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Encyclopedia > Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

Panoramic view of Blenheim Palace
State Party United Kingdom
Type Cultural
Criteria II, IV
Reference 425
Region Europe and North America
Coordinates 51°50′31″N 1°21′42″W / 51.84194, -1.36167
Inscription History
Inscription 1987  (11 Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
† Region as classified by UNESCO.

Blenheim Palace is a large and monumental country house situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England. It is the only non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title "palace". The Palace, one of England's largest houses, was built between 1705 and circa 1722. A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 178 pixelsFull resolution (7536 × 1680 pixel, file size: 2. ... As of 2006, there are a total of 830 World Heritage Sites located in 138 State Parties. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... For other uses, see Monument (disambiguation). ... Holkham Hall, one of the grandest English country houses not only displayed the owners fashionable and cultivated tastes, but was the epicentre of a vast landed estate, providing employment to hundreds The English country house is generally accepted as a large house or mansion, once in the ownership of an... Map sources for Woodstock at grid reference SP4416 Woodstock is a small town in Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom. ... Oxfordshire (abbreviated Oxon, from the Latinised form Oxonia) is a county in the South East of England, bordering on Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, and Warwickshire. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      This article... The quintessential medieval European palace: Palais de la Cité, in Paris, the royal palace of France. ...


Its construction was originally intended to be a gift to John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough from a grateful nation in return for military triumph against the French and Bavarians. However, it soon became the subject of political infighting, which led to Marlborough's exile, the fall from power of his Duchess, and irreparable damage to the reputation of the architect Sir John Vanbrugh. Designed in the rare, and short-lived, English baroque style, architectural appreciation of the palace is as divided today as it was in the 1720s. [1] It is unique in its combined usage as a family home, mausoleum and national monument. The palace is also notable as the birthplace and ancestral home of Prime Minister Winston Churchill. John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (26 May 1650 – 16 June 1722) (O.S)[1] was an English soldier and statesman whose career spanned the reigns of five monarchs throughout the late 17th and early 18th centuries. ... The coat of arms of the Dukes of Marlborough The Dukedom of Marlborough (named after Marlborough, pronounced Maulbruh - in the IPA), is an hereditary title of British nobility in the Peerage of England. ... For other uses, see Nation (disambiguation). ... Sir John Vanbrugh in Godfrey Knellers Kit-cat portrait, considered one of Knellers finest portraits. ... For other uses, see Baroque (disambiguation). ... St. ... For other uses, see Monument (disambiguation). ... The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is, in practice, the political leader of the United Kingdom. ... Churchill redirects here. ...


The plaque above the massive East gate gives a sanitised history of the palace's construction, reading:

"Under the auspices of a munificent sovereign this house was built for John Duke of Marlborough and his Duchess Sarah, by Sir J Vanbrugh between the years 1705 and 1722. And the Royal Manor of Woodstock, together with a grant of £240,000 towards the building of Blenheim, was given by Her Majesty Queen Anne and confirmed by act of Parliament."

The truth is that the building of the palace was a minefield of political intrigue, with scheming on a Machiavellian scale by Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. Following the palace's completion, it has been the home of the Churchill family for the last 300 years, and various members of the family have in that period wrought various changes, in the interiors, park and gardens, some for the better, others for the worse. At the end of the 19th century, the palace and the Churchills were saved from ruin by an American marriage. Thus, the exterior of the palace remains in good repair, exactly as completed. Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (May 3, 1469 – June 21, 1527) was an Italian political philosopher, musician, poet, and romantic comedic playwright. ... Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, c. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents

Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (387x643, 34 KB) John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (387x643, 34 KB) John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. ... John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (26 May 1650 – 16 June 1722) (O.S)[1] was an English soldier and statesman whose career spanned the reigns of five monarchs throughout the late 17th and early 18th centuries. ...

The Churchills

John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, was born in Devon. Although his family had aristocratic relations, they were gentry rather than high ranking members of the upper echelons of 18th-century society. On joining the British army in 1667, he first served in Tangiers and was then sent to assist Louis XIV in his Dutch wars, where he was promoted to colonel. In 1678 he married Sarah Jennings, and seven years later, on the accession of King James II, was elevated to Baron Churchill. He was then one of the leaders of the suppression of the Monmouth Rebellion. On the accession of William III Churchill was further elevated to Earl of Marlborough, a title which had become extinct in his mother's family. John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (26 May 1650 – 16 June 1722) (O.S)[1] was an English soldier and statesman whose career spanned the reigns of five monarchs throughout the late 17th and early 18th centuries. ... The coat of arms of the Dukes of Marlborough The Dukedom of Marlborough (named after Marlborough, pronounced Maulbruh - in the IPA), is an hereditary title of British nobility in the Peerage of England. ... Part of the seafront of Torquay, south Devon, at high tide Devon is a large county in South West England, bordered by Cornwall to the west, and Dorset and Somerset to the east. ... Aristocrat redirects here. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Four OS2U Kingfisher airplanes flying in right echelon formation. ... For other uses, see Society (disambiguation). ... Tangier (in Berber and Arabic Tanja, in Spanish Tánger and in French Tanger) is a city of northern Morocco with a population of 350,000, or 550,000 including suburbs. ... Louis XIV redirects here. ... For other uses, see Colonel (disambiguation). ... Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, c. ... James II (14 October 1633 – 16 September 1701)[1] became King of England, King of Scots,[2] and King of Ireland on 6 February 1685. ... Viscount Churchill is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. ... The Monmouth Rebellion of 1685, also known as the Pitchfork Rebellion, was an attempt to overthrow the King of England, James II, who became king when his elder brother, Charles II, died on 6 February 1685. ... William III King of England, Scotland and Ireland William III and II (14 November 1650–8 March 1702; also known as William Henry and William of Orange) was Prince of Orange from his birth, King of England and Ireland from 13 February 1689, and King of Scotland from 11... The coat of arms of the Dukes of Marlborough The Dukedom of Marlborough (pronounced Maulbruh) is an hereditary title of British nobility in the Peerage of England. ...

