Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2008/08/30 Chartwell: home and gardens of Sir Winston Churchill

On this visit to the UK, Martin whisked me away southeast of London.  In Kent, one of the major historic sites is Chartwell: the former home of Sir Winston Churchill.  The estate reflects the Old English meaning of chart: rough ground.

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Chartwell is operated and maintained by the National Trust.  For residents of the UK, gift aid admission enables the National Trust to reclaim some taxes on the amount.  This required a little paperwork for Martin and Nicola.

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In the countryside, the main house is surrounded by luxurious lawns and gardens.

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The house contains furnishings from the period when Churchill lived there.  Tours are given on a timed schedule.

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Photography inside the house is unfortunately not permitted.  Martin obliged to display the map laying out the interior.

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We each wandered through the exhibits at varying paces.  We found each other on the back patio before completing the tour on the lower floor.

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Beyond the flowers on the back patio is an overlook of the estate.

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For a prime minister, the house was modest.  Churchill’s capacity as a historian and author was clear from the volumes of books inside.

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Towards the back of the estate, is a gate into the Kitchen Garden.

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The Kitchen Garden has recently been restored by the National Trust.

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After viewing the studio where Churchill created his paintings, I wandered back towards the entrance to the estate.  On that side of the house is the rose garden.

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Nicola and Martin have a better appreciation and knowledge of botany than I do.

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The estate includes a swimming pool where the Churchills presumably swam.  On this unusually hot day, it might have been warm enough for non-Britons.

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The Chartwell estate is a relaxed destination for sightseeing, as well as an education in English history.

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Coming from the new world, understanding England is enhanced by understanding its past.

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