Summary:The birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is a World Heritage Site high on the list of places to visit in the Cotswolds. Home to the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, it is a true masterpiece of 18th Century baroque architecture and boasts more than 2,000 acres of parkland and formal gardens and a magnificent lake.
Blenheim Palace, just outside Woodstock, is a true masterpiece of 18th Century baroque architecture and, as a World Heritage Site, it is high on the list of places to visit in the Cotswolds.
Home to the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim boasts more than 2,000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown parkland and formal gardens and a magnificent lake.
Blenheim Palace was built to celebrate the victory over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession and in particular, it was built as a gift to the First Duke Marlborough - the military commander who led the Allied forces in the Battle of Blenheim in 1704.
Over the past 300 years, several Dukes have made a considerable difference to Blenheim Palace and its surrounding areas.
The 11th Duke, who died in 2014, committed his life to the preservation of this great house and in 1987 the palace and its formal gardens and park were created a World Heritage Site.
A great deal of restoration and conservation work has been undertaken in recent years, despite the fact that Blenheim does not currently receive any external funding support.
While all the Dukes and Duchesses made their own impact on Blenheim Palace, the most famous member of the family was Sir Winston Churchill, who was born at Blenheim in 1874 and spent a considerable amount of time at the palace. He was grandson of the 7th Duke and also a close friend of the 9th Duke and Duchess.
Visitors to Blenheim Palace today can witness delicate detail balanced with ambitious architecture on the grandest scale, from the imposing Great Hall to the beautifully intricate State Rooms.
Visitors can enjoy a range of special tours of the palace and there is also the chance to take part in an innovative visitor experience called 'Blenheim Palace: the Untold Story' where visitors can discover fascinating real-life stories at Blenheim Palace from the last 300 years. Sir Winston Churchill features prominently in the various exhibitions that run at Blenheim.
The formal gardens are the jewels in Blenheim's crown. A collection of majestic gardens commissioned by the 9th Duke, their beauty is exemplified in the serene water terraces, the secret garden and The Duke’s Italian garden.
Elsewhere, there’s family fun to be found at The Pleasure Gardens – where a miniature train, giant maze and tropical butterfly house provide perfect entertainment for children.
Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PP