I always wanted to see this magnificent building, the only non-royal ‘Palace’ in England, and as this year’s motto is ‘going to places I always wanted to see’ (more about this in a couple of weeks), Blenheim Palace was on my list. It is one England’s largest houses; the money and royal land to build it on was gifted to the 1st Duke of Malborough by Queen Anne for his military triumphs against the French and Bavarians during the War of the Spanish Succession, culminating in the 1704 Battle of Blenheim. (At the same time a ‘quit-rent’ standard was issued. Every year a new version of this French royal standard is made and this Blenheim standard is sent annually as ‘quit-rent’ to the Sovereign at Windsor Castle otherwise the land the palace is built on is reclaimed by the Royal Family. Traditionally this happens on 13th August every year to celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Blenheim.)
The building of the palace didn’t go quite as planned though and it soon became the subject to political infighting leading to exile, fall from power and damage to the architects reputation.
But it is also the place where Winston Churchill was born and proposed to his future wife. The palace remains the home of the Dukes of Marlborough and is enjoyed by thousands of tourists each year. Architect Sir John Vanbrugh designed the palace in the rare, and short-lived, English Baroque style and it stands proudly in the parks and gardens.
The interior and the state rooms are impressive to say the least:
It’s a shame that not many buildings were built in the English Baroque style as it features some lovely details.
Obviously there are amazing gardens and don’t forget that the palace sits on an extensive estate.
There is much more to see than I could possibly fit in this blog post so if you get a chance, go and visit. And make sure you have enough time to explore it all.