During the War of the Spanish Succession he gained military renown, beginning in 1702 gaining a series of military triumphs: Blenheim in 1704, Ramillies in 1706, Oudenarde in 1708, and Malplaquet in 1709. Rendering England safe from the forces of Louis XIV, he became a national hero and was loaded with honours, including the Dukedom of Marlborough. It was said at the time that together with his wife, Queen Anne's closest friend and confidante, the Duke of Marlborough was virtually ruling the country. It is therefore not surprising that Queen Anne decided that the ultimate honour of the hero would be the gift of a great palace. Marlborough was given the former royal manor of Hensington (situated on the site of Woodstock) to site the new palace and Parliament voted a substantial sum of money towards its creation. From [1], in the public domain This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... From [1], in the public domain This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, c. ... Combatants Habsburg Empire England (1701-6) Great Britain (1707-14)[1] Dutch Republic Kingdom of Portugal Crown of Aragon Duchy of Savoy [2] Kingdom of France Kingdom of Spain Electorate of Bavaria Hungarian Rebels [3] Commanders Eugene of Savoy Margrave of Baden Count Starhemberg Duke of Marlborough Marquis de Ruvigny... Combatants England, Dutch Republic, Holy Roman Empire, Denmark Kingdom of France, Electorate of Bavaria Commanders Duke of Marlborough, Prince Eugène of Savoy Duc de Tallard, Maximilian II Emanuel, Ferdinand de Marsin Strength 52,000, 60 guns[3] 56,000, 90 guns Casualties 4,542 killed, 7,942 wounded 34... The Battle of Ramillies was a major battle in the War of Spanish Succession, May 23, 1706. ... Combatants Great Britain United Provinces Holy Roman Empire France Commanders Duke of Marlborough Prince Eugene of Savoy Louis, duc de Bourgogne Duc de Vendôme Strength 105,000 100,000 Casualties 3,000 15,000 The Battle of Oudenarde (or Oudenaarde) was a key battle in the War of the... The Battle of Malplaquet was a battle of the War of the Spanish Succession that took place on September 11, 1709 between France and a British–Austrian alliance (known as the Allies). ... Louis XIV redirects here. ... Anne (6 February 1665 – 1 August 1714) became Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702, succeeding William III of England and II of Scotland. ... The quintessential medieval European palace: Palais de la Cité, in Paris, the royal palace of France. ... For the 17th century system in Canada, see Seigneurial system of New France. ... The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative institution in the United Kingdom and British overseas territories (it alone has parliamentary sovereignty). ...


Marlborough's wife, the former Sarah Jennings was by all accounts a cantankerous woman, though capable of great charm. She had befriended the young Princess Anne, and later when the princess became Queen; the Duchess of Marlborough as her Mistress of the Robes exerted great influence over the Queen both on a personal and political level. The relationship between Queen and Duchess later became strained and fraught, and following their final quarrel in 1711, the money for the construction of Blenheim ceased. The Marlboroughs were forced into exile abroad until they returned the day after the Queen's death on August 1, 1714. is the 213th day of the year (214th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Battle of Gangut, by Maurice Baquoi, 1724-27. ...


The site

Engraving of Blenheim Palace.
Engraving of Blenheim Palace.

The estate given by the nation to Marlborough for the new palace was the manor of Woodstock, sometimes called the Palace of Woodstock, which had been a royal demesne, in reality little more than a hunting box. Legend has obscured the manor's origins. King Henry I enclosed the park to contain the deer. Henry II housed his mistress Rosamund Clifford (sometimes known as "Fair Rosamund") there in a "bower and labyrinth"; a spring where she is said to have bathed remains, named after her. It seems the unostentatious hunting lodge was rebuilt many times, and had an uneventful history until Elizabeth I, before her succession, was imprisoned there by her sister between 1554 and 1555. Elizabeth had been implicated in the Wyatt plot. Elizabeth's imprisonment at Woodstock was short, and the manor remained in obscurity until bombarded and ruined by Oliver Cromwell's troops during the Civil War. When the park was being re-landscaped as a setting for the palace the 1st Duchess wanted the historic ruins demolished, while Vanbrugh, an early conservationist, wanted them restored and made into a landscape feature. The Duchess, as so often in her disputes with her architect, won the day and the remains of the manor were swept away. Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... For the 17th century system in Canada, see Seigneurial system of New France. ... Woodstock Palace was a royal residence in the Oxfordshire town of Woodstock. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Henry I (c. ... Henry II of England (5 March 1133 – 6 July 1189) ruled as King of England (1154–1189), Count of Anjou, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Count of Nantes, Lord of Ireland and, at various times, controlled parts of Wales, Scotland and western France. ... Rosamund Clifford (born about 1150; died about 1176), often called The Fair Rosamund or the Rose of the World, was the long-time mistress of King Henry II of England, famous in English folklore. ... This article is about Elizabeth I of England. ... Mary I (18 February 1516 – 17 November 1558), also known as Mary Tudor, was Queen of England and Queen of Ireland from 6 July 1553 (de facto) or 19 July 1553 (de jure) until her death on 17 November 1558. ... Thomas Wyatt the younger (1521-11 April 1554) was a rebel leader during the reign of Queen Mary I of England. ... For other uses, see Oliver Cromwell (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see English Civil War (disambiguation). ...


Architect

Sir John Vanbrugh by Kneller.
Sir John Vanbrugh by Kneller.

The architect selected for the ambitious project was a controversial one. The Duchess was known to favour Sir Christopher Wren, famous for St Paul's Cathedral and many other national buildings. The Duke however, following a chance meeting at a playhouse, is said to have commissioned Sir John Vanbrugh there and then. Vanbrugh, a popular dramatist, was an untrained architect, who usually worked in conjunction with the trained and practical Nicholas Hawksmoor. The duo had recently completed the first stages of the baroque Castle Howard. This huge Yorkshire mansion was one of England's first houses in the flamboyant European baroque style. Marlborough had obviously been impressed by this grandiose pile and wished for something similar at Woodstock. Download high resolution version (874x1163, 159 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (874x1163, 159 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Sir Godfrey Kneller (August 8, 1646 -October 19, 1723) was an artist, court painter to several British monarchs. ... Sir Christopher Wren, (20 October 1632–25 February 1723) was a 17th century English designer, astronomer, geometrician, and the greatest English architect of his time. ... This article is about the cathedral church of the diocese of London. ... Sir John Vanbrugh in Godfrey Knellers Kit-cat portrait, considered one of Knellers finest portraits. ... The career of Nicholas Hawksmoor (probably 1661 - 25 March 1736) formed the brilliant middle link in Britains trio of great baroque architects. ... The garden front of Castle Howard John Vanburghs complete project for Castle Howard, which was not all built. ... Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England. ... For other uses, see Baroque (disambiguation). ...


Blenheim, however, was not to provide Vanbrugh with the architectural plaudits he imagined. The fighting over funding led to accusations of extravagance and impracticality of design, many of these charges levelled by the Whig factions in power. He found no defender in the Duchess of Marlborough. Having been foiled in her wish to employ Wren,[2] she levelled criticism at Vanbrugh on every level, from design to taste. In part their problems arose from what was demanded of the architect. The nation (who it was then assumed, by architect and owners, was paying the bills) wanted a monument, but the Duchess wanted not only a fitting tribute to her husband but also a comfortable home, two requirements which were not compatible in 18th-century architecture. Finally, in the early days of the building the Duke was frequently away on his military campaigns, and it was left to the Duchess to negotiate with Vanbrugh. More aware than her husband of the precarious state of the financial aid they were receiving, she attempted to curb Vanbrugh's grandiose ideas, in an arrogant fashion (as was her wont) rather than explain the true reasons behind her frugality.

