Bought by Winston Churchill in 1922, Chartwell was his home from 1924 for 40 years.
The setting obsessed him instantly: a shallow valley enclosed to the west by Crockham Hill, to the east by Toys Hill, both covered in ancient beech trees. In the valley was a lake fed by the Chart Well, from which the house set into the western hillside took its name. Most important to Churchill was the panoramic view south over the calm landscape of the Weald of Kent.
Churchill hired Philip Tilden to change the house into his home. An eighteenth-century wooden doorcase, bought from Thomas Crowther, a London antique dealer, frames the front door. A completely new wing was added. This contains three of the largest and most beautiful rooms in the house. On the top floor is a barrel-vaulted bedroom for Clementine; below is the long Drawing Room; and below that the Dining Room, a full storey lower than the ground floor on the west front because of the sharply sloping site.
Churchill’s study is where he worked on five budgets as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1924 to 1929. The study is furnished with the mahogany table inherited from his father, the long lectern at which he favoured to work standing up, a perpetual movement clock, the Union Flag raised in Rome on 5 June 1944, and other items of interest, including many family photographs.
On view to visitors are the Hall and Lobby, Drawing Room, Inner Hall, The Library, Sitting Room, The Staircase, The First Floor Corridor, Lady Churchill’s Bedroom, the Ante-Room (china, medals and other memorabilia on display), the Landing, Museum and Uniform Rooms (originally guest rooms, now display photographs and documents, gifts and awards, uniforms and robes) and the Study, Dining Room, Kitchen, and Exhibition describing Churchill’s public and private life. The home is filled with paintings, pictures, sculptures, ceramics and antique furniture.
In the garden there are many fascinating and beautiful areas to explore. Among these are:
The Rose Garden
The garden was laid out by Clementine Churchill: paths dived it into four with beds of hybrid tea roses.
Golden Rose Walk
This garden was created in 1958 as a golden wedding present to the Churchills from their children.
The Croquet Lawn
A yew hedge lines the path to the Croquet Lawn that replaced the tennis court.
An archway flanked by Solomon’s seal and hostas leads to the apple and pear Orchard.
The Butterfly House Walk
Clementine planted the borders here with buddleias to encourage the butterflies which Churchill loved to see in the garden.
The car park is open for countryside access throughout the year (except 25 Dec) – there can be conservation work going on in some garden areas.
There is a NT shop with licence to sell alcohol. Plant sales also take place.
Dogs are allowed on short leads in the gardens.
Free parking with year-round opening.
There are baby-changing facilities; hip-carrying infant seats for loan; children's quiz/trail.
The licensed restaurant is in car park. A children's menu is available.
Opening times (please check before visiting)
Mapleton Road, Westerham, Kent TN16 1PS
Tel: 01732 866368 (Infoline)
Monday to Sunday 09:00 - 17:00
Bank Holiday 09:00 - 17:00
Shop and garden
31 Oct–23 Dec 07 11–4
26 Dec–28 Feb 08 11–3
Disclaimer: The information on this leisure attraction was presented with the best of intentions. Any reported errors will be corrected immediately. People interested in contacting the above leisure attraction should confirm for themselves the accuracy of any data presented.
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015