The dining room
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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