Blenheim Palace ("John Vanbrugh's castle air") West facade showing the unique severe towering stone belvederes ornamenting the skyline.
Blenheim Palace ("John Vanbrugh's castle air") West facade showing the unique severe towering stone belvederes ornamenting the skyline.

Following their final altercation Vanbrugh was banned from the site. In 1719, while the Duchess was away, Vanbrugh viewed the palace in secret. However, when he and his wife, with the Earl of Carlisle, visited the completed Blenheim as members of the viewing public in 1725, they were refused admission to even enter the park. The palace had been completed by Nicholas Hawksmoor, his friend and architectural associate. Blenheim Palace, West Facade. ... Blenheim Palace, West Facade. ... Sir John Vanbrugh in Godfrey Knellers Kit-cat portrait, considered one of Knellers finest portraits. ... Belvedere (occasionally Belvidere) is an architectural term adopted from the Italian (literally fair view), which refers to any architectural structure sited to take advantage of such a view. ... The title of Earl of Carlisle has been created several times in the Peerage of England. ...


Vanbrugh's severe massed baroque used at Blenheim never truly caught the public imagination, and was quickly superseded by the revival of the Palladian style. Vanbrugh's reputation was irreparably damaged, and he received no further truly great public commissions. For his final design, Seaton Delaval Hall, which was hailed as his masterpiece, he used a refined version of the baroque employed at Blenheim. He died shortly before its completion. A villa with a superimposed portico, from Book IV of Palladios I Quattro Libri dellArchitettura, in a modestly priced English translation published in London, 1736. ... Seaton Delaval Hall, drawn before completion, as Vanbrugh envisaged the house. ...


Funding the construction

The Grand Bridge at Blenheim Palace.

The precise responsibility for the funding of the new palace has always been a debatable subject, unresolved to this day. That a grateful nation led by its Queen wished and intended to give their national hero a suitable home is beyond doubt, but the exact size and nature of that house is questionable. A warrant dated 1705, signed by the parliamentary treasurer the Earl of Godolphin, appointed Vanbrugh as architect, and outlined his remit. Unfortunately for the Churchills, nowhere did this warrant mention Queen, or Crown. This error provided the escape clause for the state when the costs and political infighting escalated. It is interesting to note that the palace as a reward was mooted within months of the Battle of Blenheim, at a time when Marlborough was still to further his many victories on behalf of the country. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1000x750, 177 KB) Summary Grand Bridge and lake at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1000x750, 177 KB) Summary Grand Bridge and lake at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire. ... Sidney Godolphin, 1st Earl of Godolphin Sidney Godolphin, 1st Earl of Godolphin (c. ...


The Duke of Marlborough contributed £60,000 to the initial cost when work commenced in 1705, which, supplemented by Parliament, should have built a monumental house. Parliament voted funds for the building of Blenheim, but no exact sum was mentioned or provision for inflation or "over budget" expenses. Almost from the outset, funds were spasmodic. Queen Anne paid some of them, but with growing reluctance and lapses, following her frequent altercations with the Duchess. After their final argument in 1712, all state money ceased and work came to a halt. £220,000 had already been spent and £45,000 was owing to workmen. The Marlboroughs were forced into exile on the continent, and did not return until after the Queen's death in 1714.

An 18th century engraving showing the The Great Court.

On their return the Duke and Duchess came back into favour at court. The 64-year-old Duke now decided to complete the project at his own expense. In 1716 work re-started, but the project relied completely upon the limited means of the Duke himself. Harmony on the building site was short lived, as in 1717 the Duke suffered a severe stroke, and the thrifty Duchess took control. The Duchess blamed Vanbrugh entirely for the growing costs and extravagance of the palace, the design of which she had never liked. Following a meeting with the Duchess, Vanbrugh left the building site in a rage, insisting that the new masons, carpenters and craftsmen, brought in by the Duchess, were inferior to those he had employed. The master craftsmen he had patronised, however, such as Grinling Gibbons, refused to work for the lower rates paid by the Marlboroughs. The craftsmen brought in by the Duchess, under the guidance of furniture designer James Moore, and Vanbrugh's assistant architect Hawksmoor, completed the work in perfect imitation of the greater masters, so there was fault and intransigence on both sides in this famed argument. Blenheim Palace: THE GREAT COURT AND NORTH FRONT: AN 18th century engraving. ... Blenheim Palace: THE GREAT COURT AND NORTH FRONT: AN 18th century engraving. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... Engraving is the practice of incising a design onto a hard, flat surface, by cutting grooves into it. ...


Following the Duke's death in 1722, completion of the Palace and its park became the Duchess's driving ambition. Vanbrugh's assistant Hawksmoor was recalled and designed in 1723 the "Arch of Triumph", based on the Arch of Titus, at the entrance to the park from Woodstock. Hawksmoor also completed the interior design of the library, the ceilings of many of the state rooms, and other details in numerous other minor rooms, and various outbuildings. Cutting rates of pay to workmen, and using lower quality materials in unobtrusive places, the widowed Duchess completed the great house as a tribute to her late husband. The final date of completion is not known, as late as 1735 the Duchess was haggling with Rysbrack over the cost of Queen Anne's statue placed in the library. In 1732 the Duchess wrote "The Chappel is finish'd and more than half the Tomb there ready to set up". [3] The Arch of Titus This article deals with the main arch of Titus on the Via Sacra. ...


Design and architecture

Blenheim Palace, unscaled plan of the piano nobile.Key A:Hall; B:Saloon; C:Green Writing Room; L:Red Drawing Room; M:Green Drawing Room; N:Grand Cabinet; H:Library; J:covered colonnade; K:Birth Room of Sir Winston Churchill H2:Chapel; O:Bow room.
Blenheim Palace, unscaled plan of the piano nobile.Key A:Hall; B:Saloon; C:Green Writing Room; L:Red Drawing Room; M:Green Drawing Room; N:Grand Cabinet; H:Library; J:covered colonnade; K:Birth Room of Sir Winston Churchill H2:Chapel; O:Bow room.

Vanbrugh planned Blenheim in perspective, that is to be best viewed from a distance. As the site covers some seven acres (28,000 m²) this is also a necessity. Close to, and square on, the facades can appear daunting, or weighed down by too much stone and ornamentation. Unscaled and simplified plan of blenheim palace, drawn by uploader who releases into public domain This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Unscaled and simplified plan of blenheim palace, drawn by uploader who releases into public domain This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Kedleston Hall. ... Churchill redirects here. ...


