Question: “Churchill owned both 27 and 28 Hyde Park Gate. Which one did he live in?” Answer: both.
The Churchills purchased 28 Hyde Park Gate in September 1945. The fine attached brick house stands in a quiet cul-de-sac, close to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. They acquired the abutting number 27 in March 1946. According to Stefan Buczacki’s excellent book, Churchill and Chartwell, the garden wall between the two residences was knocked out to provide a single garden. Number 27 was initially acquired for needed office space, though Clementine Churchill thought it an extravagance. After all, it cost £7000! (In 2012, number 28 was on the market for £29.5 million.)
Stefan Buczacki states that as a special favor extended only to the Churchills, the trustees agreed to alter the covenants of 27 Hyde Park Gate to provide for three rentable flats, above ground floor office space. In the elegant drawing room of number 28, the then-Leader of the Opposition entertained the Good and the Great—and sometimes the not-so-great, who were not offered his best cigars.
In the October 1951 General Election, Churchill was returned as prime minister and moved to Ten Downing Street. He leased both houses. The Cuban ambassador, Robert Mendoza, was a longtme resident. In 1954 William Murray, Eighth Earl of Mansfield leased number 28, furnished.
After WSC retired as prime minister in 1955, the Churchills returned to Hyde Park Gate and converted the two residences into one, removing the garden and structural walls. In 1962 in Monte Carlo, Churchill fell and broke his leg. Returning to London, he recuperated at 27 Hyde Park Gate, which by then had been converted to a ground floor bedroom. (Buczacki, pp. 225-28)
Lady Churchill soon found and moved to smaller quarters, at 7 Prince’s Gate. At an auction on 28 October 1965, nine months after Sir Winston’s death, the estate agents Knight, Frank & Rutley offered the freehold to 28 and 27 Hyde Park Gate as one unit. Of number 27 they noted: “A simple reinstatement would provide a separate residence of great appeal….On this raised Ground Floor there is also a Bedroom site, which was occupied by Sir Winston Churchill after his accident, and this comprises…[a bedroom and a bath]. The basement contained a sitting room.
I have one of the original Knight, Frank & Rutley brochures for the property, and reproduced it for the Churchill Society in 1992. It offers a fine array of photos showing the interior during the Churchills’ residence.