Saturday, October 30, 2010

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace is about 8 miles outside of Oxford and is a must see if you come visit us!  Jared and I bought year-long passes to make sure that all our visitors will get to see this fabulous palace.

Unfortunately we could not take pictures inside the palace, but here are a few more than enough of the beautiful grounds.  The forecast called for a beautiful and sunny day, but in true English fashion we never saw the sun.  We have slowly learned that you should always carry an umbrella in England!

The entry gate at the main road
The driveway up to our flat.... I mean Blenheim Palace
The front gate
The palace is one of England's largest houses, and it was built between 1705 and 1724. It was originally a gift from the Queen Anne to John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough, in return for his military triumph over the French at the Battle of Blenheim.

The palace is currently home to the 11th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough  It is also famous for being the birthplace of the most famous member of the Churchill family, Winston Churchill.  Winston Churchill was not a Duke, but his grandfather was the 7th Duke.  Since Winston's father was the not the oldest son of the 7th Duke, Winston's uncle was the 8th Duke.

It was also an accident that Winston Churchill was even born at the palace.  His mother went into early labor at a ball , so baby Winston was born in one of the bedrooms of the palace.  There was a very interesting exhibit on Winston Churchill inside the palace, and he spent much of his childhood at the palace with his grandparents.

First look at the palace, inside the gates
The gardens were fabulous!
Jared and I trying to do the perfect self-portrait while still getting the fountain in the background
Wouldn't you like this to be your backyard?
The Temple of Diana in the gardens...where Winston Churchill proposed to Clementine Hozier
I guess the Duke really likes ducks
The palace sits on 2,100 acres, so we walked and walked and walked.  It was absolutely gorgeous with all the leaves changing colors.

I may or may not have put this guy and 32 of his most colorful friends in my bag to add a little fall color to our flat....don't tell the Duke!
Next we came to the beautiful rose garden.  Of course the roses were not in full bloom since it is fall, but we could imagine what they will look like in spring. The garden was in the shape of a huge circle with one color of roses planted in each section.  We hope to come back and see the roses in full bloom in the spring.

This trellis went all the way around the garden....stunning covered with roses, I'm sure!
A view of the lake
Perfecting the self portrait again in the rose garden
A glimpse of the waterfall
Crazy big house, huh?
Shhh...we found the Secret Garden.  Don't tell!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! But the most important fact of all is that the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel breed of dog has a color called Blenheim. Just happens to be what Greta is. See, it was meant to be when ya'll get home! Love ya!