The plan of Blenheim Palace is basically that of a large central rectangular block (see plan), containing behind the southern facade the principal state apartments. On the east side are the suites of private apartments of the Duke and Duchess, on the west along the entire length is the long gallery originally conceived as a picture gallery. The central block is flanked by two further service blocks around square courtyards (not shown in the plan). The east court contains the kitchens, laundry, and other domestic offices, the west court adjacent to the chapel the stables and indoor riding school. The three blocks together form the "Great Court" designed to overpower the visitor arriving at the palace. Pilasters and pillars abound, while from the roofs, themselves resembling those of a small town, great statues in the renaissance manner of St Peter's in Rome gaze down on the visitor below, who is rendered inconsequential. Other assorted statuary in the guise of martial trophies, and the English lion devouring a French cock, also decorate the lower roofs. Many of these are by such masters as Grinling Gibbons. Blenheim Palace, un-scaled plan of the piano nobile. ... In architecture, pilasters comprise slightly-projecting pseudo-columns built into or onto a wall, with capitals and bases. ... This article is about the European Renaissance of the 14th-17th centuries. ... Interior view, with the nave of the Cattedra in the back St. ... For other uses, see Rome (disambiguation). ... One of the many bookcase carvings Gibbons made for the Wren Library, Cambridge. ...


In the design of great 18th-century houses comfort and convenience were subservient to magnificence, and this is certainly the case at Blenheim. This magnificence over creature comfort is heightened as the architect's brief was to create not only a home but a national monument to reflect the power and civilisation of the nation. In order to create this monumental effect, Vanbrugh chose to design in a severe form of baroque, using great masses of stone to imitate strength and create shadow as decoration. The solid and huge entrance portico on the north front resembles more the entrance to a pantheon than a family home. Vanbrugh also liked to employ what he called his "castle air", which he achieved by placing a low tower at each corner of the central block and crowning the towers with vast belvederes of massed stone, decorated with curious finials (disguising the chimneys). Coincidentally these towers which hint at the pylons of an Egyptian temple further add to the heroic pantheonesque atmosphere of the building. Categories: Architectural elements | Stub ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Belvedere in Italian literally means beautiful view. ... Finial at Aachen town hall Illustration by Viollet-le-Duc, 1856 The finial is an architectural device, typically carved in stone and employed to decoratively emphasise the apex of a gable, or any of various distinctive ornaments at the top, end, or corner of a building or structure. ... For pylons of overhead lines, see Electricity pylon Pylon Noun from Greek πυλώνας gateway tower like structure, usually one of a series, used to support high voltage electricity cables. ...

The East Gate is more the defence of a citadel than entrance to a palace. The architect slightly tapered the sides to create an illusion of even greater height and drama, as the Great Court is glimpsed through a second arch in the background.
The East Gate is more the defence of a citadel than entrance to a palace. The architect slightly tapered the sides to create an illusion of even greater height and drama, as the Great Court is glimpsed through a second arch in the background.

There are two approaches to the palace's grand entrance, one from the long straight drive through wrought iron gates directly into the Great Court, while the other, equally if not more impressive, betrays Vanbrugh's true vision: the palace as a bastion or strong citadel, the true monument and home to a great warrior. Piercing the windowless, city-like curtain wall of the east court is the great East Gate, a monumental triumphal arch, more Egyptian in design than Roman, an optical illusion was created by tapering its walls to create an impression of even greater height. Confounding those who accuse Vanbrugh of impracticality this gate is also the palace's water tower. Through the arch of the gate one views across the courtyard a second equally massive gate, that beneath the clock tower,[4] through which, rather like the sanctuary of a temple, one glimpses the Great Court. In this way Vanbrugh is giving even greater, almost God-like, importance to the areas of the palace occupied by the great Duke himself. ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1704x2272, 1953 KB) Summary Photo by Magnus Manske. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1704x2272, 1953 KB) Summary Photo by Magnus Manske. ... This article is about a type of fortification. ... The quintessential medieval European palace: Palais de la Cité, in Paris, the royal palace of France. ... A wrought iron railing in Troy, New York. ... A triumphal arch is a structure in the shape of a monumental archway, usually built to celebrate a victory in war. ... ‹ The template below (Expand) is being considered for deletion. ...


This view of the Duke as an omnipotent being is also reflected in the interior design of the palace, and indeed its axis to certain features in the park. It was planned that when the Duke dined in state in his place of honour in the great saloon, he would be the climax of a great procession of architectural mass aggrandising him rather like a proscenium. The line of celebration and honour of his victorious life began with the great column of victory surmounted by his statue and detailing his triumphs, and the next point on the great axis, planted with trees in the position of troops, was the epic Roman style bridge. The approach continues through the great portico into the hall, its ceiling painted by James Thornhill with the Duke's apotheosis, then on under a great triumphal arch, through the huge marble door-case with the Duke's marble effigy above it (bearing the ducal plaudit "Nor could Augustus better calm mankind"), and into the painted saloon, the most highly decorated room in the palace, where the Duke was to have sat enthroned. The interior of the Auditorium Building in Chicago built in 1887. ... Sir James Thornhill (25 July 1675 or 1676 - May 4, 1734) was an English painter of historical subjects, in the Italian baroque tradition. ... Look up Apotheosis in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

The pediment over the south portico is a complete break from the convention. The flat top is decorated by a trophy bearing the marble bust of Louis XIV looted by Marlborough from Tournai in 1709, weighing 30 tons. The positioning of the bust was an innovative new design in the decoration of a pediment.

The Duke was to have sat with his back to the great 30-tonne marble bust of his vanquished foe Louis XIV, positioned high above the south portico. Here the defeated King was humiliatingly forced to look down on the great parterre and spoils of his conqueror (rather in the same way as decapitated heads were displayed generations earlier). The Duke did not live long enough to view this majestic tribute realised, and sit enthroned in this architectural vision. The Duke and Duchess moved into their apartments at the palace, but the entirety was not completed until after the Duke's death. South Portico, Blenheim Palace Blenheim Palace,south portico. ... South Portico, Blenheim Palace Blenheim Palace,south portico. ... John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (26 May 1650 – 16 June 1722) (O.S)[1] was an English soldier and statesman whose career spanned the reigns of five monarchs throughout the late 17th and early 18th centuries. ... Tournai (in Dutch: Doornik in Latin: Tornacum) is a municipality located 85 kilometres southwest of Brussels, on the river Scheldt (in French: Escaut, in Dutch: Schelde), in the Belgian province of Hainaut. ... Louis XIV redirects here. ...


