One of the reasons Churchill bought Chartwell was for the potential water feature he could create. The lower lake already existed when he bought the property but in 1924 a dam was built to create the upper lake.
The lakes were camouflaged by brush wood to reduce the risk of bombing raids during the wars but they now offer majestic views and provide a home for wildlife.
This feature caught Lady Churchill's eye at the Chelsea Flower Show in 1948. She liked it so much the designer Gavin Jones gave it to her as a gift and she only paid for the transport.
Starting at the Marlborough pavilion the 2pm tour visits each aspect of the Chartwell garden highlighting some fascinating features all handled by a team of dedicated volunteers.
Check at the visitor centre for availability or find one of our blackboards throughout the garden.
Churchill’s swimming pool and croquet lawn
Swimming was one of Churchill’s many pastimes and so he constructed his very own heated pool within the grounds. In the early years, the Churchills used the lakes for swimming until the oval concrete pool was consructed in the 1930s. With his usual thoroughness, Churchill took the advice from his scientist friend, Lindemann, on the amount of water needed to fill it and from a chemist on the correct chemicals to keep it clean.
The croquet lawn was originally a tennis court for Lady Churchill but was transformed after the war to allow croquet to be played over it. Churchill only played the game occassionally, but when he did play he used to wield the croquet mallet single-handed like the polo stick with which he had become expert as a young man.