The kitchen garden at Chartwell

Visitors in garden at Chartwell Kent

As a large country house, Chartwell almost certainly always had a kitchen garden to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to the family. A productive kitchen garden was certainly mentioned in the sale particulars when Churchill bought the house in 1922 but was probably cited where the croquet lawn now lies.

Churchill the gardener

The present kitchen garden dates from the mid 1920s when the surrounding brick wall was built. Churchill was an enthusiastic amateur bricklayer and a plaque on these walls states 'The greater part of this wall was built between the years 1925 & 1932 by Winston with his own hands'.
 

Self-sufficiency

The kitchen garden provided an essential and practically self-sufficient source of produce for the Churchill family and stock was often sent to Churchill's London home for Mrs Georgina Landemare, the family cook to use.
 

Reinstating the garden

The area fell into disrepair during the war but then accelerated once more when Churchill retired from office in 1955. The Trust stepped in further when a master plan was prepared to reinstate the kitchen garden in 2003 using old diaries from Churchill's last Head Gardener Victor Vincent as well as invoices and paintings as guides.
 

Stunning produce

The area today is as magnificent as it has ever been and undoubtedly one of the jewels in the Chartwell garden crown. It remains a working kitchen garden and now supplies the Chartwell café with fresh produce.