The palace chapel as a consequence of the Duke's death now obtained even greater importance. The design was altered by the Marlboroughs' friend the Earl of Godolphin, who placed the high altar in defiance of religious convention against the west wall, thus allowing the dominating feature to be the Duke's gargantuan tomb and sarcophagus. Commissioned by the Duchess in 1730, it was designed by William Kent, and statues of the Duke and Duchess depicted as Caesar and Caesarina adorn the great sarcophagus. In bas relief at the base of the tomb, the Duchess ordered to be depicted the surrender of Marshal Tallard. Thus finally the theme throughout the palace of honouring the Duke reached its apotheosis with completion of his tomb. The Duke's coffin was returned to Blenheim from Westminster Abbey. Now Blenheim had indeed become a pantheon and mausoleum. Successive Dukes and their wives are also interred in the vault beneath the chapel. The Etruscan Sarcophagus of the Spouses, at the National Etruscan Museum. ... William Kent William Kent (born in Bridlington, Yorkshire, c. ... For other uses, see Julius Caesar (disambiguation). ... Bas-relief (pronounced bah-relief, French for low relief) is a method of sculpting which entails carving or etching away the surface of a flat piece of stone or metal creating a sculpture portrayed as a picture. ... Camille dHostun de la Baume, Duc de Tallard (1652-1728) was a French military commander. ... The Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster, which is almost always referred to by its original name of Westminster Abbey, is a mainly Gothic church, on the scale of a cathedral (and indeed often mistaken for one), in Westminster, London, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. ...


Interior

Tomb of the 1st Duke of Marlborough in the palace chapel
Tomb of the 1st Duke of Marlborough in the palace chapel

The internal layout of the rooms of the central block at Blenheim was defined by the court etiquette of the day. State apartments were designed as an axis of rooms of increasing importance and public use, leading to the chief room. The larger houses, like Blenheim, had two sets of state apartments each mirroring each other. The grandest and most public and important was the central saloon ("B" in the plan) which served as the communal state dining room. Either side of the saloon are suites of state apartments, decreasing in importance but increasing in privacy: the first room ("C") would have been an audience chamber for receiving important guests, the next room ("L") a private withdrawing room, the next room ("M") would have been the bedroom of the occupier of the suite, thus the most private. One of the small rooms between the bedroom and the internal courtyard was intended as a dressing room. This arrangement is reflected on the other side of the saloon. The state apartments were intended only for use by the most important guests such as a visiting sovereign. On the left (east) side of the plan on either side of the bow room (marked "O") can be seen a smaller but near identical layout of rooms, which were the suites of the Duke and Duchess themselves. Thus the bow room corresponds exactly to the saloon in terms of its importance to the two smaller suites. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1704 × 2272 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1704 × 2272 pixel, file size: 1. ... It has been suggested that Office etiquette be merged into this article or section. ... For other uses, see Audience (disambiguation). ... In music, a suite is an organized set of instrumental or orchestral pieces normally performed at a single sitting, as a separate musical performance, not accompanying an opera, ballet, or theater-piece. ...


Blenheim Palace was the birthplace of the 1st Duke's famous descendant, Winston Churchill, whose life and times are commemorated by a permanent exhibition in the suite of rooms in which he was born (marked "K" on the plan). Blenheim Palace was designed with all its principal and secondary rooms on the piano nobile, thus there is no great staircase of state: anyone worthy of such state would have no cause to leave the piano nobile. Insofar as Blenheim does have a grand staircase, then it is the series of steps in the Great Court which lead to the North Portico. There are staircases of various sizes and grandeur in the central block, but none are designed on the same scale of magnificence as the palace. James Thornhill painted the ceiling of the hall in 1716. It depicts Marlborough kneeling to Britannia and proffering a map of the Battle of Blenheim. The hall is 67 ft high, and remarkable chiefly for its size and for its stone carvings by Gibbons, yet in spite of its immense size it is merely a vast ante-room to the saloon. Churchill redirects here. ... Kedleston Hall. ... Sir James Thornhill (25 July 1675 or 1676 - May 4, 1734) was an English painter of historical subjects, in the Italian baroque tradition. ... For other uses, see Britannia (disambiguation). ...


The saloon was also to have been painted by Thornhill, but the Duchess suspected him of overcharging, so the commission was given to Louis Laguerre. This room is an example of three-dimensional painting, or trompe l'œil, "trick of the eye", a fashionable painting technique at the time. The Peace Treaty of Utrecht was about to be signed, so all the elements in the painting represent the coming of peace. The domed ceiling is an allegorical representation of Peace: John Churchill is in the chariot, he holds a zigzag thunderbolt of war, and the woman who holds back his arm represents Peace. The walls depict all the nations of the world who have come together peacefully. Laguerre also included a self-portrait placing himself next to Dean Jones, chaplain to the 1st Duke, another enemy of the Duchess, although she tolerated him in the household because he could play a good hand at cards. To the right of the doorway leading into the first stateroom, Laguerre included the French spies, said to have big ears and eyes because they may still be spying; behind them the figure of the 5th Earl of Sild appears in silhouette, a tactful reference on the part of the artist as the Earl was disfigured during the Battle of Ramillies. Of the four marble door-cases in the room displaying the Duke's crest as a prince of the Holy Roman Empire, only one is by Gibbons, the other three were copied indistinguishably by the Duchess's cheaper craftsmen. Louis Laguerre (1663-1721) was a French decorative painter mainly working in England. ... trompe loeil dome in the Jesuit church, Vienna, by Andrea Pozzo: the ceiling is only slightly coved Trompe-lÅ“il is an art technique involving extremely realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects really exist, instead of actually being a two-dimensional painting. ... The Battle of Ramillies was a major battle in the War of Spanish Succession, May 23, 1706. ... In heraldry, a crest is a component of a coat of arms. ... This article is about the medieval empire. ...


The third remarkable room is the long library, (H), 180 ft long, which was intended as a picture gallery. The ceiling has saucer domes, which were to have been painted by Thornhill, had the Duchess not upset him. The palace, and in particular this room, was furnished with the many valuable artefacts the Duke had been given, or sequestered as the spoils of war, including a fine art collection. Here in the library, rewriting history in her own indomitable style, the Duchess set up a larger than life statue of Queen Anne, its base recording their friendship. Saucer dome is the architectural term used for a low pitched shallow dome. ...


From the northern end of the library - in which is housed a pipe organ, which was built by England's great Organbuilder Henry Willis - access is obtained to the raised colonnade which leads to the chapel (H2). The chapel is perfectly balanced on the eastern side of the palace by the vaulted kitchen. This symmetrical balancing and equal weight given to both spiritual and physical nourishment would no doubt have appealed to Vanbrugh's renowned sense of humour, if not the Duchess's. The distance of the kitchen from even the private dining room ("O" on the plan) was obviously of no consideration, hot food being of less importance than to avoid having to inhale the odour of cooking and proximity of servants. Blenheim Palace, near Woodstock in Oxfordshire, is home to two 19th Century pipe organs. ... Enormous colonnade of the Kazan Cathedral in St Petersburg. ...


The Park and gardens

Blenheim Palace, looking across the east facade's Italian garden to the orangery, which both adorns and disguises the walls of the domestic east court. The East gate is seen rising above.

