Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Churchill Series – Aug. 20, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Yesterday’s post concerned Winston’s wooing Clementine to Blenheim Palace where on Aug. 10, 1908 he proposed and she accepted.

Here’s the Blenheim Palace link which includes the following:

…The Arboretum is reached from the Sheep Walk, a southward drive that starts at the lower Water Terrace and winds on past the Temple of Diana, built for the 4th Duke by Sir William Chambers. This unpretentious temple stands on a high point, commanding a view over the lake. It was here, during the summer of 1908, that Mr Winston Churchill, as he was then, proposed to Miss Clementine Hozier, who was to become Baroness Churchill.

In 1975, the present Duke of Marlborough restored the temple, adding two plaques. Lady Churchill officially opened the restored temple on 11th April, the same year – she remembered,

"There was a bench here then… and as I sat there with Winston I watched a beetle slowly moving across the floor. 'If that beetle reaches that crack,' I said to myself, 'and Winston hasn’t proposed, then he isn’t going to.' But he did propose!"

Four Incense Cedars, each over 50 feet (15 metres) high, tower above yew and prunus. The Arboretum also contains other interesting and rare trees and shrubs, and is particularly attractive in spring, when the blossom is out and the grassy banks are covered in daffodils and bluebells….
Blenheim is a wonderful place to visit. I hope you’ll “take a look around the place” using the scroll down menus.

There are pictures, descriptions of the rooms, buildings, gardens, and lawns. There’s information, too, about visiting hours, admissions, special tours, and even four places to eat in the palace or on the grounds.

I’ll say more tomorrow about visiting the palace, the town of Woodstock, just outside the gates to Blenheim, and Oxford, eight miles down the road.