Winston Churchill - Morpeth Terrace, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 29.719 W 000° 08.414
30U E 698506 N 5708786
Quick Description: This brown plaque, to the politician Winston Churchill, is attached to a building on the south west side of Morpeth Terrace. It is one of the many properties in which he lived during his life.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 11/28/2014 5:33:00 AM
Waymark Code: WMMZB3
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 0

Long Description:

The Nobel Prize website tells us about Churchill:

The Right Honourable Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965), the son of Lord Randolph Churchill and an American mother, was educated at Harrow and Sandhurst. After a brief but eventful career in the army, he became a Conservative Member of Parliament in 1900. He held many high posts in Liberal and Conservative governments during the first three decades of the century. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty - a post which he had earlier held from 1911 to 1915. In May, 1940, he became Prime Minister and Minister of Defence and remained in office until 1945. He took over the premiership again in the Conservative victory of 1951 and resigned in 1955. However, he remained a Member of Parliament until the general election of 1964, when he did not seek re-election. Queen Elizabeth II conferred on Churchill the dignity of Knighthood and invested him with the insignia of the Order of the Garter in 1953. Among the other countless honours and decorations he received, special mention should be made of the honorary citizenship of the United States which President Kennedy conferred on him in 1963.

Churchill's literary career began with campaign reports: The Story of the Malakand Field Force (1898) and The River War (1899), an account of the campaign in the Sudan and the Battle of Omdurman. In 1900, he published his only novel, Savrola, and, six years later, his first major work, the biography of his father, Lord Randolph Churchill. His other famous biography, the life of his great ancestor, the Duke of Marlborough, was published in four volumes between 1933 and 1938. Churchill's history of the First World War appeared in four volumes under the title of The World Crisis (1923-29); his memoirs of the Second World War ran to six volumes (1948-1953/54). After his retirement from office, Churchill wrote a History of the English-speaking Peoples (4 vols., 1956-58). His magnificent oratory survives in a dozen volumes of speeches, among them The Unrelenting Struggle (1942), The Dawn of Liberation (1945), and Victory (1946).

Churchill, a gifted amateur painter, wrote Painting as a Pastime (1948). An autobiographical account of his youth, My Early Life, appeared in 1930.

The Winston Churchill website lists the various places where Churchill resided:

Thanks to Lady Soames's Speaking for Themselves, we are able to provide a comprehensive list of residences, including country houses and temporary quarters.

Official residences (¶) such as Admiralty House and Downing Street are listed only for the periods the Churchill's actually resided there. Asterisked (*) London addresses carry the blue historical plaque. (It is not clear whether the Churchill's fully vacated Hyde Park Gate during the 1951-55 Premiership.)

For inveterate explorers, we also list some temporary quarters, such as the Ivor and Freddie Guest residences, used between homes; and at least a few holiday rentals: Pear Tree Cottage (1914) and Hoe Farm (1915); and "Hosey Rigge," rented during the overhaul of Chartwell (1923-24).

Primary Residences
Charles Street (1874-1879)
The Little Lodge, Dublin (1877-1880)
29 St. James's Place (1880-1883)
35A Great Cumberland Place (1883-1900)
105 Mount Street (1900-1905, first bachelor flat)
12 Bolton Street (1905-March 1909, first house of his own)
*33 Eccleston Square (Spring 1909-April 1913)
¶ Admiralty House (April 1913-May 1915)
41 Cromwell Road (June 1915-Autumn 1916, with Jack Churchill family)
*33 Eccleston Square (Autumn 1916-Spring 1917)
16 Lower Berkeley Street (September-November 1918)
1 Dean Trench Street (rented from early 1919 to early 1920)
*2 Sussex Square (March 1920-January 1924; destroyed in the Blitz)
¶ 11 Downing Street (January 1924-April 1929)
*11 Morpeth Mansions (long-term lease, 1932-September 1939)
¶ Admiralty House (September 1939-July 1940)
¶ 10 Downing Street & Number Ten Annexe (July 1940-July 1945)
*28 Hyde Park Gate (October 1945-1965)
¶ 10 Downing Street (December 1951-April 1955)

Country Houses
Lullenden, East Grinstead, W. Sussex (Spring 1917-Autumn 1919)
Chartwell, Westerham, Kent (April 1924 to 1965)

