New room openings coming soon at Chartwell...

Churchill's bedroom

In September 2016 our Keep Churchill at Chartwell appeal was launched with the aim of raising £7.1 million to secure many of Churchill's belongings for the nation. In addition to securing objects in the collection, money raised from the appeal will also enable new rooms and spaces to be opened by 2020. These spaces include...

Churchill's bathroom at Chartwell, a National Trust property in Kent

Churchill's bedroom and bathroom

Perhaps the most private space in the house was Churchill's bedroom. The bedroom walls are adorned with family portraits and personal photographs, whilst his hairbrush lays on the bedroom table as if he had just placed it there. The room even has an en suite bathroom which will also be opened up to our visitors in the future. Both rooms will be opened by tour only, due to the confined space; more information will become available as our project progresses.

The Secretaries Room at Chartwell, a National Trust property in Kent

The Secretaries Room

Once a hive of activity, the Secretaries Room was where Churchill's dedicated staff fielded calls from key political figures and produced endless correspondence. This room was quite possibly the organisational hub of Chartwell and saw the production of many of his books and articles for which he received international acclaim.

When will the rooms be opened to visitors?

By 2020 the rooms that have never been seen before by the public will be opened, as part of a phased programme. The openings will take time as our team will be working alongside specialists, researching and gathering stories of how these rooms where used by the Churchill family. There is also work to be done on the conservation and decoration of the rooms.

Why do we need to fundraise to open these new spaces?

The ‘new’ rooms are all different and require different levels of conservation and redecoration. Part of the fundraising money will help us to conserve, prepare and dress these rooms for public viewing and develop appropriate interpretation for each space.

We want to use new technologies, audio, news footage, and oral recordings of staff as well as Churchill himself to bring new life to the stories and interpretation. We will research and recreate the Secretaries room as it was in the 1950s based on our archive photographs of that time and also refresh the Churchill story in his studio through new interpretation to tell his passion for painting.

Why have these rooms not been opened to visitors before?

The rooms currently open to the public were chosen in the 1960s by the Churchill family and the National Trust. They reflected the interest of the time, with the focus being on those family rooms used by Sir Winston and Lady Churchill.

Churchill’s bedroom and bathroom were closed off on the wishes of the Churchill family due to the personal nature of the spaces. However, towards the end of her life Lady Soames, Churchill’s youngest daughter who passed away in 2014, felt that times had changed and these spaces could now be enjoyed by visitors.

Today, we and the Churchill family believe that it is important to give a fuller picture of how the Churchills’ children and grandchildren lived at and enjoyed Chartwell. We want to show and explain how Churchill was supported by a team of dedicated staff in his work and home-life. These spaces will enable us to do this.