Blenheim Palace's Churchill Memorial Garden was officially opened by Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall. The opening ceremony was attended by His Grace, the Duke of Marlborough, the Right Honourable Sir Nicholas Soames MP, Churchill's grandson, and Kim Wilkie, the garden's designer alongside other family members.
The new garden has been created at his birthplace to mark the 50th anniversary year of Sir Winston Churchill's death.
Envisioned by the 11th Duke of Marlborough alongside acclaimed British landscape architect Kim Wilkie, the garden incorporates a mixture of plants, flowers and hard landscaping to represent his extraordinary life.
“Churchill was enormously fond of Blenheim Palace and it has been an honour to design a memorial for the great man within the Palace grounds he loved so much,” said Kim.
Situated beside the Temple of Diana where Churchill proposed to his beloved wife Clementine, the Memorial Garden was overseen by the 12th Duke of Marlborough in honour of his father, who was cousin and godson to Churchill.
The Memorial Garden incorporates a 90-metre-long winding granite path, a metre for each of his 90 years, and includes significant moments in the great man's life, alongside an intertwining flower bed of Flanders poppies and cornflowers.
Alongside the Flanders poppies and cornflowers the garden will feature magnolia kobus, magnolia merrill, English oak and syringa vulgaris; all of which were chosen with the 11th Duke of Marlborough.
A rare bust of Churchill by Oscar Nemon, one of only three from the same mould, is positioned on a stone plinth opposite a bench along the path, overlooking the Great Lake.
His Grace, the 12th Duke of Marlborough, said: “A Memorial Garden to celebrate the life of his cousin and godfather here at Blenheim Palace was something my father cared deeply about.
“He spent a lot of time discussing every detail of the design and I am delighted to have been able to work with Kim to ensure it was completed as he would have wished,” he added.
During her visit the Duchess of Cornwall also unveiled a new stained glass window in nearby St Martin's Church, Bladon, where Churchill is buried.
Designed by Emma Blount, an award-winning stained glass artist, the main section depicts St Martin and St Alban, Britain's first martyr.
The borders are filled with many symbols of Sir Winston's life, including cigars, his favourite Pol Roger champagne, his beloved poodles Rufus 1 and Rufus 2, and the famous 'V for Victory'.
The Churchill Memorial Garden is part of a number of Churchill-inspired activities taking place at Blenheim Palace this year, including the Churchill Exhibition, the Churchill Trail and much more.