Visiting Blenheim Palace – Oxford – Photos

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace

Visiting Blenheim Palace was an extraordinary treat for me.  I lived in Oxford for a small time many years ago, but somehow I didn’t manage to visit the Palace.  It was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh and the grounds were designed by Capability Brown.  It is beautifully preserved and full of wonderful treasures.

Victory monument

Victory monument

History of Blenheim Palace

So first a bit of history – Blenheim Palace was built for the first Duke of Marlborough to celebrate his victory in the Battle of Blenheim.  The first duke was John Churchill and the palace was later the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill.  Construction of the palace began in 1705.  This photo is taken from the steps of the palace and way off in the distance you can see the Column of Victory dedicated to the first duke.  It was raining the day I visited so I didn’t get close enough to the Column to take a clearer photo.




The interior

The interior

Inside Blenheim Palace

Wandering inside the palace provokes awe.  Imagine having rooms such as this one to live in!  Visiting on a rainy day meant that there weren’t too many other visitors.  It was a real treat to be able to wander in these rooms at my own pace.

Wonderful curtains

Wonderful curtains

These curtains appealed to me.  Actually they are probably better described as blinds.  At the top lies a semi circle of gathered fabric.  Beneath this the curtain/blinds drop in gathered sections – really eyecatching.

Tapestry chair

Tapestry chair

Obviously the furniture in the palace was exquisite.  I have never tried any tapestry but my first feeling on seeing this chair was that I would be afraid to sit on it.  Imagine thinking that you were wearing away such extraordinary workmanship!

I also passed many huge and wonderful tapestries hanging on the walls.  I would have brought you photos of them, but the rooms were quite dark and the photos didn’t show the tapestries very well.

Dresses of the time

Dresses of the time

The route around the palace follows a trail through the downstairs rooms.  This display of dresses showed the most beautiful dresses – but imagine having to wear them every day!

Upstairs in the Palace

The route around the upstairs was very unusual – and totally riveting.  In each room we saw a short video narrated by the first Duchess of Marlborough’s maid.  She explained what happened in each room, becoming a ghost as the years passed.  She would ask questions of the people living there in her future.  This formed a really unusual way of explaining the changes at the palace over the years.  Very effective.

The Cascades

The Cascades

Visiting Blenheim Palace – the grounds

The grounds of the palace provide just as fascinating an experience as the palace itself.  Well laid out walks take you through some of the sections of the grounds.  The Cascades are designed so that the fall of the water is broken by strategically placed rocks.  The water forms a pattern as it falls rather than just falling straight to the bottom.

The Palace always dominates

The Palace always dominates

The formal gardens just outside the palace can be seen from the windows and must have provided wonderful quiet walking areas for the Churchills through the years.  Wherever you walk, you can always look back at the grandeur of the palace.

As you can probably tell, I was fascinated by my visit to Blenheim Palace and enjoyed every minute of it.

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Comments

  1. Hello Rose,
    Thank you so much for your wonderful sewing tutorials and the great pictures of your travels. I doubt I will ever get to England ( I live in Arizona, USA), so it is a real treat to be able to see these beautiful and historic places. Thanks again for all you do.

    • Thanks for your kind comments, Anne. My daughter spent an exchange year in Arizona and she had a wonderful time there. Glad you enjoy my travel photos.

  2. Elizabeth Groves says:

    Thank you Rose for this lovely reminder of Blenheim Palace, such happy memories when visiting from Australia a few years back. Love reading about your travels, just wish we were not so far away

  3. Looks like a gem to find!

    • Hi Faith. It was definitely that. I’ve never seen such a clever way of showing the history of both the Palace and the Spencer-Churchill family as the video tour that they had in the upstairs section.

  4. Thank you for allowing us to enjoy your travels with you. I’m sure the pictures don’t begin to show the full beauty of the castle and grounds, but it is fun to see parts of it. Thank you.

    • Hi Lorene. You’re right – the interior of the palace was breathtaking but the rooms were quite dark so I didn’t take many photos inside. They had a lot of tapestries and works of art that needed to be shielded from direct light.

  5. sheila Lymn says:

    oh Rose what fasinating visit for those of us who most probably will never go , I love not only your work and ideas but your sharing of interesting places that you visit .
    love and hugs Sheila xx

    • Thanks, Sheila. Blenheim was a wonderful place to visit – they’ve made it really visitor-friendly as well. The staff are really friendly and helpful.

  6. Colleen McKinlay says:

    So enjoyed your commentary and pics of Blenheim Castle. Definitely a place I would love to visit. Thank you Rose. We have a street in Vancouver called Blenheim. Now I know why. 😊Colleen

    • Hi Colleen. I believe that the Palace was named for the first Duke’s victory at the Battle of Blenheim which took place in Bavaria. It is now called Blindheim and lies on the Danube River. Of course, Blenheim will always mean the Palace in my mind.