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Chartwell

Chartwell was for over forty years it was the home of Winston Churchill. He bought the property in September 1922 and lived there until shortly before his death in January 1965. In the 1930s, when Churchill was excluded from political office, Chartwell became the centre of his world. At his dining table, he gathered those who could assist his campaign against German re-armament and the British government's response of appeasement; in his study, he composed speeches and wrote books; in his garden, he built walls, constructed lakes and painted.


During WWII Chartwell was largely unused, the Churchills returning after he lost the 1945 election. In 1953, when again PM, the house became Churchill's refuge when he suffered a devastating stroke. In October 1964, he left for the last time, dying at his London home, 28 Hyde Park Gate, on 24 January 1965.


The origins of the estate reach back to the 14th century; in 1382 the property, then called Well-street, was sold by William-at-Well. It passed through various owners and in 1836 was auctioned, as a substantial, brick-built manor. 


In 1946, when financial constraints forced Churchill to again consider selling Chartwell, it was acquired by the National Trust with funds raised by a consortium of Churchill's friends, on condition that the Churchills retain a life-tenancy. After Churchill's death, Lady Churchill surrendered her lease on the house and it was opened to the public by the Trust in 1966.

Lady Churchill never liked the place.