Chartwell

Mapleton Rd Westerham Kent TN16 1PS

Situated in a beautiful position overlooking the hills of the Weald just outside Westerham in Kent, Chartwell is an ordinary – some might almost say ugly – house. It was the surrounding views that persuaded Winston Churchill to buy the house in 1922, and he lived here from 1924 until his death in 1965. It's a large property, now owned by the National Trust; rather shockingly Churchill had no option but to sell it in 1946 in return for the financial help he needed to run it at the time (having just seen the country through the horrors of the Second World War, that must have left a bitter taste). Despite that, Churchill was supremely happy at Chartwell ('a day away from Chartwell is a day wasted', he is reputed to have said, although during the war he and his wife Clementine were obliged to relocate to secret locations in London for safety's sake), and it has the warm and relaxed feel of a much-loved and well-used family home rather than the seat of a statesman. 

You can view Churchill's studio, full of the paintings he churned out when relaxing away from more weighty concerns, his study, and main living quarters of the house, as well as the gardens, which stretch away down the hill, and where the ever-busy Winston indulged his other hobby – bricklaying.

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