Westerham - Chartwell House (Kent)
|It is difficult to think of a more appropriate place for a strong and steadfast tree than Chartwell House in Westerham. Chartwell was the family home of Winston Churchill from 1922 until his death in 1965. The house is situated 2 miles south of Westerham in Kent off the B2026 road.
Churchill loved the house, and its marvellous view over the Weald of Kent. He and his wife Clementine did much to improve what was originally a rather gloomy old Victorian place. He created new lakes, and built robust brick walls with his own hands.
More importantly, though, the gardens are home to two marvellous Giant Redwood trees, close to a lake. Nearby can be found a number of young Dawn Redwood trees, with a Swamp Cypress also just a few yards away. An interesting point to note is how similar these two types of trees appear. A close inspection is needed to tell them apart, but the decisive difference is in the arrangement of the tiny leaflets. The leaflets are opposing on the Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), but are alternately spaced on the Swamp Cypress (Taxodium distichum).
The grounds are also home to another peculiar tree, the Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica). This tree has foliage that is a little like the Giant Redwood, and the largest example at Chartwell has an overall shape and appearance deceptively like a young Giant Redwood as well.
|Common Names and Latin Name||No.||Latitude and Longitude||OS National Grid||Elevation
|Dawn Redwood |
|TQ 45642 51587||145ft |
|TQ 45649 51577||144ft |
|TQ 45659 51578||142ft |
|TQ 45662 51573||140ft |
|Giant Redwood |
|TQ 45664 51430||142ft |
|TQ 45655 51436||140ft |
|TQ 45672 51423||135ft |
|TQ 45688 51422||136ft |
|Girth was measured at 1.5m from ground.|