Blenheim Palace UNESCO World Heritage Site to Host Jousting Tournament

Announcement, Arts, Blenheim Palace, Culture, Education, Events, Exhibition, Heritage, History, Military, News, Opportunities, Performance, Tourism, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

Jousting

Blenheim Palace will be alive to the thunder of hooves and the clash of lances on shields as it hosts the Knights of Royal England’s Jousting Tournament from May 5th-7th. Visitors will be transported back in time to a medieval tournament; complete with authentic tilt yard, royal box, falconry, archery and hand to hand combat.

Recreating the glorious jousting matches of Britain’s past, knights in shining armour will take to the field on their noble steeds in a momentous display of bravery and skill beneath the spectacular backdrop of Blenheim Palace. Knights and horses will be costumed with chainmail and steel armour for the period 1200-1250. The knights will be using 14-foot-long lances and riding at full gallop. There will be approximately 15 participants all dressed to assume their part in this authentic and thrilling re-creation of the Tournament.

The weekend will be packed with historic action and family friendly entertainment, from thrilling falconry displays to ‘have-a-go’ archery. For the younger children there will be baby dragons to meet and the chance to join the Dragon Procession. Hatched from a small dragon sanctuary in the Welsh Marshes, these delightful creatures are very friendly and well mannered, although a dragon is never entirely predictable… Families can enjoy food, refreshments and tournament treats on the South Lawn along with a medieval stand with lots of historically themed goodies.

The Blenheim Estate is no stranger to genuine jousting tournaments. In 1389 John, Earl of Pembroke, was killed in a jousting accident while a Christmas guest at the old Woodstock royal palace.

WHAT: Spring Jousting Tournament at the Blenheim Palace UNESCO World Heritage Site

WHEN: May 5th-7th

WHY VISIT: Knights on horseback, battles, falconry displays, dragons, archery and much more!

ADMISSION: Park & Gardens ticket required: Adult £16.00, Child £7.40, Family (2 Adults & 2 Children) £43.00

WEBSITE: blenheimpalace.com

VIDEO: https://vimeo.com/264025969

Blenheim Palace wins VisitEngland award

Awards, Blenheim Palace, Business, Celebration, Culture, News, Tourism, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

Blenheim Palace 2017Blenheim Palace has been awarded the highly regarded VisitEngland Quality Assured Visitor Attraction. The accreditation offers prospective visitors from all over the world the reassurance of an official endorsement of high quality and showcases the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s tireless commitment to excellence.

With scores of more than 80% in each category, judges found Blenheim Palace to have a 100% score in its Retail Category and an impressive 93% score in the Attraction Category.

Judges from VisitEngland commented “Blenheim Palace achieved an overall score of 89% under the VisitEngland Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme. The broad range of well-publicised tours and experiences particularly impressed this year.

They continued: “Excellent customer service was the overriding quality delivered throughout the day with some outstanding individuals at the visitor information desk, two of the retail facilities and the buggy tour driver.”

Heather Carter, Operations Manager at Blenheim Palace says: “This represents another great audit by an internationally recognised body of quality for our visitors. VisitEngland have given us a very positive score which we are all thrilled with. She continues: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff who work so hard to maintain this standard of excellence.”

Built in the early 18th century to celebrate Britain’s victory over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession, Blenheim Palace is the ancestral home of the Dukes of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.

For more information please contact: Melodie Manners | melodie@flamingo-marketing.co.uk | 07815 709548 or 01637 873379

Blenheim Palace wins Great China Welcome Award

Awards, Celebration, News, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites

Blenheim Palace has won national recognition for its positive approach to welcoming visitors from China.

Blenheim_PalaceThe Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site was presented with the GREAT China Welcome award at VisitEngland’s prestigious Awards for Excellence event held at the Hilton Waldorf Hotel in London on Monday.

The GREAT China welcome programme aims to make Britain the destination of choice for the rapidly-growing Chinese market.

Blenheim Palace’s Operations Director, Heather Carter said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this award. Blenheim Palace is a living, changing experience with a wealth of events, themed tours and exhibitions throughout the year, and welcomes millions of visitors both from the UK and overseas. We were the first stately home to sign up for the GREAT China Charter and we are committed to developing our Chinese market.

“Blenheim is continually looking at innovative ways to improve and adapt the visitor experience to appeal to Chinese tourists and to underline the fact we are ‘China ready’,” she added.

Among the initiatives currently in place are Chinese guide books and guides, an audio guide and map on their website, a Mandarin speaking waitress in the Orangery and a menu in Mandarin. All staff also have the opportunity to enrol in Mandarin Chinese language classes free of charge.The team are about to produce audio recordings of some of the Palace and Gardens tours in a variety of languages; including Chinese.

