Thursday, November 16, 2017

Off to visit a Palace

It's so nice in England you can visit the tiniest of cottages one hour and soon visit the grandest of palaces.  They even call some of these grand palaces a house!  This afternoon we are going to Blenheim Palace!

To say Blenheim is enormous is an understatement!  This UNESCO World Heritage site took my breath away when we walked from the car park to the palace gate.  It is now the home of the 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family.  The palace was originally intended to be the reward of the 1st Duke of Marlborough (John Churchill) after the Battle of Blenheim in 1704.  The palace has been in the family of the Spencer/Churchill's for over 300 years.  It is the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.

Inside Blenheim, is grand and extraordinary as you can imagine.

The ceilings are beautiful.

So much plaster work full of opulence!

Beautiful tapestries adorn many walls.

Tromp L'loeil painted room by Louis Laguerre.  

Most of these grand palaces have libraries and Blenheim is no exception.  This is the Long Library designed by Christopher Wren.  It houses the pipes for the organ that serves the chapel.  It is the largest private pipe organ in Europe.  It was built by Henry Willis and Sons in 1891. 

The chapel had a music service that was lovely to hear.

 If one is invited to the coronation of a king or queen you must supply your own chair and your robes to wear.  These were used by the family.

There is a whole wing dedicated to Sir Winston Churchill and his memorabilia.

The room where he was born.

Winston Churchill married Clementine Ogilvy in 1908.  They had five children.

As beautiful as the interior is we are anxious to explore the grounds.  First we need to have something to eat.  It's a lovely afternoon to dine alfresco.  

The grounds have evolved over the years at Blenheim.  The latest genius to take over here was Capability Brown.  In 1764 he moved the more formal garden idea to an idea that all nature was a garden.  He reshaped the surroundings to suggest a never ending view. 

The Column of Victory was completed after the death of the 1st Duke of Marlborough.  It is 134 ft. tall and is surrounded by elms that represent the troops in the Battle of Blenheim.

We enjoyed our visit to Blenheim Palace.  We are just beginning our journey.  I hope you will enjoy the places we visit.  There's plenty of walking, so wear comfortable shoes! ♥