Temporary Quarters
22 Carlton House Terrace (Spring 1909, loaned by Freddie Guest)
Pear Tree Cottage, Overstrand, near Cromer, Norfolk (Summer 1914)
21 Arlington Street (May-June 1915, loaned by Ivor Guest)
Hoe Farm, Godalming, Surrey (Summer 1915)
16 Lower Berkeley Street (Autumn 1918)
3 Tenderden Street (Autumn 1918)
Templeton, Roehampton (Winter 1919-Spring 1920, with Freddie Guest)
62 Onslow Gardens (Nov.-Dec. 1929, rented from Venetia Montagu)
Hosey Rigge, Westerham (1923-24; nicknamed "Cosey Pigge" by WSC)
67 Westminster Gardens (Jul.-Oct. 1945, loaned by Duncan Sandys)

The Daily Telegraph carried an article about the property in July 2006:

A passion for a property's former inhabitant isn't a typical incentive for buying, but it was the sole reason that Bill Roedy, vice chairman of MTV Networks, bought an apartment at Morpeth Mansions in Victoria.

The four-bedroom flat, once belonged to Winston Churchill, who lived here in his "wilderness years" leading up to the Second World War.

You might have thought a former rock star's pad would have had more appeal to Roedy. But not so. US-born Roedy has spent tens of thousands of pounds restoring the SW1 property. He hopes to live there one day but, for the moment, his home is a converted church in St John's Wood which he shares with his wife, Alex, and their four children.

The St John's Wood house is crammed with awards and photos, bearing testimony to Roedy's work. But it's his collection of Churchill memorabilia, including cigars, portraits and Churchill's own paintings, which dominates and which Roedy ruefully admits, "I couldn't afford now".

In pride of place is the sculptor's wire frame of the "greatcoat" statue, which stands in Parliament Square. The couple secured it by racing down to Sotheby's in Sussex the minute they heard it was up for auction. "Luckily it was US Thanksgiving, so we had the day off," explains Roedy.

You get the sense that Roedy has few days off as he travels the world "building global networks". He remembers seeing an advert for Morpeth Mansions long before he took the opportunity to buy it. "I'd seen it come up for sale but was so busy that it sold before I could do anything about it," he says.

Several years later - last summer - Roedy spotted another advert, but, when he contacted the agent, found that it was already under offer. On hearing of Roedy's obsession, the vendor allowed him to view the apartment.

"I loved it right away," he says. "Knowing that Churchill spent years here writing and preparing his speeches was an intense experience." After discovering the US Embassy had made an offer, but were dragging their feet, he pulled out all stops to secure it, even missing the opening of Live8, one of MTV's most important events.

Churchill bought the apartment from Lloyd George, and moved in after leaving Downing Street in 1930. It was here that he conducted his anti-appeasement campaign with fellow parliamentarians Robert Boothby, Henry 'Chips' Channon and Anthony Eden, squeezed into the tiny study where he received secret information about the re-arming of Germany. "These were indeed the wilderness years, when Churchill had to be so strong and courageous as he honed his speeches, but I hear that he drew inspiration from the oval window, from where you can see Westminster Cathedral," Roedy says.

After Churchill, Stalin's daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva lived at the apartment, following her defection to the West. For some unknown reason, Mother Teresa dined here in the 1970s, but after that its history is hazy.

When the Roedys bought it, the apartment, which spans more than 2,758 sq ft over two floors, had already been restored to a high standard. They decided to go further and have spent months and serious cash upgrading it. Alex organised the work. "I did all the designs," she says. "We wanted to open it up and make it lighter and more modern, while remembering its former resident."

The Roedys added a fireplace and panelling to the study, which, in contrast to the rest of the apartment, feels more cosy than modern. "When you imagine Churchill you think of him sitting at his fireplace smoking a cigar." The pair have added several design touches to add atmosphere and a sense of history. One of the most expensive tasks was to relay the entire floor with reclaimed oak boards weighing more than four tonnes.

And in keeping with the Palace of Westminster connection, the roof terrace looks over Big Ben, Westminster Cathedral and the river.

"We have four children so it's too small for us, but one day I definitely want to live there," Roedy adds.

He says he feels privileged to have been part of the apartment's history.

Blue Plaque managing agency: Unknown

Individual Recognized: Winston Churchill

Physical Address:
1-12 Morpeth Mansions
Morpeth Terrace
London, United Kingdom

Web Address: [Web Link]

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