots of Politicians, Scientists and Businessmen are noted, though the most recognisable name has to be that of film star Charlie Chaplin.

Winston Churchill's Desk
Winston Churchill's Desk

Still Imagery From Chartwell

Getting To Chartwell

A
Chartwell:
Chartwell, Mapleton Rd, Westerham, Kent TN16 1PS, UK

get directions

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    • MJFenn profile image

      MJFenn 

      6 years ago

      Chartwell should be a top priority place to visit, for travellers spending some time in Great Britain. I have visited Chartwell myself: a most rewarding experience.

    • moonbun profile imageAUTHOR

      Luna Fae 

      10 years ago from UK

      I do agree, it was his strength of character that made the difference.

      Can't say that I have seen any uncanny likeness between my friend and Churchill, he does however own some amazing first editions of Churchill's work. Thanks to christening presents!

    • solarshingles profile image

      solarshingles 

      10 years ago from london

      Moonbun, your friend's christening right after the funeral of Sir WC sounds so symbolic and rather amazing! (Have you managed to find any correlation in friend's behavior?)

      I found out, that as a foreigner in England I am constantly fighting(protecting) about the reputation and the real value of Sir WC for the success of the Battle for Britain, even though I was speaking with Oxbridge educated men on quite high positions in British society. At the age of 8yo I've started to 'eat-read' all possible literature about A.Hitler and Nazism, Socialism/Communism and V.I.Lenin, Stalin, WWII, Battle for Britain, air hero Douglas Bader, Japan in WWII, Project Manhattan, etc. I was reading communist books about west, western books about east, books of Catholic Church as the greatest world knowledge holder about both...

      It sounds very silly, but I believe, that one of Sir Winston's greatest enemies was his own Parliament, due to the high level of British democracy. Luckily, he'd made his own mind.

      He struggled immensely to drag US into the WWII...sacrificed his own family ...luckily, his ultra complicated plan, yet based on the common people in his own service who surrounded him, succeeded.

    • moonbun profile imageAUTHOR

      Luna Fae 

      10 years ago from UK

      I couldn't agree more about the great man. Good mantra to have too! I have a random fact relating to Churchill which is, I have a friend who was christened in St Paul's right after Winston Churchill's funeral. Right after!

    • solarshingles profile image

      solarshingles 

      10 years ago from london

      Truly wonderful hub! I admire Sir Winston Churchill and his work considering WWII. I believe, that only his terrible persistence, wide political experience and his intelligent mind had managed to preserve this great land as England. I find myself repeating his words so many times: 'Never, never, never give up!'

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