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Blenheim Palace East Gate
Blenheim Palace

Built for the Duke of Marlborough as a reward for defeating the armies of Louis 14th during the War of the Spanish Succession, Blenheim is a study in baroque splendour like no other. Britain’s greatest ever military commander rose from comparatively humble origins to found the dynasty of nobles which eventually provided Britain with Winston Churchill, who was actually born here in 1874.

Queen Anne gifted the Duke the land in 1705 and parliament voted the fantastic sum of £240,000 to built a house that was simultaneously a home, national monument and, eventually, a mausoleum.

Architect John Vanbrugh (also a playwright) was a controversial choice, not least for the Duchess who wanted Sir Christopher Wren and was eventually to ban Vanbrugh from even seeing his baroque masterpiece.

Sarah Duchess of Marlborough  was herself was a controversial figure and, having dominated Queen Anne for so long, eventually fell from favour and was forced to flee abroad with the Duke until the Queen's death in 1714.

The magnificent parkland surrounding the palace was redesigned by Capability Brown in 1764, including the proper damming of the River Glyme to create the famous lake which almost surrounds the palace. This also caused the flooding of the lower half of Vanbrugh’s bridge including most of the 30 odd rooms that it contained.

Among the places of interest for Winston Churchill fans are the room and bed in which he was born and the Greek temple folly where he eventually plucked up the courage to propose to Clementine before their marriage in 1908. He is buried nearby in the family plot of the modest local church at Bladon.

Its a lovely day out, great for history fans and those who appreciate the beauty of nature and the splendour of art.


Trip Details


Pick-up time – 09.00

Drop-off time – 17.00

Drive Time total – 3 1/2 hrs

Steps (approximate) – 8-10K

Ticket Link –

Blenheim Palace Drive
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