Sir Winston Churchill is an outstanding figure in England’s history and his former residences in England still attract visitors from all over the world. Apart from his successive properties in London (including Downing Street when he was Prime Minister), Sir Churchill possessed a lovely country house in Kent, which is now the property of the National Trust and open to the public.
Today, DOYOUSPEAKLONDON invits you to discover Chartwell House & Gardens, Sir Winston Churchill’s family home from 1922 until shortly before his death in January 1965.
We visited this estate on a freezing cold day… The atmosphere was quite perfect to discover Sir Winston Churchill’s quiet place!
Chartwell was Churchill’s beloved home and all the preserved objects there give us an intimate portrait of himself and his family.
Chartwell is open on a timed-entry system. You are able to book your tickets online or on the day.
It was quite fascinating to put ourselves in the shoes of Sir Winston Churchill and imagine is daily life at Chartwell.
The house seems not to have changed since his death, as the interior decorations have remained since the 1930s.
All visitors are allowed to wander through the house’s library, study, sitting room and dining room.
Chartwell is filled with gifts that Churchill received, which provide sometimes historical information, but also help us to know Sir Winston Churchill from a more personal point of view.
Sir Winston Churchill Studio
The Studio hosts the largest collection of Churchill’s paintings.
This was my favorite part of the visit: stepping into Winston Churchill’s studio at Chartwell was indeed the best way to get to know the man behind the politician.
Apparently Sir Winston Churchill had always painted landscape and scenes from his day to day life, but his hobby became a real passion after he resigned from the government in 1955. He is said to have created over 550 paintings!
It was only at the age of 41, that Winston Churchill started painting thanks to his sister-in-law, Goonie, who first encouraged him to try painting. It then became a hobby that would remain with him for the rest of his active life.
Apparently, Churchill rarely signed his paintings. He usually added his initials whenever he was about to give a painting away.
From sceneries to portraits, there are lots of paintings in this studio that show Churchill’s talents at depicting his surrounding environment. I was quite impressed by the quality of his work.
These gardens have been designed by of both Winston and Clementine Churchill.
These green spaces reflect the distinctive personalities and preferences of the Churchill couple: the pastel colours of pink and white roses favoured by Lady Churchill, the fruit and vegetables framed by the walls Sir Winston Churchill helped build.
The gardens also offer acres of woodland, a pond and wider meadows.
Wandering around, you will come across an interesting small building. This former summer house was converted into a “butterfly house” by Churchill, so that he could “raise and release his own butterflies into his garden”. This tradition still holds.
If you are looking for more activities, go online to find information regarding walking trails, art trails, or temporary exhibitions. There are different ways to enjoy the place, based on your interests in art, nature or history.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and found inspiration here. If you are planning to explore Chartwell House & Gardens soon (be aware that there is a winter closure: the house at Chartwell is closed to the public for the winter months, opening again on Saturday 29 February), please share your experience and opinion on DOYOUSPEAKLONDON’s blog!
To go further:
Chartwell House & Gardens Mapleton Rd, Westerham TN16 1PS