Westerham, Kent

Dating back to the 16th century when King Henry VIII was rumored to have stayed here while courting Anne Boleyn at nearby Hever Castle, it was rebuilt in 1923-24 by its most famous residents, Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) and his wife Lady Clementine (1885-1977), who lived here for forty years. Churchill bought it from the Campbell-Colquhoun family for £5,000 owing to its poor state of repair. He then employed architect Philip Tilden to bring into the 20th century, spending a further £18,000 in the process. Set amid beautiful gardens with lakes and sited at 650-feet above sea level, the house commands a magnificent view over the Weald of Kent. Churchill said, "I bought Chartwell for that view". Despite defeating Hitler, Churchill lost the General Election of 1945 and became concerned about the expense of maintaining the estate....

This house is best associated with...

Sir Winston Churchill

Rt. Hon. Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain


Clementine Ogilvy Hozier

Lady Clementine (Hozier) Churchill, Baroness Spencer-Churchill


Lady Camrose and various friends came to his rescue, raising money which they donated to the National Trust that then allowed the Trust to purchase Chartwell for £43,800. Alleviated of their financial concerns, the Churchills were now able to remain at their beloved home in return of paying £350 a year in rent. After Winston died in 1965, Clementine relinquished all her rights to Chartwell and it was opened to the public the following year. It remains one of the National Trust's most popular destinations. 

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Contributed by Mark Meredith on 30/03/2020 and last updated on 30/03/2020.
Images Courtesy of BVI4092, CC, Flickr


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