Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (1874-1965), was Britain’s most famous Prime Minster and he led Britain to victory in WWII. He was also a talented painter and writer, in 1953 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature, ‘for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values’. In 1953 he was also made a Knight of the Garter, and in 1963 he was awarded the first honorary citizenship of the United States of America.
Cornwall DMC work as a specialist inbound tour operator throughout Southern England. Offering ground services and support to group leaders, overseas travel agents and tour operators looking to bring clients to the UK. Working in partnership to create new and innovative products tailored to special interests and specific markets.
On a vacation to Britain there are many places to visit that are associated with Winston Churchill, his life and his family.
Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire is the birthplace and ancestral home of Winston Churchill. This wonderful palace is one England’s largest houses and was presented to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough in 1704 by Queen Anne for his military triumphs. Churchill was born 30th November 1874 at Blenheim Palace when his father 7th Duke of Marlborough, Lord Randolph Churchill and his mother Jennie (nee Jerome), who was an American heiress were visiting family at Blenheim.
The Palace was designed in a flamboyant Baroque style by Sir John Vanbrugh and is set in 2,000 acres of parkland with a lake and woodlands designed and landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown. Blenheim Palace which is near the village of Woodstock is now a World Heritage Site and is open to the public throughout the year, the house has over 300 years of history, and the rooms are filled with wonderful and priceless collections of paintings, furniture and antiques. Not to be missed is the Churchill Exhibition which as well as photographs, letters and artefacts you can visit the room where he was born in 1874. In the grounds of Blenheim, the Temple of Diana is where Winston proposed to Clementine Hozier in 1908.
On the 12th September 1908, Winston Churchill and Clementine Hozier were married at St Margaret’s Church in Westminster. The church which dates back to the 12thC is situated next to Westminster Abbey and is called the ‘parish church of the House of Commons’. Winston Churchill’s daughters Diana and Mary were both married at St Margaret’s, the church which is used to celebrate important events in Parliament is open to the public and is free to enter.
The Palace of Westminster is home to the Houses of Parliament and with Big Ben’s Clock Tower it is one of the most famous and iconic buildings in the world. A tour around this wonderful building shouldn’t be missed on a visit to London especially one that follows in the footsteps of Winston Churchill. His career in politics lasted from 1900 to 1964, he was Prime Minister twice, as well as holding many positions in the cabinet. He belonged to both the Conservative and Liberal parties during his lifetime. When Sir Winston Churchill died in 1965, his body lay in state in Westminster Hall for 3 days, and hundreds of thousands of people paid their respects before the funeral took place in St Paul’s Cathedral. In the Members Lobby there is bronze statue of Sir Winston Churchill, it near to the Churchill Arch. The building was badly damaged during WWII and had to be rebuilt, but at Churchill’s suggestion the Arch was left in its damaged state as a monument to those who lived through the war.
A fascinating insight into Churchill’s work and life during WWII can be seen in the Churchill War Rooms which are beneath the streets of Westminster. This underground nerve centre which is now run by the Imperial War Museum, is where Churchill and the British government planned the allied victory. You can see where they lived and worked and how Churchill communicated with the President of the USA and visit the Map Room which has been left exactly as it was in 1945.
St Paul’s Cathedral, London is where Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral took place on 30th January 1965. Statesmen and women from over 100 countries around the world gathered to pay their respects to him, he was described by HM Queen Elizabeth II as ‘a national hero’. His funeral is commemorated by a bronze plaque and the Winston Churchill Memorial Screen. St Paul’s is open to the public and you can climb the steps of the iconic dome for spectacular views over London. Visitors from America shouldn’t miss the American Memorial Chapel, this part of St Paul’s was rebuilt after bomb damage during the Blitz of WWII. Here in a 500-page book is a roll call of the 28,000 Americans who were stationed in the UK lost their lives, “Defending freedom from the fierce assault of tyranny they shared the honor and the sacrifice. Though they died before the dawn of victory their names and deed will long be remembered where ever free men live.”
In the village of Westerham, Kent is Chartwell which was the home of Sir Winston Churchill and his family from 1922-64. This Victorian house is now owned by the National Trust and along with the beautiful gardens is open the public. The house is full of Churchill’s personal belongings and documents. In the Studio you will see the largest collection of his paintings. The gardens and the lake which surround the house were designed by Churchill and show his love of nature. In the village of Westerham there is a statue of Churchill on the village green.
Sir Winston Churchill was buried at St Martin’s Church, Bladon near Woodstock in the family plot next to his wife Clementine who died in 1977. In the churchyard there are also the graves of his parents, his brother Jack, his children Diana, Randolph, Sarah and Mary and other family members. In 2015 a beautiful stained-glass window the ‘Winston Churchill Memorial Window’ was installed to mark the 50th anniversary of his death.