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Monday, 14 May 2012

Chartwell by motorbike

Yesterday I rode the motorcycle down into Kent to see a house and garden I have been meaning to visit for years. Chartwell most well known for its previous owner rather than the splendour of the house or gardens.
Chartwell was purchased by Sir Winston Churchill in 1922, unusually without consulting his wife Clementine, for its magnificent views across the Weald of Kent.

The property and grounds, owned and managed by the National Trust, are made more interesting because of the views it borrows from the surrounding countryside, giving it a feel of a grand estate. Because of this the house, although impressive with some parts dating from the Tudor period, it does not equal the setting.

The interior of the house has 90% of the original furniture and laid out as it was during it hey-day in the 1920-30's. Some of the rooms we were able to look round were Lady Churchill's bedroom, Churchill's study, the library and a lift that was installed during Churchill's old age, paid for by Lord Beaverbrook.

The gardens comprise of a series of water-features leading into a large circular swimming pool before flowing into the lake which is home to Black Swans; terraced gardens which lead straight out onto mown parkland; a walled kitchen garden which elevates on the south-facing end up to a terrace which looks over the garden.

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