Chartwell's digitised Visitors Book
Chartwell’s Visitors Book is one of the most unique items in the Chartwell collection. It tracks the large number of visitors who stayed at Chartwell as well as the prominent visitors who met the Churchill family at home between April 1924 and October 1964.
With thanks to the continued success of the Churchill’s Chartwell Appeal, from Friday 27 September, a brand-new interactive version of the Visitors Book will be available for visitors to see, use and explore.
This interactive display helps show off this fascinating book in new ways, giving a glimpse into the famous friends, family and faces who visited Chartwell over the years and signed this unique historic record.
" Exploring who visited, and when, gives a unique insight into the Churchills’ family life away from the public eye and makes this document arguably the single most important record of their private life in existence."
From The Queen Mother to Charlie Chaplin and British suffragette Christabel Pankhurst, the Visitors Book is filled with significant names from history.
Since 2017, 16 volunteers have been involved in carrying out the thorough research into 2,361 signatures, from 773 visitors who signed the book.
Having begun with 132 signatures deemed ‘indecipherable’ extensive research has allowed Chartwell to identify 116, leaving the team with just 15 mysteries still to unravel.
" Thanks to the help of our volunteers, visitors to Chartwell can now explore the lives of those that came before them in much more exciting ways than would have been possible using the book alone."
When the volunteers started their research, there were 132 names that couldn’t be deciphered but they have managed to identify almost all of them.
This would not have been possible without the success of the Churchill’s Chartwell Appeal. Major funders are the National Lottery Heritage Fund with other generous donations from The Royal Oak Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation, National Trust centres and associations and private donors. The public have also been generously donating towards the project.
The three year, £7 million internationally significant project continues to show how Winston Churchill, his legacy and Chartwell remain relevant in the 21st century.