Arundells, in a beautiful setting in the Salisbury Cathedral Close is the only home of a British Prime Minister which remains as it was when he was alive.
This year, for the first time, visitors can see Sir Edward’s study, where he worked at a desk originally owned by another former Prime Minister David Lloyd George, and several of Sir Edward’s Ministerial boxes.
A central feature of the Heath collection is the former Prime Minister’s affection and admiration for Winston Churchill, under whom he served as a Government Whip in the 1950s. One of his two paintings by Churchill was restored after being damaged during an IRA bomb attack on Sir Edward’s London flat in the 1970s.
The 18th century Grade II listed house, parts of which date back to the 13th century, with a beautiful two acre medieval walled garden, contains a large and eclectic range of paintings, European and Oriental ceramics, sailing memorabilia and political mementos including:
A pair of vases from the Qianlong dynasty given to Sir Edward by Chairman Mao
Drawings and paintings by Walter Sickert, Augustus and Gwen John, L.S Lowry, John Singer Sargent, Winston Churchill and John Piper
Signed photographs of many world leaders from the second half of the 20th century and gifts from political figures including former US President Richard Nixon
Ships made from bone and hair by Napoleonic prisoners of war
A unique collection of original, signed political cartoons which depict his political rivalries with Harold Wilson, and Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s entry into the EEC in 1973 and Sir Edward’s 1990 visit to Iraq where he negotiated the release of Britons taken hostage as a human shield by Saddam Hussein
The Steinway grand piano used for recitals and which he played for friends. Guests including Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Archbishop Runcie, Rory Bremner and Paul Getty would often visit him at Arundells
Sir Edward’s collection of yachting memorabilia with pictures and models of the five Morning Cloud boats which he owned and raced competitively from 1969 until 1986. A keen yachtsman, Heath won the Admiral’s Cup for Britain in 1971 during his time as Prime Minister
Edward Heath was the first product of a state school to rise to the top of the Conservative party. He is believed to have been the most musically accomplished British Prime Minister and he is the only one to have won a major international sporting trophy whilst in office.
At Oxford he opposed appeasement and supported the Republican side during the Spanish Civil War. He went in to politics after a fine war record and his experiences of the Second World War guided his internationalism and belief in Britain’s place in Europe. He played a pivotal role in facilitating China’s opening to the West – with significant strategic and economic implications – and in advancing thinking about international development issues as a member of the Brandt Commission. He insisted that Britain should live up to its obligations and admit the Ugandan Asian community when they were expelled by Idi Amin and his government was the first to encourage power-sharing in Northern Ireland and laid the foundations for industrial relations reforms pursued by the government of Margaret Thatcher.
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