Links with prime ministers at our places

Several of the places we look after have links with prime ministers including wartime leader Winston Churchill, William Gladstone - who held the office more than any other person - and Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister, George Canning. Discover more about these statesmen, the special places they visited, campaigned in, are commemorated at, or made their homes.

The Parterre Garden at Blickling Estate, Norfolk

Blickling Estate, Norfolk

Stanley Baldwin spent three weeks at Blickling as Lord Lothian’s guest while Prime Minister during the 1936 abdication crisis. Lord Lothian was a member of the so-called ‘Cliveden Set’ and controversially entertained German Ambassador Joachim Von Ribbentrop in the 1930s. He later played an important part in encouraging America to join the Second World War.

Visitors enjoy a walk around Box Hill, Surrey, on a windy day

Box Hill, Surrey

The stepping stones over the River Mole at Box Hill were installed in 1932 but were removed during the Second World War in case of invasion. They were restored in 1946 and dedicated by the then Prime Minister, Clement Attlee. He was the first person to hold the office of Deputy Prime Minister, serving under his predecessor Winston Churchill in the wartime coalition government.

Chartwell House, Kent, as seen from woodland

Chartwell, Kent

Churchill made his home at Chartwell for over 40 years until his death in 1965 and lived there during both terms as Prime Minister. The visitors’ book records the array of people who visited him at Chartwell including the Queen Mother, US President Harry Truman and Charlie Chaplin. The house and gardens reflect his wide-ranging interests as a statesman, writer, painter and family man.

Visitors by the lake at Claremont Landscape Garden, Surrey

Claremont Landscape Garden, Surrey

Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle, bought the Claremont estate in 1714 and developed the gardens. He added the turf amphitheatre in the 1720s and commissioned the landscape gardener William Kent to update the gardens in the 1730s. Claremont was somewhere he could relax away from his official duties as Secretary of State and Prime Minister.

A boy climbs a tree at Cliveden, Buckinghamshire

Cliveden, Buckinghamshire

George Canning, Britain’s shortest-serving Prime Minister, died in 1827 after 119 days in office. He was a regular visitor at Cliveden and spent many hours under a giant oak tree in the grounds looking out at the view of the River Thames. The spot is named Canning's View after him. The oak tree fell down in 2004 but the view to the river still remains.

The Saloon at Hatchlands Park, Surrey

Hatchlands Park, Surrey

Four-time Victorian Prime Minister William Gladstone was great friends with Stuart Rendel of Hatchlands Park and it was on Gladstone’s recommendation that Rendel became a peer. Their friendship was sealed by the marriage of Rendel’s daughter Maud to Gladstone’s son Herbert. Another link to Gladstone can be found near Beddgelert in Snowdonia. Gladstone officially opened the Watkin Path up Snowdon in 1892 and is commemorated at Gladstone Rock.

Pilgrim’s Cross at the Stubbins Estate and Holcombe Moor

Holcombe Moor, Lancashire

The Peel Tower on Holcombe Hill was built in 1852 and commemorates Sir Robert Peel, Prime Minister from 1834 to 1835 and again from 1841 to 1846. Peel created the Metropolitan Police Force and the term ‘bobbies’ was coined in tribute to him. He was born in Bury, Lancashire, near to Holcombe Moor.

Disraeli memorabilia including medals at Hughenden Manor, Buckinghamshire

Hughenden, Buckinghamshire

Benjamin Disraeli, Queen Victoria’s favourite Prime Minister, lived at Hughenden from 1848 to 1881. His political career is evident in his study, which features a red dispatch box, and his writing life in the extensive library. Disraeli also loved the outdoors and tripled the size of the parkland on the estate during his time at Hughenden.

View of the North Front of Ickworth, Suffolk, framed by autumn leaves

Ickworth, Suffolk

Frederick Hervey inherited the half-built house at Ickworth without the benefit of his father’s fortune who disapproved of his choice of wife. Despite his lack of wealth he succeeded in completing his father’s architectural vision, including the impressive Rotunda. He was named 1st Marquess of Bristol in 1826 by his brother-in-law Robert Jenkinson, Lord Liverpool, the then Prime Minister.

Newtown Estuary, Isle of Wight, with boats and the old sea wall

Newtown Old Town Hall, Isle of Wight

Newtown was represented by two MPs from Elizabethan times until 1832 when the Reform Act meant it lost its right to elect MPs. Elections were held in the Town Hall. Among those who represented Newtown include George Canning who became Prime Minister. He died in 1827 just 119 days after taking office, making him the shortest-serving British Prime Minister.