A Little History
Home to the Dukes of Marlborough, the only non-royal 'Palace' in England and a World Heritage Site, Blenheim Palace was originally intended to be a reward to the first Duke of Marlborough for victory against French and Bavarian forces in Europe.
Blenheim's architect was Sir John Vanbrugh, although, since he had no training he worked alongside Sir Nicholas Hawksmoor. The Palace is Baroque, completed in the early 18th century. It is a home, a mausoleum and a national monument, although not necessarily in that order... in fact Vanbrugh resigned before the Palace's completion, perhaps unable to reconcile the Duchess's desire for a family home with the other elements of the brief. At the same time the Duchess's relationship with Queen Anne deteriorated and payments for the construction ceased.
Much later the park was developed by 'Capability' Brown -the lake being his most visible addition. Blenheim Palace was also, famously the birthplace and home of Winston Churchill.
Blenheim today remains the home of the Dukes of Blenheim, but it is also now one of Britain's great visitor attractions. Visitors can enjoy the grandeur of the Palace (both inside and out), the park various other attractions such a maze, adventure playground, mini-train, gift shops, butterfly house, fishing, cafeteria - complete with Blenheim natural mineral water.
If parts of the Palace look strangely familiar, it may be because it is often used for filming - from Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet to the recent Spectre James Bond outing.
The Palace is open daily from 10.30am to 5.30pm, with last admission at 4.45pm. The Park is open from 9am to 6pm (or dusk).
Admission is £24.90 for adults, children £13.90. A family ticket is available at £59.90, however please note that discounted tickets are available at The Feathers' reception.