Three UK heritage sites celebrate two decades of global recognition
Three of the UK’s World Heritage Sites comprising of globally significant textile mills, are celebrating 20 years of UNESCO inscription…Read more
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A world-class visitor attraction with a variety of cultural and sporting events, a wedding and banqueting venue, a unique filming location and producer of natural mineral water.
Receive a warm welcome into the home of the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Wonder at this masterpiece of 18th Century. Baroque architecture, which houses some of the finest antique collections in Europe. Take an audio tour of the State Rooms and admire the portraits, tapestries and exquisite furniture while learning about the 300-year history of this National Treasure.
Explore this World Heritage Site amongst over 2000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped parkland. Take a stroll up to the Grand Cascades or around the Lake to admire some of the finest views in England, looking out for the historical monuments such as the Column of Victory, Grand Bridge and Temple of Diana. Discover an array of Formal Gardens, including the Rose Garden, Water Terraces and Secret Garden. Delight in our family friendly Pleasure Gardens, reached by miniature train, with a giant hedge maze, butterfly house and adventure playground.
Blenheim Palace is not only an iconic part of history, but also a living, changing experience with a wealth of sporting and cultural events, themed exhibitions and tours throughout the year.Official website
Blenheim Palace was built in the grounds of Woodstock Manor, a Royal Palace dating back as far as Henry II. The original building stood just across the river from the present site of the Palace.
The land upon which Blenheim Palace is built is still technically owned by the Crown. The peppercorn rent requires that a replica of the French standard captured at the Battle of Blenheim be presented to the monarch on or before the 13th August each year – ie. the anniversary of the Battle of Blenheim.
At the end of the 19th century, keen ice-skaters would travel by train from Oxford to Woodstock and pay 6d (2½ p) for the opportunity to skate on the Lake. The money collected in this way was donated to the Radcliffe Infirmary.
The famous Stubbs Tiger painting in the Private Apartments is a portrait of the tiger which lived on the estate in the 18th century. The tiger (which is in fact a tigress) was presented to the Fourth Duke of Marlborough in 1762 by Lord Clive, the Governor of Bengal.
Blenheim Palace was in dire financial situation when the Ninth Duke of Marlborough inherited the title in 1892. Money was urgently needed so the Duke set off for America in search of a ‘Dollar Princess’.
Before the Palace existed, Henry II built a secret cloistered retreat for his mistress, Rosamund Clifford, in the grounds of the Royal Park.
The first Duke of Marlborough had no surviving sons which led an Act of Parliament being passed which enabled the estate to be passed to a female heir or through the female line.