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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

History Will Be Kind To Me, For I Intend To Write It.


Sir Winston Churchill, the great leader and politician, loved butterflies.
So much so, he bred them at his family home in Kent, England.

Churchill's love of butterflies began when he attended prep school in the 1880's.
In 1924 Churchill bought Chartwell near Westerham and he lived there until the end of his life.
Chartwell was re known for it's magnificent views over the Weald of Kent.

In 1939 just as the storm clouds were gathering over the world, Churchill telephoned leading butterfly breeding expert L Hugh. Newman for advice on setting up a butterfly house.
Sadly, the second world war prevented him realising his dream, but after the war he converted his summerhouse into a butterfly house.
He also sought advice on which plants to grow to attract butterflies and planted buddeia borders.
Visitors to Chartwell can follow in Churchill's footsteps along his butterfly walk where the borders may be the oldest surviving examples of such planting in the country.
The gardens attract species including the Common Blue, the Meadow Brown, and the Gatekeeper. All butterflies that are bred, are found naturally in the area.

Photos courtesy of BBC

16 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Jo, That is such an interesting article about Winston Churchill. I had no idea that he loved Butterflies THAT much... I'm so impressed.. Thanks for sharing.
Hugs,
Betsy

AshTreeCottage said...

Thank you for such a lovely post. I enjoy your posts so much and wish that you didn't live so many states away. I would love to sit and have a cup of tea with you!!

Lots of love,
Susan and Bentley
xxoo

PS: Beautiful photos too!

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

Hello again Jo!
Well isn't that something...I didn't know that about Churchill. My Nana was from England and she raised me from when I was 8 until I left home at 17...she LOVED Sir Winston Churchill and so I heard lots about him. He was quite the character and a great man. Maybe if I ever get back over to England again to see my sister I will visit his home. Thanks for sharing that with us Jo...have a wonderful Wednesday! Maura :)

donna baker said...

I did not know that about the great man. ALso, wanted you to know I am listing Cottageware at my etsy site. Knew you liked it.

laney said...

wonderful man...wonderful blog...but maybe 1924 when he bought chartwell?

Sandra said...

what a wonderful and beautiful spot on earth. the lavendar butterfly is new to me and very beautiufl. the grounds around the house are amazing.

Gaston Studio said...

How ironic that a man like Churchill who made such important decisions in WWII should like and raise such delicate creatures. Perhaps they were his escape.

Judy said...

What an amazing contrast between Sir Winton's public and private personae.
Wonderful pictures! Wonderful "story"!

Barbara Anne said...

I love butterflies, too! What an interesting history lesson, too.

Several years ago, dearly departed designer Laurel Burch had a line of fabrics with butterflies that she named "Flying Colors." Isn't that just perfect?

Breathtaking photos as always.

Ta, Jo!

George said...

Thanks for the interesting information about Churchill and his love of butterflies. Thanks, too, for the pictures. I've often read about Chartwell, but these pictures are some of the first of it that I've seen.

Bernideen said...

What a wonderful lesson here- things I certainly never knew!

midwesttomidlands said...

Another place we will need to put on our list of places to visit. thanks for telling us about Churchill and his butterflies. I also did not know until recently he was a painter too.

bennie and patsy said...

I would love to walk there.
Patsy

Betsy said...

How cool is that?! I never knew he loved butterflies like that!

Denise said...

What a fascinating post Jo. Winston Churchill was always held in high regard as far back as I can remember in our family, but we never knew of his love for butterflies. Thanks you for sharing this lovely part of "Winnie". Thanks for stopping by too. You made me smile with your last comment. We're very alike in that way aren't we? About the lights I mean and checking 'out back' :)
An English Girl Rambles

Celestial Charms said...

I have always admired the life of Winston Churchill, and I have visited Chartwell on two separate occassions. Such a lovely place to spend an afternoon. If only the walls could talk there! ;)
Maureen