The 50th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill's death, 24th January 1965
In honour of the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill’s death (24th January 1965) we are taking a look at some of the main properties with which he was associated.
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was the eldest son of Randolph Spencer-Churchill (brother to George Charles Spencer-Churchill, 8th Duke of Marlborough) and Jennie (née Jerome, an American heiress) born at Blenheim Palace, 30th November 1874.
Blenheim Palace © Mr Chris Tresise
Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, is the home of the Dukes of Marlborough and the Palace was built between 1705 and 1722 by Sir J Vanbrugh. The land had been granted by Queen Anne to the Duke (John Churchill) to commemorate his decisive defeat of the French army at Blenheim in 1704. Additionally his Duchess was at the time in great favour, with her role as Keeper of the Privy Purse. Initially it was paid for by the Treasury, but when the Duchess fell out of favour the payments ceased and so did the building works. Building did continue after a hiatus, but with reduced finance. Vanbrugh left and was replaced by Nicholas Hawksmoor to complete the work. In 1764-1774 Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown was commissioned to re-landscape the parkland. Many other additions to the house and gardens ensued over the years.
It was in the Temple of Diana within the park at Blenheim that Mr Winston Churchill proposed to Miss Clementine Hozier on the 11th August 1908 .
Blenheim Palace is a Grade I Listed building and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Churchill began his political career during his military service (1896 - 1899). His first political speech was at Claverton Manor 1897.
Claverton Manor © Lorna Freeman
Claverton Manor is a country house near Bath. Designed by Sir Jeffry Wyattville and built in the 1819-20 of Bath stone. The south side of the house displays a classical façade and on the east side rise two monumental projecting bays in the neo-classical style. An affixed plaque by the door reads "Here Winston Spencer Churchill on July 26th, 1897 made his first political speech". The house is now home to the American Museum opened in 1961, a Grade I Listed building.
In 1900, Churchill was elected MP for Oldham and from 1909 to 1913 was in residence at 33 Eccleston Square.
Eccleston Square © Mr Anthony Rau
Eccleston square was developed by Thomas Cubitt in 1835 with many of the houses constructed during the 1830s and 1840s. It is a white stucco 6 storey (including basement) terraced house. Churchill moved here a year after marrying Clementine and their first two children were born here. The building is Grade II Listed.
The position of First Lord of the Admiralty was bestowed upon Churchill and he took up residence in Admiralty House, London from 1913 to 1915, and again from 1939 to 1940.
Admiralty House, view from Horse Guards Parade. © Mr Stephen Hodgson
This residence is by SP Cockerell 1786-88 stock brick with Portland stone dressing of the neo-classical front. It was built as an enlarged residence for the First Lord of the Admiralty (and continued as the official residence until 1964). It is Listed grade I.
Desiring a residence in the country away from London Churchill bought Lullenden Manor house in 1917.
Lullenden Manor House © Mr Dale Crook
It is a grey stone Tudor Manor near east Grinstead in Sussex. He bought it with the help of his mother, so as to move his family away from the bombing raids in London. They lived there 1917-1919, but worries about the expense caused the family to move out and sell the house. It is Grade II Listed.
Churchill then bought Chartwell Manor in Kent and had a residence there from 1922 until his death in 1965.
Chartwell Manor, Mariners Hill, Westerham. © Mr Richard M Brown FRICS
The location was ideal, only 25 miles from London an hour’s drive and it was allegedly the panoramic view south over the gentle landscape of the Weald of Kent towards Hever Castle as the reason he bought the house. The property had been largely remodelled in the mid-19th century and was a red brick country mansion, with the principle front facing towards the road and entrance, rather than the splendid view. Despite his wife’s reservations concerning the cost, Churchill was determined to transform the house and employed Philip Tilden to do the works. It took 2 years to complete. It was the weekend home during the 1920s (the family lived at 11 Morpeth Mansions in London), but due to the Wall Street Crash in 1929 and the Conservative government defeat in 1930 the house was mothballed and they moved into the cottage (Well street cottage) at the end of the garden. When finances improved they moved back into the main house. The house was again shut up during the Second World War. After the war Clementine reorganised the manner the house was inhabited so that only a few servants were needed. In 1946 a group of Winston’s friends and admirers bought Chartwell and presented it to the National Trust, with the proviso that Winston and Clementine could live there for their lifetimes. After Winston’s death Clementine no longer wished to live there and it was relinquished to the National Trust. It is a Grade I Listed building.
Churchill College © NMR
Churchill College was founded in 1956 and built in 1960 in his honour. The Trust, with Sir Winston Churchill as its Chairman of Trustees, intended to build and endow a college for 60 fellows and 540 Students as a national and Commonwealth memorial to Winston Churchill. Churchill College, together with Clare College and King's College were the first all male Cambridge colleges to admit female students in 1972. A competition to design the new college involved twenty architectural practices, and was won by Richard Sheppard, Robson and Partners. Their design comprised nine main residential courts, separate graduate flats and a central building consisting of the dining hall, buttery, combination rooms and offices, which had been built and completed by 1968. This design also includes the Wolfson Flats, graduate flats built in about 1965 but designed by David Roberts. Additions to the college include the Churchill Archives Centre and The Møller Centre for Continuing Education. The Churchill Archives Centre, a purpose built archive centre, was constructed in 1973 to house Sir Winston Churchill’s papers; it now holds the papers of about 570 leading figures including politicians, engineers and scientists. The centre was refurbished and extended in 2002. The Møller Centre for Continuing Education, a residential executive training and conference centre, was designed by Henning Larsen and built in 1992. In plan view, the building resembles a ship, with an octagonal tower acting as the propeller, and the lecture theatre as the bridge. The centre's facilities include meeting rooms, and en-suite bedrooms. A study centre was added in 2007. Seven of the buildings are Listed at Grade II.
Robert Lewis’ Tobacconists store
And Finally - Sir Winston Churchill was a favoured customer of Robert Lewis’ Tobacconists store. The cigar and snuff merchants Robert Lewis was founded in St James’ street, London in 1787, while that of JJ Fox dates from 1881 and had its origins in Dublin. JJ Fox opened its first shop in London in 1947. The two firms merged in 1992. Their elegant shop in St James's Street houses a museum in the basement, which includes the humidor of King Edward VIII, their ledger books, a Bristol glass pipe and the oldest box of Havana cigars in the world from the Great Exhibition of 1851.
St James Street 1870-1900 © English Heritage NMR
Main official residences only have been covered here, for a full list of Churchill’s properties please visit:
Other PastScape Stories may also be of interest, such as the 'Battle of the Atlantic' and '70th anniversary of WWII'.