The lakes

The grounds from the largest lake at Chartwell © Nigel Dicker

The grounds from the largest lake at Chartwell

One of the reasons Churchill bought Chartwell was for the water feature he could create. The lake already existed but in 1924 a dam was built to create the upper lake. These were camouflaged by brush wood to reduce the risk of bombing raids during the wars. Thankfully they now offer majestic views and provide a home for wildlife.

Our kitchen garden

Some of our produce growing nicely in the kitchen garden © Caroline Boldt

Some of our produce growing nicely in the kitchen garden

Churchill himself built some of the walls of the kitchen garden at a rate of 90 bricks per hour. The garden produced fruit and vegetables for all his homes including 10 Downing Street. After a state of disrepair the kitchen garden was recreated in 2004 and now provides the Chartwell café with fresh produce.

The head gardeners pick

The majority of apples you'll find in the Chartwell orchard, beside the studio, are cooking apples like 'Bramley's Seedling' and 'Newton Wonder.' As we turn towards autumn you can see a bountiful crop of juicy red-green apples - a reward for all our judicious pruning. Keep an eye out for the 'Winston' apple.

Rock garden

The Rock Garden at Chartwell

This feature caught Lady Churchill's eye at the Chelsea Flower Show in 1948. She liked it so much the designer Gavin Jones gave it to her and only paid for the transport.

Marlborough Pavillion

marlborough pavillion

Created in 1927 at the request of Lady Churchill and painted with murals depicting the 1704 Battle of Blenheim in Germany. The battle was led by the Duke of Marlborough, Sir Winston Churchill's ancestor.

Cherished pets

The graves of some of Churchill’s beloved pets

Winston Churchill was a great lover of animals and he buried some of the cherished family pets right here at Chartwell. Rufus I and Rufus II were brown poodles and you can visit the grave of the very first Jock of Chartwell.

Garden tours

A volunteer leading a garden tour at Ightham Mote

We run garden tours weekdays at 2pm. Starting at the Marlborough pavilion the tour visits each aspect of the Chartwell garden highlighting some fascinating features all handled by a team of dedicated volunteers. Check at the visitor centre for availability or find one of our blackboards.

Floral fixtures

The Japanese cedar

The 160 year old Crypotomeria Japonica © Henry Jarvis

The Crypotomeria Japonica was planted in 1852 only 10 years after its introduction to the UK, and that was all thanks to John Campbell Colquhoun's connections with Kew Garden. When owned by the Churchill's this tree became a favourite one for climbing.

The golden rose walk

The Golden Rose Walk at Chartwell © Jon Primmer

This was a gift from Churchill's children in 1958 for Winston and Clementine's Golden Wedding Anniversary in September. The sundial was added later and the inscription was suggested to Lady Churchill by travel writer and anthropologist Freya Stark.

Churchill's hobbies

  • The swimming pool at Chartwell © Jon Primmer


    The heated pool was built in the 1937 drought. It was filled at night after locals ran out of water.

  • Fancy a game of croquet at Chartwell? © Henry Jarvis


    Originally a tennis court for Lady Churchill, it became a croquet lawn in 1948 when the children matured.

What looks good in the garden?

  • See a bounty of apples ripening in the orchard
  • The dahlias in the cut flower bed are a welcome burst of colour
  • See the variety of clematis on the way towards the kitchen garden not only bursting with colour but that also grow interesting seed heads