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The legacy of Churchill’s Chartwell appeal

A view looking up at the house and garden at Chartwell on a spring day
The house and garden at Chartwell | © National Trust Images/Kate York

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Chartwell opening to the public, we launched a £7.1 million appeal in 2016 to acquire many of Winston Churchill’s personal objects at his family home in Kent. Now, thanks to the successful appeal, we’ve been able to open more rooms of the family home, create new exhibitions to display this unique collection, and share the breadth of Churchill’s life and character at Chartwell. Find out more about the legacy of Churchill’s Chartwell Appeal here.

Keeping Churchill at Chartwell

Chartwell is the only place in the world where objects belonging to Winston Churchill can be seen in their original domestic setting – at the very place where Churchill lived.

Churchill’s Chartwell appeal was launched in 2016, aiming to raise £7.1 million to acquire over 1,000 of Churchill’s belongings that were on long-term loan to Chartwell. In 2020 we achieved that goal, and now Chartwell is the permanent home of these precious heirlooms, many of which have international significance and are intrinsic to Churchill’s life and accomplishments.

In addition to acquiring these items, Churchill’s Chartwell appeal has enabled us to open more family rooms for you to visit, create digital experiences to enhance Chartwell’s history, and develop new interpretation to bring you closer to Churchill’s family home.

‘You may be sure that Clemmie and I will do our utmost to invest the house and gardens with every characteristic and trophy that will make it of interest in the future.’

– Sir Winston Churchill, writing to Lord Camrose from Chartwell, 1945

Support for Churchill’s Chartwell appeal

When we launched the ‘Churchill’s Chartwell’ appeal in 2016, we raised £7.1 million thanks to a £3.45 million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), in addition to support from the Royal Oak Foundation, The Lindbury Trust, The Wolfson Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation and the David Webster Charitable Trust.

It’s also thanks to the support of National Trust members, supporter groups, visitors, private donors and members of the public that we were able to keep Churchill’s collection at home. Thank you for your support.

A close-up image of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt medallion on display at Chartwell
Franklin Delano Roosevelt medallion on display at Chartwell | © National Trust Images/Kate York

Top items in the collection

Following the appeal, we were able to secure many unique and interesting items to display at Chartwell. These include Churchill’s Nobel Prize in Literature, Chartwell Visitors Book, 12 freedom awards and 48 medallions.

More personal items include the speech box where Churchill stored notes for his famous speeches, 898 inscribed books, the House of Commons 80th birthday book and many personal souvenirs.

Things to see at Chartwell

Open on permanent display

Explore the lives of the Churchill children

Open on permanent display, the Sitting Room Annexe explores the lives of the Churchill children and their experiences and memories of Chartwell. With replica items such as a tennis racquet, ballet shoes and a gramophone displayed in the room, the Sitting Room Annexe reveals snippets of family life at Chartwell, from Sarah playing music too loudly to Randolph and his accounts of how he was encouraged to pursue tennis from Clementine, herself an avid player. 

Interpretation in the Ante Room at Chartwell, with a Churchill family tree and television screen
A new display in the Ante Room | © National Trust Images/Kate York
A pair of handle-less wooden hairbrushes with Winston Churchill's initials inscribed on them on a wooden counter top at Chartwell in Kent

Chartwell's collections

Explore the objects and works of art we care for at Chartwell on the National Trust Collections website.

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