The Colonial Williamsburg
The Churchill Bell
Watch video of the presentation of the Williamsburg Award to Sir Winston Churchill
Citizens Serving the Public Good
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation recognizes extraordinary leadership, service, and stewardship with its highest award—the Churchill Bell. The award is given to those who have helped preserve and perpetuate the values exemplified by 18th–century Williamsburg—liberty, courage, devotion to the dignity of the individual, and responsible citizenship.
In 1955, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s trustees, led by Chairman Winthrop Rockefeller, presented the first Williamsburg Award to Sir Winston Churchill to honor his leadership and commitment in the cause of liberty and freedom. A replica of a town crier’s sterling bell, handmade by the silversmiths in the Historic Area, The Colonial Williamsburg Churchill Bell is inspired by that presentation. It has been awarded ten times.
The Foundation’s most important awardThe Churchill Bell is the highest honor one can receive from The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. We intend that receiving the Bell will serve as an honor to the recipients, as an inspiration to all who value Colonial Williamsburg’s educational mission, and as a reminder of an important chapter in American history.
The inscription on the bell presented to Sir Winston Churchill at Draper’s Hall, London, December 7, 1955, reads
This Town Crier’s bell, symbol of the people’s vigil, commemorates the presentation of The Williamsburg Award to the Rt. Hon. Sir Winston S. Churchill, K. G., O. M., C. H., M. P., for his unexampled contribution in our time to the historic struggle of men to live, free and
self-respecting, in a just society.