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Former British Prime Minster, Sir Edward Heath, lived at Arundells from 1985 until his death in 2005.
Originally built as as a medieval canonry in the 13th century, the house has a rich and fascinating history. After many centuries housing priests – including Leonard Bilson, who was imprisoned in 1571 for practising sorcery and magic – it later became the site of Godolphin Girls' School and was also used as a book and wool store by the Red Cross during the Second World War.
In 1985 it was bought by former British Prime Minister, Sir Edward Heath, who was attracted to its proximity to the Solent where he sailed. Despite being 69, it was the first house he ever owned.
Heath commissioned interior designer, Derek Frost, to modernise the property and it remains in this same style today. On display are many custom pieces of furniture Frost made especially for Arundells.
Heath arranged for Arundells to be bequeathed the Charitable Foundation set up in his name on his death. He said that he wanted as many people as possible to 'share the beauty of Arundells' and to enjoy his personal collection of art work, photographs, sailing memorabilia and political cartoons.
Arundells remains very much as it was when it was Heath’s home. An avid collector, Heath amassed works by LS Lowry, John Singer-Sargent, John Nash, John Piper, Walter Sickert and Augustus and Gwen John, as well as model warships made by Napoleonic prisoners of war, musical memorabilia and Japanese woodcuts.
Documenting his time in public life is a gallery of cartoons and gifts from leaders such as Sir Winston Churchill, US President Richard Nixon, China’s Chairman Mao and Cuba’s Fidel Castro.