THE BIRTHPLACE OF SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL, THE PALACE AT
Cheerio! Ken Baxter here and greetings from the United Kingdom! One of our stops in the UK included a visit to Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and one of Britain’s finest historical landmarks with over 300 years of history. If only walls could talk.
This magnificent structure, built between 1705 and 1722, encompasses nearly 2,100 acres behind its walls. Named for the 1704 Battle of Blenheim, in Bavaria it was a gift from Queen Anne to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough for his military triumphs. After the palace was completed, it became the home of the Churchill (later Spencer-Churchill) family for the next 300 years, and various family members have left their own personal stamp on palace interiors, park and gardens. Near the end of the 19th century the palace fell upon hard times and was saved and returned to its former grandeur after the 9th Duke of Marlborough married an American heiress, Consuelo Vanderbilt.
Areas such as the Great Hall, with its soaring 64 foot ceilings, marble pillars and archways are examples in its 200 rooms of the grandeur that epitomized the style of the day for an 18th Century home built for royalty. All throughout the palace you can see examples of the English Baroque style including gilded moldings a large collection of tapestries. One treasure, the Blenheim Tapestry, is a priceless masterpiece, commissioned by the Duke himself depicting his victory at Blenheim. The Red Drawing Room contains fine bronzes and paintings, the furniture is over the top with Victorian styled sofas upholstered in luxurious fabrics. Hardwood floors are polished to a mirror finish. The palace sits at the center of a large, formal English garden and a large body of water known as the Great Lake with a waterfall.
The palace was also the location the UK State Dinner of July, 2018 hosted by Prime Minister Theresa May for President Donald Trump and first lady Melania. Blenheim Palace is the only palace in Britain not owned by the monarchy or the church.
Blenheim has been home to the Churchill family for centuries and was also the birthplace of the 1st Duke’s famous descendant, Sir Winston Churchill, whose life and times are commemorated by a fascinating on-site exhibit. The Palace Chapel was the last element to be finished along with the mausoleum that lies beneath it, the resting place of previous Dukes and Duchesses of Malborough. Winston Churchill, however was not interred in the mausoleum, he expressed to family his desire to be laid to rest in St. Martin’s parish churchyard at Bladon, a place reserved for “lesser members” of the Churchill family. If you have any questions, be sure to email me at [email protected] – we read and respond to each and every email. I would love to hear from you.
Thank you for visiting my blog – Ken Baxter Las Vegas