New campaign to save Churchill’s Chartwell legacy

Sir Winston Churchill, Chartwell
Sir Winston Churchill's desk in the study of his Chartwell home. Credit: National Trust/Ciaran McCrickard Photography

The National Trust has launched a £7.1m fundraising campaign to secure Sir Winston Churchill’s possessions in situ at his home, Chartwell, in Kent.

Chartwell Studio
Chartwell Studio. Credit: National Trust/James Dobson

The National Trust today launches a £7.1 million fundraising campaign to reinvigorate the legacy of one the greatest leaders of the 20th century, Sir Winston Churchill, at his beloved home, Chartwell, in Kent.

The great statesman’s former family home welcomes more than 230,000 visitor a year and offers a uniquely personal glimpse into the private life of Churchill, whose image and reputation still holds international significance. 

Now, the National Trust is now seeking to acquire hundreds of historic and personal objects –including precious heirlooms – that belonged to Churchill at Chartwell to create a new interpretation across the property to ensure his legacy for future generations. There will also be increased access to the collections and the opening of family rooms that have never before seen.

Sir Winston Churchill, Chartwell
Sir Winston Churchill’s desk in the study of his Chartwell home. Credit: National Trust/Ciaran McCrickard Photography

Among the objects to be bought are his Nobel Prize in Literature, awarded to Churchill in 1953 primarily for his oratory and iconic speeches, many of which were composed at his Chartwell home, and a House of Commons birthday book, an illuminated book in green leather was signed by almost every member of the House of Commons and presented to him on his 80th birthday in 1954.

Katherine Barnett, Chartwell’s house and collections manager says: “The collection at Chartwell tells us about Sir Winston Churchill the man. It is crucial that we do all we can to ensure these heirlooms stay here where he hoped they would remain.

 The House of Commons Birthday Book, Churchill, Chartwell
The House of Commons Birthday Book. Credit: National Trust/John Hammond

“A successful appeal will not only allow us to secure these items but will enable us to tell Churchill’s story in new and dynamic ways as part of our wider plans for Chartwell so that one of our greatest Britons remains accessible to people of all ages.”

Chartwell opened to the public in 1966 and retains the feeling of a relaxed family home, reflecting Sir Winston’s passions and interests while also charting his career and political achievements.

Churchill, Chartwell
Churchill’s many medals on display at Chartwell. Credit: National Trust/John Hammond

Churchill bought Chartwell as a home for his family in 1922 after he fell in love with the breath-taking views across the Weald of Kent.  It was a place to work, paint, write and entertain friends away from the pressures of political life in London, and became a place of pleasure and happiness for more than 40 years.

The Trust would like to raise the money by January 2017 and the objects can be seen in situ at Chartwell. Visit here to find out more about the campaign. 

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