Blenheim Palace was also among the first major UK heritage visitor attractions to accept UnionPay, the most widely used bank debit card throughout China and South East Asia.In addition to its on-site initiatives.  Blenheim Palace works with a number of Chinese travel groups, tour operators and trade missions in China.

At the centre of the programme is the GREAT China Welcome Charter which helps Chinese visitors to easily identify hotels, attractions, retailers and tour operators that are making themselves ‘China-ready’ by providing information in Mandarin or Cantonese and adapting their products for the Chinese market and culture.

Built in the early 18th century to celebrate Britain’s victory over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession, Blenheim Palace is the ancestral home of the Dukes of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.

Blenheim Palace “under wraps”

Conservation, News, Uncategorized

Blenheim Palace has embarked on a major £350,000 restoration project on its historic North Steps entrance. The steps, which are an integral part of the Oxfordshire baroque Palace, have been welcoming millions of visitors for almost three centuries.

Recent survey work showed the stone steps are slowly spreading apart and moving downhill away from the main structure. Exploratory excavations revealed they were originally constructed on top of a mix of compacted stone rubble, earth and mortared brickwork. Over the centuries lime mortar between the bricks has been eroded and the infill base settled, this combined with gravity has resulted in the steps moving away from the Palace.

A team of specialist stonemasons will painstakingly remove the existing step and Portland flagstones, before reinstating the underlying substrate. Each step and flagstone will then be thoroughly inspected to see it if requires and repairs and, if necessary, replacement.

While work is taking place the area has been wrapped in a 56 metre long and seven metre high banner featuring a photographic representation of the North Steps. Special viewing windows and platforms have also been created so the public can see the restoration work taking place.

 The restoration project began in December, 2016 and is anticipated to be completed by mid-May, 2017. While work is taking place the steps will be out of action to visitors, however special viewing windows and platforms have been created so the public can see the restoration work taking place.

Roger File, Property Director said: “We’d like to apologise to our visitors for any inconvenience this restoration project will cause, however it is crucial we undertake this type of conservation work to help preserve and protect Blenheim Palace for future generations to enjoy and experience”

.“The work will also provide a fascinating opportunity to gain an insight in to how the original builders created part of this extraordinary structure,” He added.

In 2011 Blenheim Palace completed similar restoration work on the South Front Steps which were also moving away from the Palace. The restoration proved incredibly successful and has offered a template for the current restoration project.

Built in the early 18th century as a monument to celebrate Britain’s victory over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession, the Palace is the ancestral home of the Dukes of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. It was officially designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

New Tour for 2017 at Blenheim Palace

Arts, Conservation, Events, News, Opportunities, Uncategorized, World Heritage Sites

Discover the real ‘Behind the Scenes’ at Blenheim Palace, in a fascinating limited edition new tour for 2017. ‘Restoration & Conservation’ will be the theme of the guided tours which will begin in the New Year as part of the extended opening season experience offered to visitors at the Oxford World Heritage Site.

The ‘Restoration & Conservation’ tour will be exclusively available from 9 January – 8 February 2017, running twice per day excluding Sundays. The new tours will tie in to the annual deep clean of Blenheim Palace which will now be on full to visitors during this period. The tour will give an in-depth look into what is being done in each of the State Rooms.

The new tours will look at two very important aspects of running a 300 year old Palace, including restoring a piece of art, building or tapestry to its original condition, as well as the preservation and repair of the historical and cultural site and its artefacts. The tour will also examine the theme of renovation, exploring how Blenheim Palace must also modernise and remain as a comfortable family home and appealing to visitors.

From the necessary continuing restoration of the ‘Capability’ Brown Cascades and Bladon dams, work which will total approximately £2m when completed to keeping the Palace safe for its inhabitants and visitors, the tour will look at which projects are undertaken, when and why.

The fascinating tour will also look at the most impactful projects including The Eyes in 1928. Painted for the 2nd wife of the 9th Duke, Gladys Deacon, these have a great visual impact on visitors. Exposure to the elements over 80 years had caused the painting and plaster work to degrade to a point where they were barely visible. 

From clocks to paintings each piece of work often requires specialist and niche attention, with specialists sought from all over the world to complete the painstaking tasks of restoring priceless pieces of history.

The job of cleaning the China collection used to fall to the 10th Duchess and her unfortunate administrator, Archie Illingworth – he used to dread the call, ‘Mr Illingworth, today we are going to clean the China!’  The Duchess would wash the China and it was Archie’s responsibility to dry it.

 One of the recent renovations is the Bouchain Tapestry, the priceless 18th century tapestry depicting one of Britain’s most important military victories is 25ft wide and almost 15 feet high. The giant wall hanging is made of wool and silk and was woven in the Brussels workshop of the Flemish weaver, Judocus de Vos.

