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Peter Harrington

Winston S. Churchill.

Churchill’s desk from his Hyde Park Gate home.


The desk of Winston Churchill, from his London home in Hyde Park Gate. The desk was part of his private office, used in his post-war political career and while writing his Second World War memoirs. This office was afterwards repurposed as his personal bedroom, and the desk was next to him when he died there.

Included is a letter of provenance signed by Anthony Montague Browne: “I was Private Secretary to Sir Winston Churchill from 1952 until his death in January 1965. The double pedestal desk was originally in the downstairs Private Office at No. 28 Hyde Park Gate, which became Sir Winston’s bedroom after he broke his hip in 1963. It stood opposite his bed and on it he placed his family photographs. It was in this room that he died on January 24th 1965. After Sir Winston’s death I understand that Mr Norman Pearson purchased the desk from Lady Churchill at a valuation by Pawsey and Payne”.

Churchill and his wife moved into 28 Hyde Park Gate in October 1945. In August 1946 they purchased and expanded into Number 27. They linked the two houses to create a large office accommodation on the ground floor and basement, which could support the considerable secretariat which Churchill required to fulfil both his continuing political life as leader of the opposition and his major literary project, his memoirs The Second World War. When Churchill returned to Downing Street in 1951, the house was let to the Cuban ambassador, but they returned after Churchill’s final retirement as prime minister in 1955. For the rest of his life, Churchill spent his time split between Hyde Park Gate and his country residence at Chartwell. In 1963 the office space on the ground floor was converted into Churchill’s bedroom due to his mobility issues. In October 1964 Churchill returned to the house for the last time, and afterwards rarely ventured out until his death in the bedroom in January 1965 (see Hall, pp. 86-7).