Cherkley Court, near Leatherhead in Surrey, was acquired by the MP and newspaper proprietor, William Maxwell Aitken, the 1st Lord Beaverbrook, the year after he entered Parliament in 1910. Following a fire in 1893, the house had been substantially rebuilt and restored in the French chateau style, and Lord Beaverbrook was encouraged to buy the property by his friends, Mr & Mrs Rudyard Kipling.
The house was used by Lord Beaverbrook, then owner of the Daily and Sunday Express and the Evening Standard, to entertain among others: Bonar Law, Asquith, Rudyard Kipling, Duff Cooper, Harold Macmillan and Winston Churchill. During World War II the house was an important centre for Lord Beaverbrook's activities as Minister for Aircraft Production.
In recent years, the Beaverbrook Foundation has carried out an extensive renovation of the house and gardens costing millions.
Sadly, in December 2009 the Beaverbrook Foundation announced that the estate was running at a loss and they could no longer afford to open to the public. It is truly sad to think that future generations will be denied these beautiful vistas. I feel very privileged to have been able to make this photographic record ... I can only hope that common sense will prevail and that others will be equally privileged in years to come.