Rural Missouri Magazine

The 'Iron Curtain' church
Winston Churchill Memorial and Library — Fulton, MO

by Bob McEowen

Few houses of worship can claim the history of The Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, an English Church designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1667. Originally built in London and today located on the campus of Westminister College in Fulton, the church is a popular site for weddings (see our cover).

Now the site of the Winston Churchill Memorial and Library, the church was destroyed by German bombing during World War II. In 1969, the ruins of the church were gathered up, moved to Missouri and rebuilt as a memorial to Winston Churchill and his historic “Sinews of Peace” address.

In 1946, with President Truman and other dignitaries in attendance, Churchill spoke of an “iron curtain” descending across Europe in a speech delivered at the Westminster College campus. Churchill’s life, his visit to Fulton and his seminal address are celebrated in a museum located beneath the church.

In 1990, Churchill’s granddaughter, artist Edwina Sandys, unveiled a sculpture created from a section of the Berlin Wall and located just beyond the church. Christened “Breakthrough,” the artwork (shown at left) features vibrant graffiti on its West Berlin side, while the Communist East Berlin surface shows only grey concrete.

The memorial is open daily except major holidays. For more information about the Winston Churchill Memorial and Library, call (573) 592-5369 or log onto

Rural Missouri | June 2020 Issue

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