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  • Writer's pictureJane Ritzenthaler

Blenheim Palace

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

Yesterday I visited Blenheim Palace, the ancestral home and birthplace of Winston Churchill. It is only about 20 minutes away from Aston, and Andy from the local garage was my personal tour guide during the ride. He told me about the history of the 12,000 acre estate located in Woodstock (not the Woodstock that comes to mind for most Americans!), which was granted to John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough as a reward for military triumphs in the War of the Spanish Succession. Construction took 15 years, and was completed in 1722. The palace is surrounded by gardens, two lakes and expansive lawns. The gardens, of course, are still waiting for spring to arrive, but a vast sea of daffodils covered many lawns.

There was a special exhibition throughout most of the palace rooms, Royal Connections - Crowns and Coronets - displaying the history of British monarchs and nobility. Below are a few photos and a video. The large sofa in the Red Room is a Chaperone Loveseat; the small seat at the left end is for the chaperone, facing discretely away from the couple. The third photo is of the recently refurbished small chapel.

Andy picked me up when the palace closed, and took the scenic route home, along a single-lane country road. Meeting oncoming traffic was something of a dance, with fields and ditches on either side. Below are a small church, part of their local parish, and Cote Manor House.

This afternoon Andy is taking me to the Cotswold village of Burford. To be continued!

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