Blenheim Palace

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Blenheim Palace - Birthplace of Winston Churchill

Blenheim Palace. Image copyright

When John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough, defeated the French at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704, Queen Anne gave him the manor of Woodstock and had the palatial home of Blenheim Palace built for him in gratitude. Blenheim Palace is set amidst breathtaking parkland, in the heart of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, eight miles from Oxford.

Blenheim Palace. Birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill

Blenheim monument. Image copyright


Blenheim Palace was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor and Sir John Vanbrugh and on 30th November 1874 was the birthplace of Winston Churchill, Britain's World War II leader. Winston Churchill was born in the suite of rooms that lie to the west of the Great Hall. These rooms house the Churchill Exhibition that give a fascinating insight into his life.

In 1704, as a thank-you for his victory over the French at the Battle of Blenheim, Queen Anne gave John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722), the royal estate of Woodstock, along with the promise of cash to build himself a palace.

Work started on Blenheim Palace, with Sir John Vanbrugh as the principal architect. However, the duke's wife (Sarah Jennings) wanted Christopher Wren as architect and was soon at loggerheads with Vanbrugh. And with Queen Anne having second thoughts and stifling the flow of money, construction work was halted.

Work was only finished on Blenheim Palace after the duke's death when his widow ended up paying most of the bills and designing much of the interior herself.

A view of Blenheim Palace. We think that the white marquee  is used to keep guests dry when raining. Possibly during the transfer of guests from one part to another. Image copyright

The magnificance of Blenheim Palace itself is matched by the magnificant gardens of the Blenheim Estate. Capability Brown re-landscaped the park in 1794 and created the lake. The water terrace gardens were laid out in the 1920s by French architect Achille Duchêne in 17th Century style.

Water Garden at Blenheim Palace


Cotswolds attractions

More Blenheim Palace Details

Blenheim Country Fair

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