The Kent Website since 1999
Chartwell House near Westerham in Kent is more than just a place where Winston Churchill happened to live. It was the Churchill family home, a retreat, refuge and even a source of great inspiration for the Churchills until Sir Winston's death in the mid 1960s.
This is the Yourcounty short guide to the attraction, if you've been to Chartwell or have some anecdotes that you can add to our own feature then we'd like to hear from you. Our contact details are at the foot of the page. If you're looking for more suggestions of places to visit in and around Kent check out our Discover Kent page, an insider's guide to Kent tourism and tourist attractions.
Chartwell was purchased in 1922, shortly afterwards the Churchil's engaged the services of Philip Tilden the architect to simplify and modernise the building. It remained their home for 40 years, save during the war years when it was felt not to be a good security risk for the PM and his family to stay so close to the Kent coast. When the great man died in 1965, Lady Churchill handed the house and grounds over to the National Trust. To this day the establishment bears the stamp of the ex Prime Minister and his family. There are countless objects on display that recall the career of one of the most important figures of the 20th century. The exhibits are a mix of the effects of state and the personal possessions of a complex and in some respects private man. Amongst the things you could see at the time of writing are: Churchill's passport, the diamond encrusted sword given as a gift of King Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, a miniature leather travelling globe, a Union Jack car rug and even his pet poodle Rufus's dog bowl.
House & Collections Manager at Chartwell, Alice Martin, said of the collection
"We are thrilled to be able to offer visitors this unique opportunity to see close-up such personal items that have never been on public display in this country.
"My particular favourite is Sir Winston's passport. I welled up when I first handled it. It's such an evocative object. We all have a passport but they don't list our birthplace as Blenheim Palace and occupation as Prime Minister!"
A visit to Chartwell pulls back the layers on this multi faceted wartime Prime Minister. The building houses a studio which holds a significant collection of Winston's own paintings.
The full scope of the artefacts pull together every aspect of the Churchill's life at Chartwell: toys, uniforms, furniture, gifts and a lifetime of mementos are displayed in the rooms; many appearing to have been left casually by the house's former occupants.
Surrounding the main buildings is an estate of some significance that encompasses woodlands and meadows. The scenic, gently undulating countryside offers family walks, den building and opportunities to enjoy the exhilarating outdoors in all seasons.
The house is open from March to November 11am to 5pm. The grounds, gardens, shop and restaurant have different open hours and times, see the National Trust website for more information.
The address is:
We make every effort to ensure our content is accurate and relevant however things do change so if you find anything in need of change or updating do get in touch. If you've been to Chartwell or have some information about Churchill and his connection to Kent please let us know.If you'd like to recommend a local tourist attraction, beauty spot or place of interest we'd welcome your comments. Please see our disclaimer.
"It's hard to imagine a place with more importance to anyone who understands anything about the need to overcome tyranny. The things you can see there are really wondrous. I think every schoolchild in Kent should be encouraged to go. E T Dymchurch"
Something for everyone
Kent is as beautiful as it is diverse, within its boundaries there exists a rich range of things to do and places to see. Outstanding natural beauty, a rich history, sites of world wide cultural and religious importance, sensational beaches, ancient woodlands, the list is endless. The point being; if you are looking for a day out Kent can offer something to suit every pocket and taste.
Disclaimer & feedback
This feature has been checked and edited but if you feel there is an error or omission let us know.In common with all our pages, this is a feature under development, changes will occur from time to time. We take care over our content but we're happy to correct errors, please see our disclaimer. If you wish to suggest somewhere worth visiting in Kent please let us know.
Your comments matter
This is a website formed, produced and published in Kent. By endorsing any one of the features in this section you will draw the attention of our audience to somewhere well worth a visit. In this way you can play a part in promoting the best Kent has to offer. We welcome feedback on all local tourism issues not just those connected to places to visit.