Possibly best known for being the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace in Woodstock is set in a magnificent 2100 acres of parkland, and was originally a gift from Queen Anne to John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough, as a symbol of hers and the nations appreciation of his gallant victory at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704.
The palace, one of England's largest houses, began being constructed in 1705. However, soon after that, Queen Anne's long and close friendship with The Duke's wife, Sarah Churchill, became strained and tense. It is said that the Duchess of Marlborough was a very argumentative and forceful woman, who had (up until that point) been able to exert a level of control over Queen Anne, both personally and politically, despite their vastly differing political opinions. By 1711 Anne had had enough - after one final quarrel, she ceased funds for the building of Blenheim Palace, and banished the Marlboroughs to exile abroad. However, just 3 years later, Queen Anne sadly died, and so the Marlboroughs returned and construction continued.
But due to funding issues (not to mention Sarah Churchill's fussiness when it came to designers), the Palace still was only just nearing completion by the time John Churchill, the Duke, died in 1722. But it was definitely worth the wait - the intricate detail, painted ceilings, delicate carvings and rich tapestries are a stunning and individual example of English Baroque architecture.
And so, for the past 300 years, Blenheim Palace has been the home of the Churchill's, currently occupied for part of the year by John Spencer-Churchill, the 11th Duke of Marlborough, who has made it into the World Heritage Site it is today.
Visit the palace and its extensive grounds for yourself, and be breath-taken by the award winning gardens, the great Lake, and the sheer historical beauty of Blenheim Palace.