Home Churchill 'walked around while planning D-Day' for sale for £3m

Fine D-Day for a stroll in the garden: Georgian home that Churchill is said to have walked around while plotting Normandy landings hits market for £3m

  • This stunning country residence, located in Droxford, Hampshire, has a rich history which dates back to 1714
  • Previous custodians of the property include 19th century Royal Navy Admiral Admiral Henry Keppel
  • In June 1944, Churchill used Droxford railway station, which was just a short walk from the home, as his base 

An 18th century property nestled in the village where Winston Churchill planned the D-Day Normandy landings along with other world leaders could be yours for just over £3M.

This stunning country residence, named Waterside and located in Droxford, Hampshire, has a rich history which dates back to 1714, when it was built during the Georgian period. 

Previous custodians of the property include 19th century Royal Navy Admiral Admiral Henry Keppel and a former aide to Cecil Rhodes – who was the Prime Minister of the Cape Colony in South Africa in 1890. 

The current owners have also discovered tunnels underneath the property that were used to keep stable hands out of sight from the house and grounds. 

In June 1944, in the days leading up to the Normandy landings, Prime Minister Winston Churchill used armoured siding at Droxford railway station, which was just a short walk from the home, as his top secret base during preparations.

There, he met General Charles de Gaulle, the then leader of Free France, along with US General Dwight Eisenhower as the plans progressed for the decisive invasion.

When in Duxford, Churchill is believed to have walked through Waterside’s grounds along with other officials after its then owner, Captain Jock Bruce, made the home available to Government figures.  

An 18th century property nestled in the village where Winston Churchill planned the D-Day Normandy landings along with other world leaders could be yours for just over £3M

This stunning country residence, located in Droxford, Hampshire, has a rich history which dates back to 1714, when it was built during the Georgian period

This stunning country residence, located in Droxford, Hampshire, has a rich history which dates back to 1714, when it was built during the Georgian period

Based in an armoured train parked in the sidings at Droxford and obscured by beech trees, Churchill met with numerous ministers, military commanders and leaders of allied nations.

The secret train was codenamed ‘Rugged’ and it served as the Prime Minister’s mobile headquarters – a Downing Street, Chequers and Whitehall bunker on wheels.

Free French leader Charles de Gaulle was informed of the Normandy invasion plans by Churchill and Anthony Eden, the foreign secretary, at Droxford on June 4.  

A telegram marked ‘Top Secret’ was sent by Churchill to General de Gaulle, writing: ‘Welcome to these shores! Very great military events are about to take place.

‘I should be glad if you could come to see me down here in my train, which is close to General Eisenhower’s Headquarters, bringing with you one or two of your party.’

Churchill had chosen the station as a secure base, to be near the coast and to the nearby Allied command centre at Southwick House, which was just over seven miles away. 

In June 1944, in the days leading up to the Normandy landings, Prime Minister Winston Churchill used Droxford railway station, which was just a short walk from the home, as his top secret base during preparations. There, he met General Charles de Gaulle, the then leader of Free France, along with US General Dwight Eisenhower as the plans progressed for the decisive invasion

The property being sold comprises six bedrooms, five bathrooms, a drawing room, reception hall, games room and a private annexe with its own kitchen-diner. Pictured: There is also a private cinema room, which adds to the uniqueness of the property

The dining room has plenty of space in which to entertain guests and large families, making it the perfect home for someone with money to spend

At 6.58pm on 5 June, shortly before the landings were due to take place, Churchill’s train pulled out of Droxford and returned to London.

Hours later, at 16 minutes past midnight, the first Allied troops began the Normandy invasion.  

The couple who are selling Waterside said they bought a diary written by a Duxford woman who wrote that she saw Churchill and others walk through the grounds in 1944.  

The property being sold comprises six bedrooms, five bathrooms, a drawing room, reception hall, games room and a private annexe with its own kitchen-diner.

The home spans across four floors. The ground floor hosts three of bedrooms – each with their own private bathroom -, a cinema room, bespoke kitchen and inner hall.

The gardens have stunning views over Hampshire and the 3.2 acres of land include an expansive lawn that’s surrounded by shrubs and trees.