Blenheim sits in the centre of a large undulating park. When Vanbrugh first cast his eyes over it in 1704 he immediately conceived a typically grandiose plan: through the park trickled the small River Glyme, and Vanbrugh envisaged this marshy brook traversed by the "finest bridge in Europe". Thus, ignoring the second opinion offered by Sir Christopher Wren, the marsh was channelled into three small canal-like streams and across it rose a bridge of huge proportions, so huge it was reported to contain some 30-odd rooms. While the bridge was indeed an amazing wonder, in this setting it appeared incongruous, causing Alexander Pope to comment: photograph takenn by Louisa Brown of [1] who gives her permission for use of this photograph This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... photograph takenn by Louisa Brown of [1] who gives her permission for use of this photograph This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This article is about marsh, a type of wetland. ... The primary meaning of stream is a body of water, confined within a bed and banks and having a detectable current. ... For other uses, see Canal (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Alexander Pope (disambiguation). ...

"the minnows, as under this vast arch they pass,/murmur, how like whales we look, thanks to your Grace"

Another of Vanbrugh's schemes was the great parterre, nearly half a mile long and as wide as the south front. Also in the park, completed after the 1st Duke's death, is the Column of Victory. It is 134 ft high and terminates a great avenue of elms leading to the palace, which were planted in the positions of Marlborough's troops at the Battle of Blenheim. Vanbrugh had wanted an obelisk to mark the site of the former royal manor, and the trysts of Henry II which had taken place there, causing the 1st Duchess to remark, "If there were obelisks to bee made of all what our Kings have done of that sort, the countrey would bee stuffed with very odd things" (sic). The obelisk was never realised. Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... The original Wikisource logo. ... A parterre is a formal garden construction on a level surface consisting of planting beds, edged in stone or tightly clipped hedging and gravel paths arranged to form a pleasing pattern. ... “Miles” redirects here. ... The French word avenue can mean or refer to any of the following : Most commonly, it refers to two parallel lines of trees specially planted as a landscape feature. ... A troop is a military unit. ... The Luxor obelisk in the Place de la Concorde in Paris Obelisk outside Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome. ...

The Column of Victory in the Palace grounds.

Following the 1st Duke's death the Duchess concentrated most of her considerable energies on the completion of the palace itself, and the park remained relatively unchanged until the arrival of Capability Brown in 1764. The 4th Duke employed Brown who immediately began a scheme to naturalise and enhance the landscape, with tree planting, and man made undulations. However, the feature with which he is forever associated is the lake, a huge stretch of water created by damming the River Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1000x1333, 178 KB) Summary The Column of Victory in the grounds of Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1000x1333, 178 KB) Summary The Column of Victory in the grounds of Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England. ... Capability Brown, by Nathaniel Dance, ca. ...

The cascade where the water flows out of the lake.
The cascade where the water flows out of the lake.

Glyme and ornamented by a series of cascades where the river flows in and out. The lake was narrowed at the point of Vanbrugh's grand bridge, but the three small canal-like streams trickling underneath it were completely absorbed by one river-like stretch. Brown's great achievement at this point was to actually flood and submerge beneath the water level the lower stories and rooms of the bridge itself, thus reducing its incongruous height and achieving what is regarded by many as the epitome of an English landscape. Brown also grassed over the great parterre and the Great Court. The latter was re-paved by Duchene in the early 20th century. The 5th Duke was responsible for several other garden follies and novelties such as the swivelling bolder, which would suddenly roll across a path, to supposedly thrill the walker. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (2,592 × 1,944 pixels, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (2,592 × 1,944 pixels, file size: 1. ... A cascade is a term for a waterfall, or series of waterfalls, and is applied abstractly to many different concepts involving a series of steps or effects that follow one after the other. ...


Sir William Chambers, assisted by John Yenn, was responsible for the small summerhouse known as "The Temple of Diana" down by the lake, where in 1908 Winston Churchill proposed to his future wife. However, the ornamental gardens seen today close to the palace, the Italian and water gardens, are entirely the design of Duchene and the 9th Duke. The central courtyard of Chambers Somerset House in London. ... John Yenn John Yenn (1750-1821),was a notable 18th century English architect. ...


Failing fortunes

Lady Randolph Churchill (daughter-in-law of the 7th Duke, and mother of Winston Churchill) wrote of Blenheim's park: "....as we passed through the entrance archway and the lovely scenery burst upon me, Randolph said with pardonable pride: This is the finest view in England".
Lady Randolph Churchill (daughter-in-law of the 7th Duke, and mother of Winston Churchill) wrote of Blenheim's park: "....as we passed through the entrance archway and the lovely scenery burst upon me, Randolph said with pardonable pride: This is the finest view in England".

On the death of the 1st Duke in 1722, as both his sons were dead, he was succeeded by his daughter Henrietta. This was an unusual succession and required a special Act of Parliament,[5] as only sons can usually succeed to a Dukedom. When Henrietta died, the title passed to Marlborough's grandson Charles Spencer, Earl of Sunderland, whose mother was Marlborough's second daughter Anne. Image File history File links photograph over 100 years old thus in public domain File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links photograph over 100 years old thus in public domain File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Jennie Jerome in 1874 Jeanette (Jennie) Jerome [1] CI DStJ, known also as Lady Randolph Churchill (January 9, 1854 – June 9, 1921) was an American society beauty, best known to history as the mother of British prime minister Winston Churchill. ... Churchill redirects here. ... Lord Randolph Henry Spencer Churchill Lord Randolph Henry Spencer-Churchill (13 February 1849 – 24 January 1895) was a British statesman. ... Henrietta Godolphin, 2nd Duchess of Marlborough (July 19, 1681–October 24, 1733) was the daughter of the 1st Duke of Marlborough and Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. ... Charles Spencer, 3rd Duke of Marlborough (1706-1758) was a British politician of the 18th century. ... Lady Anne Churchill (February 27, 1683 - April 15, 1716) was the second daughter of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough and Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough. ...


The 1st Duke as a soldier was not a rich man, and what fortune he possessed was mostly used for finishing the palace. In comparison with other British ducal families the Marlboroughs were not very wealthy. Yet they existed quite comfortably until the time of the Fifth Duke of Marlborough (1766–1840), a spendthrift who considerably depleted the family's remaining fortune. He was eventually forced to sell other family estates, but Blenheim was safe from him as it was entailed. This did not prevent him selling the Marlboroughs' Boccaccio for a mere £875, and his own library in over 4000 lots. On his death in 1840 he left the estate and family with financial problems. The Most Noble George Spencer-Churchill, 5th Duke of Marlborough DCL MA FSA (March 6, 1766–March 5, 1840) was the son of George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough. ... Entail (from French tailler, to cut; the old derivation from tales haeredes is now abandoned), in law, a limited form of succession (q. ... Giovanni Boccaccio (June 16, 1313 – December 21, 1375) was an Italian author and poet, a friend and correspondent of Petrarch, an important Renaissance humanist in his own right and author of a number of notable works including On Famous Women, the Decameron and his poetry in the vernacular. ...


