Blenheim Palace is set to open its doors to visitors again from Saturday, 4th July.
Widely regarded as a masterpiece of 18th century Baroque architecture, ‘Britain’s Greatest Palace’ was built as a gift to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, from Queen Anne and a grateful nation in thanks for his victory at the Battle of Blenheim on 13th August 1704.
The Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site houses one of the most important and extensive collections in Europe, which includes portraits, furniture, sculpture and tapestries.
To mark its re-opening the Palace is also putting on display a set of four Marlborough family portraits; one of which features the 4th Duke of Marlborough as a child and has never been on show to the public before.
Other new features will see the Library decorated in the style of the 1920s and the coronation robes, chairs and coronets used by the 10th Duke and Duchess for the crowning of King George VI in 1937 will also be on show.
Visitors will also be able to enjoy al fresco dining in a series of outdoor marquee pods in the Italian Garden next to the Orangery restaurant, which will be serving lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
As part of its re-opening Blenheim Palace has introduced a series of ‘keeping safe’ measures.
Daily visitor numbers are limited and admission is only via online pre-booking. Visitors will be welcomed at a safe distance, all transactions are cashless and staff in key engagement areas will be wearing personal protective equipment and be behind protective screens.
New signage, barriers and announcements form part of the visit, and additional staff are on hand to provide advice and information. Extra temporary outdoor toilets with washing and hand sanitising areas have also been set up.
Visitors can also watch an explanatory video online prior to arriving on site, which clearly explains the new procedures.
- To book and reserve time slots to visit go www.blenheimpalace.com/tickets . To book one of the marquee pods visit www.blenheimpalace.com/visitus/cafes-restaurants/orangery/.
Note: The Untold Story and the Churchill Exhibition will remain closed, although visitors will have access to the bedroom where Churchill was born.