House

The dining room

The dining room at Chartwell © National Trust

The dining room at Chartwell

The room became a new addition to the Victorian house in the 1920s and received an extensive makeover by Lady Clementine to take in the views of the garden and given a rustic country feel to reflect the outside. The family didn't entertain on a grand scale, this is where Sir Winston Churchill would sit down to meals with close friends and family.

The library

The library at Chartwell © National Trust

The library at Chartwell

Churchill's secretaries and researches used the library more than he did and was stacked full of books for reference when Sir Winston Churchill was writing. Don't miss the relief model of the British Mulberry Harbour in Normandy put in to action in the second World War as part of the D-Day landings to help in the rapid offloading of cargo.

The study

The study at Chartwell © National Trust

The study at Chartwell

The study is the oldest part of the house and Winston Churchill's workshop for over 40 years where he conceived much of his vast literary output, worked on 5 budgets as Chancellor of the Exchequer and planned, wrote and rehearsed his speeches. The couple slept separately and originally this was where Churchill slept in a four-poster bed before moving in to the room behind.

The biographical exhibition

Chartwell’s winter exhibition always explores a new topic

The space houses a number of exciting never before seen mementos belonging to the family.

Focusing on five aspects of Winston Churchill's life, the exhibition takes you through his childhood,political career, home life, artistry and military training.

It's who you know

The Visitors' Book found in the hall is turned about 3 times a year. From it we can see the array of people who visited Churchill. The Queen Mother paid Chartwell a visit as did President Harry Truman. Charlie Chaplin visited but Winston Churchill's children didn't believe it was him until he did the iconic walk in the hall.

Fun facts just for you

The charm of Chartwell

Chartwell © Charlotte Ruddock

In 1922, Winston Churchill paid £5,000 for the house and its 80 acres. He took the children to see it before he made a decision but initially did not tell his wife Clementine he'd bought it. She was appalled and considered the place a financial drain, it took her many years to warm to Chartwell.

Shooting practice

The front door at Chartwell © Jonathan Primmer

Winston's son Randolph used the front door for shooting practice. We can see that Winston himself also showed off his own skills with evidence on the door.

A Tudor tryst

The study at Chartwell © National Trust

Tree ring analysis of the roof timbers and beams in rooms like the study date the house between 1515 and 1546. It's possible Henry VIII may have stayed at Chartwell while courting Anne Boleyn who lived at nearby Hever Castle.

The golden winkle

A golden winkle belonging to Sir Winston Churchill © Jon Primmer

A golden winkle belonging to Sir Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Churchill became a member of the Winkle Club in 1955, an all-male club known for its charity work  especially for impoverished children. Members carried a winkle and were challenged to 'winkle up', failure to present their winkle incurred a fine which was donated to charity.

Sign of respect

A sparkling gift from General Charles de Gaulle to Lady Churchill © Jon Primmer

A sparkling gift from General Charles de Gaulle to Lady Churchill

The Lalique French cockerel was presented to Lady Churchill by President de Gaulle. Churchill and de Gaulle had a rather tense relationship during the war and found it difficult to get on, they did however generate a great respect for each other as this gift shows.

Object of the month

Japanese cigar box given to Churchill by the President of Japan © Jonathan Primmer

Japanese cigar box given to Churchill by the President of Japan

Here the background behind some of our treasured items here at Chartwell from the people that know them best; our volunteers. Each month one of our passionate room guides will highlight one of their favourite pieces from the collection

Meet the man of the house

Jock VI has made himself very much as home at Chartwell. He likes to come and go as he pleases and carries on the request made by Churchill himself that a cat called Jock should always live at Chartwell.

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