By the 1870s the Marlboroughs were in severe financial trouble, and in 1875 the 7th Duke sold the "Marriage of Cupid and Psyche", together with the famed Marlborough gems, at auction for £10,000. However this was not enough to save the family. In 1880 the 7th Duke was forced to petition Parliament to break the protective entail on the Palace and its contents. This was achieved under the Blenheim Settled Estates Act of 1880, and the door was now open for wholesale dispersal of Blenheim and its contents. The first victim was the great Sunderland Library which was sold in 1882, including such volumes as The Epistles of Horace, printed at Caen in 1480, and the works of Josephus, printed at Verona in 1648. The 18,000 volumes raised almost £60,000. The sales continued to denude the palace: Raphael’s "Ansidei Madonna" was sold for £70,000; Van Dyck’s equestrian painting of Charles I realised £17,500; and finally the "piece de resistance" of the collection, Peter Paul Rubens "Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son Peter Paul", which had been given by the city of Brussels to the 1st Duke in 1704, was also sold, and is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Psyche was one of three sisters, princesses in a Grecian kingdom. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Caen (pronounced /kɑ̃/) is a commune of northwestern France. ... A fanciful representation of Flavius Josephus, in an engraving in William Whistons translation of his works Josephus (37 – sometime after 100 CE),[1] who became known, in his capacity as a Roman citizen, as Titus Flavius Josephus,[2] was a 1st-century Jewish historian and apologist of priestly and... This article is about the city in Italy. ... This page is about the artist. ... Self Portrait With a Sunflower Sir Anthony (Antoon) van Dyck (*March 22, 1599 - December 9, 1641) was a Flemish painter — mainly of portraits — who became the leading court painter in England. ... Charles I (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649) was King of England, King of Scotland and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. ... Peter Paul Rubens (June 28, 1577 – May 30, 1640) was a prolific seventeenth-century Flemish and European painter, and a proponent of an exuberant Baroque style that emphasized movement, color, and sensuality. ... For other places with the same name, see Brussels (disambiguation). ... Metropolitan Museum of Art New York Elevation The Metropolitan Museum of Art, often referred to simply as the Met, is one of the worlds largest and most important art museums. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ...


These sums of money, vast by the standards of the day, failed to cover the debts, and the maintenance of the great palace remained beyond the Marlboroughs' resources. These had always been small in relation to their ducal rank and the size of their house. The British agricultural depression which started in the 1870s added to the family's problems. When the 9th Duke inherited in 1892, the Spencer-Churchills were almost bankrupt.


The 9th Duke of Marlborough

Charles, 9th Duke of Marlborough, with his family by John Singer Sargent (1905)
Charles, 9th Duke of Marlborough, with his family by John Singer Sargent (1905)

Charles, 9th Duke of Marlborough (1871–1934) can be credited with saving both the palace and the family. Inheriting the near-bankrupt dukedom in 1892, he was forced to find a quick and drastic solution to the problems. Prevented by the strict social dictates of late 19th-century society from earning money, he was left with one solution, he had to marry it. In November 1896 he coldly and openly without love married the American railroad heiress and renowned beauty Consuelo Vanderbilt. The marriage was celebrated following lengthy negotiations with her divorced parents: her mother was desperate to see her daughter a Duchess, and the bride's father, William Vanderbilt paid for the privilege. The final price was $2,500,000 ( $54,100,436.75 in 2007 ) in 50,000 shares of the capital stock of the Beech Creek Railway Company with a minimum 4% dividend guaranteed by the New York Central Railroad Company. The couple were given a further annual income each of $100,000 for life. The bride later claimed she had been locked in her room until she agreed to the marriage. The contract was actually signed in the vestry of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, New York immediately after the wedding vows had been made. In the carriage leaving the church, Marlborough told Consuelo he loved another woman, and would never return to America, as he "despised anything that was not British". Image File history File links Size of this preview: 439 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (733 × 1000 pixel, file size: 95 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 439 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (733 × 1000 pixel, file size: 95 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Self Portrait, 1906, oil on canvas, 70 x 53 cm, Uffizi Gallery, Florence. ... The Ninth Duke of Marlborough, painted by John Singer Sargent Charles Richard John Spencer-Churchill (November 13, 1871–June 30, 1934) became the 9th Duke of Marlborough upon the death of his father in 1892. ... Consuelo Vanderbilt, (March 2, 1877 – December 6, 1964), was a member of the prominent American Vanderbilt Family, as well as an English aristocrat. ... William Kissam Vanderbilt (December 12, 1849 – July 22, 1920) was a member of the prominent United States Vanderbilt family. ... The New York Central Railroad, known simply as the New York Central in its publicity and with the AAR reporting mark of NYC, was a railroad operating in the North-Eastern United States. ... Reredos by Lee Lawrie St. ...


The replenishing of Blenheim began on the honeymoon itself, with the replacement of the Marlborough gems. Tapestries, paintings and furniture were bought in Europe to fill the depleted palace. On their return the Duke began an exhaustive restoration and redecoration of the palace. The state rooms to the west of the saloon were redecorated with gilt boiseries in imitation of Versailles. Vanbrugh's subtle rivalry to Louis XIV's great palace was now completely undermined, as the interiors became mere pastiches of those of the greater palace. While this redecoration may not have been without fault (and the Duke later regretted it), other improvements were better received. Another problem caused by the redecoration was that the state and principal bedrooms were now moved upstairs, thus rendering the state rooms an enfilade of rather similar and meaningless drawing rooms. On the west terrace the French landscape architect Achille Duchêne was employed to create a water garden. On a second terrace below this were placed two great fountains in the style of Bernini, scaled models of those in the Piazza Navona which had been presented to the 1st Duke. Mentmore Towers The boiseries were from from the Hôtel de Villars, Paris, and are inset with paintings and Genoese velvet Boiserie (often used in the plural boiseries) is the term to used to define ornate and intricately carved panelling. ... The word pastiche describes a literary or other artistic genre. ... In British society, a drawing room is a room in a house where visitors may be entertained. ... Achille Duchêne (1866-1947) was a French garden designer who worked in the grand manner established by André Le Nôtre. ... A self portrait: Bernini is said to have used his own features in the David (below, left) Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini) (December 7, 1598 - November 28, 1680), who worked chiefly in Rome, was the pre-eminent baroque artist. ... Fountain of the four Rivers with Egyptian obelisk, in the middle of Piazza Navona Piazza Navona is a square in Rome. ...

The "Bernini Fountain", a scaled copy of the fountain in Rome's Piazza Navona given to the 1st Duke, was placed on the second terrace by Duchene.
The "Bernini Fountain", a scaled copy of the fountain in Rome's Piazza Navona given to the 1st Duke, was placed on the second terrace by Duchene.

