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
Churchill himself built some of the walls to 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 snowdrop is a fantastic early spring flower that gives a nod to the riot of colour you can later expect at Chartwell. Not only that but if you can get close enough you'll discover that they are deliciously honey-scented too. You'll find them in shady spots around Chartwell so start looking under trees in the orchard and in front of the house.
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.
The Japanese cedar
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
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.
The heated pool was built in the 1937 drought. It was filled at night after locals ran out of water.
Originally a tennis court for Lady Churchill, it became a croquet lawn in 1948 when the children matured.
What looks good in the garden?
- Visit us this season and see some signs of spring with our snowdrops and crocuses providing some colour this 2015.
- There are already some early camellias braving the elements but also keep a watch for our daffodils.