Winston Churchill in London (14)

We just attended the Winston Churchill Memorial Concert on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his death and the occasion led me to think about all the plaaces where he can be found in London.

In 2002 Winston Churchill was elected the “Greatest Briton” in a public poll, and London celebrates his life and achievements with statues, mosaics, plaques, a clock and even a pub.

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His statue in Parliament Square, looking over at the House of Commons, was sculpted by Ivor Roberts-Jones.

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A statue of Winston Churchill stands in the Members’ Lobby of Parliament.
(Image from: )

The sculptor of this statue was Oscar Neman, a Croatian-born artist. He sculpted more than a dozen statues and busts of Winston Churchill including the one at Guildhall.
Read more about him at






  Downing Street is named for the man who built the street and the first houses – George Downing. He was born in Dublin in 1623. His father was Emmanuel Downing, a barrister, and his mother was Lucy Winthrop, sister of the Puritan leader and several times governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony – John Winthrop.  When George was 5 years old the family immigrated to Massachusetts and he grew up in Salem, Massachusetts.

George attended the newly established Harvard College. In 1642 he was the second person to receive a degree from Harvard. A few years later he sailed across the Atlantic and began his political career working for Cromwell’s government. Downing was an able diplomat, and his skills served him well – when Charles II returned to England George Downing went to work for the new king. Downing proclaimed that he saw the “errors of his ways” and disavowed the Puritan principles of New England. Downing became a spy and hunted down the Regicides who had voted for the execution of King Charles I.

Downing managed to amass a substantial fortune and was the largest landowner in Cambridgeshire at the time, but many people thought he wasn’t a very nice person.  He also built several houses on a cul-de-sac off Whitehall. When he died without a will, the government decided it would take over ownership of the property and use it as a residence for the Prime Minister.

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A short walk from Downing Street is King Charles Street which runs between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (on the right) and the Treasury (on the left).

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Down at the opposite end of King Charles Street is the entrance to the Cabinet War Rooms. These underground rooms were the secret, protected rooms where the Prime Minister and Cabinet met during WWII.

Not too many years ago, the Winston Churchill Museum was opened in the Cabinet War Rooms. This is the only museum dedicated to commemorating the life of the Great Man.

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The seated statue of Winston Churchill in Guildhall was sculpted by Oscar Nemon in 1955, who also did the Churchill statue in the Members’ Lobby of Parliament.

Churchill was granted the Freedom of the City of London in 1943.

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The Guildhall is the seat of government for the City of London.

There are Blue Plaques on a number of places where he lived or spoke –

Finally – it’s time to relax.

Why not raise a glass to Winston at the Churchill Arms on Kensington Church Street?

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@Cathey Leitch, 2015