Britain’s greatest palace, birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and a World Heritage Site… Set in 2,100 acres of stunning ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped parkland and award-winning formal gardens, Blenheim Palace was a gift from Queen Anne and a grateful nation to the 1st Duke of Marlborough, following his famous victory at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704. This masterpiece of English Baroque architecture was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, featuring magnificent Nicholas Hawksmoor ceilings and the intricate stone work of Grinling Gibbons. It is only fitting then that in 1874, Britain’s greatest palace was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, our ‘Greatest Briton’.
Today, you can take a guided tour of the gilded state rooms, which house one of the finest collections in Europe, including family portraits, sculptures, Boulle furniture and the famous ‘Victory Tapestries’, charting the military campaigns of the 1st Duke of Marlborough; marvel at the grandeur of the Long Library, running 55 metres in length and considered to be Nicholas Hawksmoor’s finest room, with stucco decoration in the false domes by Isaac Mansfield and a spectacular 1891 Willis organ; and admire the remarkable murals painted in the style of trompe-l’œil by Louis Laguerre in the central saloon, also known as the state dining room, and now used by the 11th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough once a year on Christmas Day.
Both a monument and a mausoleum, Blenheim offers an unforgettable glimpse of British history.
- Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PS
- Open: Monday–Sunday 10:30 – 17:30
- Blenheim Palace website: http://www.blenheimpalace.com/