[dropcap type =”circle”]W[/dropcap]ith over 300 years of history and heritage, the World Heritage Site Blenheim Palace is the perfect place to visit this autumn. Head inside the Palace to discover exciting contemporary artworks, battles fought on tapestries and learn all about the life of the family and the staff.
Take the guided State Room Tour, which runs throughout the day and is led by experts who each have their own passions and areas of special interest.
Learn about the entrance door to the Palace, made in 1715. It is still the same original door made from oak in the Park. The defensive lock (it only locks on one side) was fitted by the 6th Duke in the 1840’s and is said to be copied from a lock on the city gates of Warsaw. The key, known as the Coronet Key, weighs an incredible 1.5kg!
Discover incredible portraiture showing military and family history. From a set of 10 tapestry series commissioned by the 1st Duke to decorate the walls of the Palace and to celebrate his victories in the War of the Spanish Succession; to John Singer Sargent’s portrait of the 9th Duke and his Dollar Princess, Consuelo Vanderbilt.
Read a copy of the original dispatch which earned the family Blenheim Palace in the First State Room. The famous Blenheim Dispatch reads: “I have not time to say more but beg you will give my duty to the Queen and let her know her Army has had a glorious victory. Marshall Tallard and two other generals are in my coach and I am following the rest. Colonel Parke, my aide-de-camp, will give her an account of what has passed and I shall do it in a day or two by another more at large,” signed Marlborough.
Visit the Long Library, considered to be the finest room in the Palace and the last to be decorated. It is 183 feet long, the second longest room in a private house in the country. The original ceiling was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor, and the beautiful stucco work was executed by Isaac Mansfield. The floor, made of English oak from the Park, was laid in 1722. Originally, the room was a picture gallery, but it was later converted to a Library. Visitors can count over 10,000 books, which include many first editions and rare finds.
Explore the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, in the Palace’s Churchill Exhibition which takes visitors on the journey of his life, starting in the very room in which he was born. The unique exhibition is brought to life with photographs, letters, artefacts and treasures giving an immersive look at his life.
Finally visitors can finish their journey in beautiful Orangery Restaurant, overlooking His Grace’s private Italian Garden, for a Marlborough inspired Afternoon Tea.
For more information go to www.blenheimpalace.com