Part of a set of 10, the tapestries are the most accurate and detailed contemporary records that exist of the campaign, not least because the 1st Duke, John Churchill, provided accurate battle plans and portraits of the principal characters. After being painstakingly removed from the walls of the Palace’s Second State Room, the tapestry was carefully rolled up before being transported back to the city it was originally created in for renovation. It took a year to completely renovate!

From keeping the rain out, Blenheim Palace has over 7 acres of roof, to protecting ceremonial robes, the Marlborough;s Coronation Robes were beginning to deteriorate in the sunlight, there is must to learn and lots of exciting facts to discover.

What: New Restoration & Conservation Tour at Blenheim Palace

When: From 6 January – 28 February 2017, running twice per day excluding Sundays

Why Visit: Discover the intricate processes of historical restoration and modern conservation whilst maintaining the heritage of the Oxfordshire World Heritage Site.

Price: Palace, Park & Garden ticket required, Adult £24.90, Concession* £19.90, Child £13.90

Website: blenheimpalace.com

Bond at Blenheim Palace

Arts, Celebration, Events, News, Performance, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites

Bond at Blenheim Palace - Nocturne 2016

The line-up for this summer’s Nocturne concert series is now complete with the announcement that The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra will perform a selection of music from classic Bond films on Saturday June 25th. Presented by former Bond girl Fiona Fullerton (A View To A Kill), and featuring guest vocalists Mary Carewe and Simon Bowman, The RPCO will perform themes from films including Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, Live & Let Die, Licence to Kill, Skyfall and the acclaimed score from Spectre under the direction of conductor Richard Balcombe. With some scenes from Spectre having been filmed at Blenheim Palace, the World Heritage site is a fitting location for a concert in tribute to the iconic film series.

Nocturne transforms The Great Court at Blenheim Palace into the ultimate open-air concert venue and the other headline events at this year will be Ennio Morricone, who will conduct a 200-strong orchestra and choir on Thursday June 23rd, The Corrs, with support from Jack Savoretti, on Friday 24th and Elton John and his band, with support from Foy Vance, on Sunday 26th.

Tickets for ‘The Music From Bond’ start at £37.50 and are on sale from Monday April 25th. 

See www.nocturnelive.com

The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations at Blenheim Palace

Events, News, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites
Blenheim Palace- credit Darling Starlingscredit:darling starlings

Blenheim Palace has announced a very special party for the Queen’s 90th Birthday on 12 June. The Great Court will be transformed for the celebrations with brass bands playing at times throughout the day. At 1pm the seven brass bands will come together to play Happy Birthday and the National Anthem in celebration of our longest reigning monarch.

Her Majesty has been a regular visitor to the Palace, staying with the Duke & Duchess of Marlborough on in 1958 and visiting most recently in 1975.

Blenheim Palace will also have a big screen on display in the Great Court which will be showing the celebrations for the Queen in the Mall and a Winston Churchill lookalike will also be gracing the party.

A birthday table will be laid by Head Butler, Stephen in The Saloon, Blenheim Palace’s State Dining Room with walls and ceilings painted by French decorative artist Louis Laguerre. The Duke and his family have their Christmas dinner here every year.

Situated within the Great Court will be food carts and four barrows selling goodies; from hot dogs to a chocolate fountain with sweets and waffles. Visitors can also toast Her Majesty with a glass of champagne from Searcys Champagne Wagon.

Visits are encouraged to bring their own blankets and a picnic to enjoy the ‘Capability’ Brown Parkland and celebrations or can book a table in the stunning Orangery Restaurant for elevenses, lunch or a quintessential Afternoon Tea.

WHAT:            Celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday at Blenheim Palace

WHEN:            12 June

WHY VISIT:    Experience a birthday celebration like no other in Blenheim Palace’s spectacular Great Court.

ADMISSION:  Park & Gardens ticket required: Adult £14.90 Child £6.90 Family £39.90

WEBSITE:       blenheimpalace.com

For more information please contact:

Melodie Manners | melodie@flamingo-marketing.co.uk | 01637 873379 or 07815 709548

  • Opening times and ticket pricing applies
  • Seven local brass bands will be playing from 11am until 3pm each with a 30 minute slot.
  • At 1pm the seven brass bands will come together and play ensemble.
  • Blenheim Palace is a member of the Green Tourism Business Scheme.
  • Blenheim Palace is a member of the Treasure Houses of England, 10 of the most magnificent palaces, stately homes and castles in England www.treasurehouses.co.uk

 

Annual Pass

BUY ONE DAY, GET 12 MONTHS FREE*

Blenheim Palace offers an amazing annual pass ticket deal. When you buy a single day ticket to the Palace, Park and Gardens, you can convert it into an annual pass for free and gain unlimited entry for 12 months.

Annual Pass Privilege Card – 15% discount on dining and shopping*

Blenheim Palace is offering a special Privilege Card upgrade option with the Annual Pass. For an extra £5 you can receive a 15% discount in all Blenheim Palace Shops and Cafés!