The home spans across four floors. The ground floor hosts three of bedrooms – each with their own private bathroom

The couple selling the £3million home claim to have uncovered evidence that, when in Droxford, Churchill walked through its grounds with De Gaulle and General Eisenhower. Pictured: One of the bedrooms

The home even has space for a grand piano and has been fitted with light grey carpets and patterned wallpaper

The home’s kitchen-diner boasts a wood burner and old brick fireplace and has plenty of space for a good-size table 

As with the rest of the property, the bathroom has been updated with modern furnishings, will not be to everyone’s taste

Even though it has been modernised, the home still features an impressive Victorian staircase and log burner

At the end of the garden there is a lower terrace with a tennis court, courtyard area, fountain, vegetable garden and greenhouse. There is an additional water meadow spanning across 8.7 acres beyond the stunning gardens.

Even though it has been modernised, the home still features an impressive Victorian staircase and log burner. 

It is on the market with Hamptons for £3,200,000.

‘Discreetly positioned in the heart of this charming village is this exceptional residence with Georgian origins and later Victorian additions,’ the listing reads.

‘The owners have researched the history of the house and advise they have found an Admiral of the Fleet, a High Sheriff, an aide to Cecil Rhodes and both the Army and Navy’s longest serving Active List officers have all been previous custodians.

The gardens have stunning views over Hampshire and the 3.2 acres of land include an expansive lawn that’s surrounded by shrubs and trees

At the end of the garden there is a lower terrace with a tennis court, courtyard area, fountain, vegetable garden and greenhouse. There is an additional water meadow spanning across 8.7 acres beyond the stunning gardens

‘The accommodation has undergone various permutations in its history and today functions as a comfortable and impressive country residence adapted to accommodate a self-contained staff annex on the first floor.

‘The creation of an impressive cinema room gives a modern twist to the property, whilst the original parts of the house boast elegant entertaining spaces as well as more cosy day to day living areas.

‘The majority of the formal living areas along with the kitchen command stunning views over the exquisite grounds.

‘There is a plethora of equestrian facilities on the doorstep and Corhampton Golf Club is about two miles away.’ 

The aide to Cecil Rhodes who previously owned the home was Sir Graham Bower.

The sale comes after the former Droxford Station, which is now a private home, went on sale for £1.5million. 

It was converted after the railway line which ran through Droxford was closed to passengers in 1955 and to goods seven years later.  

The sale comes after the former Droxford Station, which is now a private home, went on sale for £1.5million 

It was converted after the railway line which ran through Droxford was closed to passengers in 1955 and to goods seven years later 

Planning for D-Day: How Churchill plotted the Allied invasion of Normandy

On June 6, 1944 British troops landed on the beaches of Normandy and changed the course of history. 

It was the largest military naval, air and land operation ever attempted and marked the start of the liberation of north-west Europe from the Nazis.

Codenamed Operation Neptune and often referred to as D-Day, the invasion involved some 156,000 Allied troops on five beaches in Normandy, along with hundreds of warships and aircraft.

Allied leaders, generals and military experts spent months developing the strategy that would free Western Europe from Nazi control and lay the foundations to Allied victory.

The operation was kept top secret in the months beforehand, with the British desperate to mislead the Germans on the time and location of the landings using deception campaigns.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill meets with General Eisenhower (third from right), reputedly at Droxford during a halt of the special train in which the party travelled. ca. May 15, 1944

In the days leading up to the Normandy landings, Prime Minister Winston Churchill used Droxford railway station in Hampshire as his base during preparations.

Based in an armoured train parked in the sidings at Droxford and obscured by beech trees, Churchill met with numerous ministers, military commanders and leaders of allied nations including French leader Charles de Gaulle, who was informed of the invasion plans at Droxford on June 4. 

The secret train was codenamed ‘Rugged’ and it served as the Prime Minister’s mobile headquarters – a Downing Street, Chequers and Whitehall bunker on wheels.

At 6.58pm on 5 June, shortly before the landings were due to take place, Churchill’s train pulled out of Droxford and returned to London.  

American soldiers go ashore during the Normandy landing operations on D-Day, Tuesday June 6, 1944 during World War II

At 16 minutes past midnight the following morning, British glider troops attacked Pegasus Bridge and the American airborne landings in Normandy began shortly after.

The assault was conducted in two phases: an airborne landing of 24,000 British, American, Canadian and Free French airborne troops shortly after midnight, and an seabourne landing of Allied infantry and armoured divisions on the coast of France commencing at 6.30am.

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