Oscar Nemon's life-size bust of Winston Churchill

The Churchill Suites, Old Parsonage Hotel

Aug 4, 2021

Unveiling the Churchill Suites; ‘Winston’ and ‘Randolph’ at Old Parsonage Hotel, Oxford, including the reveal of Oxford’s first life-size Churchill bust by famous Oxford-based sculptor Oscar Nemon

To mark the 70th anniversary of the time when Oscar Nemon first met and sculpted Winston Churchill in 1951, Old Parsonage Hotel is delighted to unveil two brand new luxury suites: ‘The Churchill Suites’, individually named ‘Winston’ and ‘Randolph’. The hotel celebrates its 50th anniversary this year since the historical parsonage guesthouse was converted into a boutique hotel, and the team are proud to launch these suites, in celebration of Oxford’s rich history.

In both the ‘Winston Suite’ and ‘Randolph Suite’, guests are invited to immerse themselves in the truly fascinating story linking Sir Winston Churchill, his son Randolph Churchill, the famous Oxford-based sculptor Oscar Nemon, and Blenheim Palace. Through a carefully curated collection of rare photographs and memorabilia, unique intimate moments are on display, in visual tribute to both Winston Churchill, his son Randolph and their family. Some of the photographs reflect the close relationships that developed between Winston, Randolph and Nemon as the sculptor worked on portraits of both men.

Old Parsonage are extremely fortunate to have acquired a life size bronze bust of Winston Churchill by Nemon, which happens to be the first bust of its kind to be exhibited in Oxford. The bust is proudly on display, perched atop a special plinth, in pride of place, within the context of Oscar Nemon at work on his creations. Old Parsonage thanks the Nemon family for providing such a unique collection of photographs and artefacts, further enhancing the 17th century Old Parsonage’s country house charm with yet another striking art installation.

This Churchill/Nemon installation coincides with the much publicised and carefully curated Blenheim Palace Churchill Exhibition which was launched on the very day that the third Covid-19 Lockdown was lifted and the ‘Churchill Suites’ and the rest of the UK hotel accommodation was allowed to reopen. Old Parsonage will arrange special visits to the Blenheim Palace Churchill Exhibition, for those interested in delving deeper into the story.

One chapter in the story finds itself located beside the doorway of the suites, in the form of a map of Oxford. This map was translated into German by the civil service of the Third Reich on the instruction of Adolf Hitler. The explanation is both simple and shocking. Throughout the Second World War, Hitler was confident that Britain would be defeated and subsequently occupied. It is widely believed that his intention was to live at Blenheim Palace and use Oxford as the centre of his continuing administration. The significance of this map would not have been lost on Oscar Nemon. As a Yugoslav Jewish refugee, Nemon was afraid even to marry the English mother of his children during the war – in case Hitler invaded. He was afraid they would suffer the fate of his family in Croatia, almost all of whom were killed in the Holocaust.

Blenheim Palace is notable as the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill. Whilst the Old Parsonage in Oxford curiously brings all three protagonists together.

The light-filled and tranquil Churchill Suites feature king size, luxurious handmade Epoc beds, distinct living and dining areas, bespoke leather writing desks and objects d’art. Guests can enjoy afternoon tea in the walled courtyard of Parsonage Grill, relax within the peaceful and stunning surrounds of a carefully curated library, or explore the city the traditional way and borrow the hotel’s bicycles.

Additionally, the two suites will have at hand a copy of Josh Ireland’s ‘Churchill & Son’ and two sizes of replica bronze resin busts of Sir Winston Churchill, which are available for guests to purchase. The book explores and explains the extraordinary relationship between Lord Randolph, father of Winston Churchill, Winston and his favoured son, Randolph.

Oxford’s only Five Star Plus ‘Churchill Suites’ offer guests an exclusive retreat, across the city from the High where Old Bank Hotel revels in the excitement of dreaming spires, yet a short walk along the famous St Giles boulevard, towards eclectic and affluent North Oxford.

Whether guests are travelling for leisure, with friends and family, to celebrate upcoming graduations or for business, the ‘Churchill’ and ‘Randolph’ suites, with their luxury apartment style and space, offer the perfect Oxford retreat. Expect a true luxury home-from-home, with impeccable hospitality. Those staying in the new Churchill Suites are treated to VIP service immediately upon arrival, with reserved private parking, personalised amenities in suite, a bottle of Pol Roger Champagne and bespoke concierge services allowing for a unique, tailored and quintessentially ‘Oxford’ stay.

“With Winston Churchill’s and his son Randolph’s well-documented appreciation of the finer aspects of life, we like to think that had Winston, Randolph and Nemon seen the Old Parsonage in its present guise, they might have frequented our special hotel and restaurant and also approved of our unique tribute to them,” said Jeremy Mogford, experienced hotelier, and founder of The Oxford Collection.