Tag: National Trust

Churchill’s Butterflies Continue to Flourish at Chartwell

Churchill’s Butterflies Continue to Flourish at Chartwell

But­ter­flies are back in force at Sir Win­ston Churchill’s Chartwell. In 2009, the Nation­al Trust rebuilt the but­ter­fly hut and gar­den­er Stephen Humphrey took charge of rais­ing but­ter­flies. Nigel Guest, a Chartwell vol­un­teer, imme­di­ate­ly report­ed “a ter­rif­ic year for but­ter­flies.” For his report and col­or pho­tos of Churchill’s favorite species see BBC Radio Kent, “Churchill’s But­ter­fly House at Chartwell.”

David Rid­dle, a Nation­al Trust vol­un­teer at Chartwell, gave me the back­ground of the “But­ter­fly House” Churchill estab­lished to prop­a­gate the insects on the grounds of his home:

The But­ter­fly House was first used as a game larder between 1869 and 1889 by the Colquhoun fam­i­ly, who owned Chartwell between 1830 and 1922, when Churchill bought the estate.…

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Mary Soames: Patron, Mentor, Friend

Mary Soames: Patron, Mentor, Friend

From the Sum­mer 2014 issue of Finest Hour….

You may won­der why she is not on the cov­er. Our dear friend Lady Soames, who died peace­ful­ly at 91, sur­round­ed by her fam­i­ly, on May 31st at 8:35 pm, in fact deserves more than a hasti­ly con­coct­ed cov­er: she deserves a spe­cial edi­tion of Finest Hour, and that is what she shall have, issued between the sum­mer and autumn num­bers.

I say this notwith­stand­ing that I can hear her words: “Real­ly, you are going way O.T.T. [over the top] and it’s sil­ly to make a fuss.” Nev­er mind, Mary, we are going to make a fuss.…

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Black Swans Return to Chartwell

Black Swans Return to Chartwell

 

“All the black swans are mat­ing, not only the father and moth­er, but both broth­ers and both sis­ters have paired off. The Ptole­mys always did this and Cleopa­tra was the result. At any rate I have not thought it my duty to inter­fere.”  —Churchill to his wife, Chartwell, 21 Jan­u­ary 1935

Sev­en­ty-five years ago Lady Diana Coop­er observed that Chartwell’s birds “con­sist of five fool­ish geese, five furi­ous black swans, two rud­dy shel­drakes, two white swans—Mr. Juno and Mrs. Jupiter, so called because they got the sex­es wrong to begin with, two Cana­di­an geese (‘Lord and Lady Beaver­brook’) and some mis­cel­la­neous ducks.”

Chartwell’s black swans have been looked after as zeal­ous­ly as the apes on Gibral­tar, but over the years maraud­ing fox­es and mink had reduced the pop­u­la­tion, which reached zero last year.…

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