Inside the palace the staff was enlarged and smartened to suit a fabulously wealthy ducal household. The inside staff was of approximately 40, while the outside staff numbered 50, including the game-keeping staff of 12, electricians for the newly installed wiring, carpenters, flower arrangers, lodge keepers, and a cricket professional to ensure the success and honour of the estate cricket team. The lodge keepers were dressed in black coats with silver buttons, buff breeches, and cockaded top hats. The gamekeepers donned green velvet coats with brass buttons and black billycock hats. Italian Garden, Blenheim Palace, England Photo by Wikityke File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Italian Garden, Blenheim Palace, England Photo by Wikityke File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Fountain of the four Rivers with Egyptian obelisk, in the middle of Piazza Navona Piazza Navona is a square in Rome. ... A gamekeeper is a person who looks after an area of countryside to make sure there are enough (game)birds for shooting. ... This article is about the sport. ...

Blenheim was once again a place of wonder and prestige. However, Consuelo was far from happy; she records many of her problems in her cynical and often less than candid biography "The Glitter and the Gold". In 1906 she shocked society and left her husband, finally divorcing in 1921. She subsequently married a Frenchman, Jacques Balsan. She died in 1964 having lived to see her son Duke of Marlborough, and frequently returning to Blenheim, the house she had hated and yet saved, albeit as the unwilling sacrifice. Pre 1923 image, not subject to copyright. ... Pre 1923 image, not subject to copyright. ... Consuelo Vanderbilt, (March 2, 1877 – December 6, 1964), was a member of the prominent American Vanderbilt Family, as well as an English aristocrat. ...


After his divorce the Duke married again a former friend of Consuelo, Gladys Deacon, another American. This eccentric lady was of an artistic disposition, and a painting of one of her eyes still remains on the ceiling of the great north portico. A lower terrace was decorated with sphinxes modelled on Gladys and executed by W. Ward Willis in 1930. Before her marriage while staying with the Marlboroughs she had caused a diplomatic incident by encouraging the young Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany to form an attachment. The prince had given her an heirloom ring, which the combined diplomatic services of two empires were charged to recover. After her marriage Gladys was in the habit of dining with the Duke with a revolver by the side of her plate. Tiring of her the Duke was temporarily forced to close Blenheim, and turn off the utilities in order to drive her out. They subsequently separated but did not divorce. The Duke died in 1934 and his last Duchess in 1977. The Great Sphinx of Giza, with the Pyramid of Khafre in the background. ... Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany and Prussia (6 May 1882 - 20 July 1916), Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor August Ernst Kronprinz von Preussen, was born 6 May 1882 at Marmorpalais, Potsdam, Germany. ...


The 9th Duke was succeeded by his and Consuelo Vanderbilt's eldest son: John, 10th Duke of Marlborough (1898-1972) after eleven years as a widower, remarried at the age of 74, to (Frances) Laura Charteris, formerly the wife of the 2nd Viscount Long and the 3rd Earl of Dudley, and grand-daughter of the 11th Earl of Wemyss. The marriage was short-lived however, the Duke died just six weeks later, on 11 March 1972. The bereaved Duchess complained of "the gloom and inhospitality of Blenheim" after his death, and soon moved out. In her autobiography, Laughter from a Cloud (1980) she referred to Blenheim Palace as "The Dump". She died in London in 1990. John Albert William Spencer-Churchill, 10th Duke of Marlborough (18 September 1897 – 11 March 1972) was the elder son of Charles Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough and his first wife, the former Consuelo Vanderbilt, the American railroad heiress. ... The peerage title Viscount Long was created in the peerage of the United Kingdom in 1921. ... The title of Earl of Dudley has been created twice in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, both times for members of the Ward family. ... Earl of Wemyss (pronounced Weems) is the title held by a Scottish family who had possessed the lands of Wemyss in Fife since the 12th century, and of which various members had attained distinction. ... is the 70th day of the year (71st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ...


Blenheim today

The palace today remains the home of the Dukes of Marlborough — the present incumbent of the title being John George Vanderbilt Spencer-Churchill, 11th Duke of Marlborough. Like his forebears he lives for part of the year in the palace, with his family occupying the same suite of rooms as the 1st Duke and Duchess. John George Vanderbilt Spencer-Churchill, 11th Duke of Marlborough, JP, DL (born 13 April 1926), is the son of Lt. ...

Blenheim main entrance
Blenheim main entrance

The palace and gardens are open to the public for ten months of the year while the park is open all year round. Guided tours of the state rooms and long libruary from 10.30am have been added to with the 'Untold Story', a state-of-the-art visitor experience using animated figures and innovative video and projection technology. Disabled access viewed via an 'Untold Story' cinema within the old stables along with the exhibition of the 'Churchills' Destiny', the story of two great war leaders. The old kitchen gardens now house a vast hedge maze, adventure playground and butterfly house linked to the palace via a mini-train. In the summer months the private-apartments tour is available with the consent of His Grace and a buggie tour around the lake, which are both charged a small surcharge. External events are often staged within the park including a Triathalon, Game/Country fair, Jousting and International Horse-Trials while the palace hosts seasonal festivities for Christmas, Easter, Hallowe'en etc. Download high resolution version (2048x1536, 904 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Palace John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough Blenheim Palace Wikipedia:List of images/Places/Europe/United Kingdom/Counties/Oxfordshire Categories: GFDL images ... Download high resolution version (2048x1536, 904 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Palace John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough Blenheim Palace Wikipedia:List of images/Places/Europe/United Kingdom/Counties/Oxfordshire Categories: GFDL images ...


Blenheim Natural Mineral Water is bottled on the estate using water that feeds Rosamund's Well. Game, farming and property renting are also part of the Blenheim Palace portfolio.


Sodexho Prestige offer corporate and conference events within the palace east courtyard 'Orangery' while weddings and corporate parties can be held in the specific 'Orangery' or even in the palace itself. However, the ducal family still entertain in the state rooms, and dine on special occasions in the saloon, around the great silver centrepiece depicting the 1st Duke of Marlborough on horseback—the same piece that Consuelo Vanderbilt liked to call her cache mari because it conveniently hid her detested husband, across the table, from view. The many residents of Blenheim have each left their mark on the palace. Today it is as likely to be used as a film location as it is to be the setting for an aristocratic house party; yet it still hosts both. Blenheim Palace remains the tribute to the 1st Duke which both his wife and the architect Sir John Vanbrugh envisaged.


Blenheim Palace was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1945. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State...


Blenheim on film

The following films have had scenes filmed at Blenheim Palace:

The Avengers is a 1998 film based on the British cult television series of the same name from the 1960s. ... Barry Lyndon (1975) is an award-winning period film by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel The Luck of Barry Lyndon (1844) by William Makepeace Thackeray. ... Entrapment (1999) is an American film directed by Jon Amiel, and starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require restructuring. ... William Shakespeares Hamlet is a 1996 film version of William Shakespeares classic play of the same name, adapted and directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also starred in the title role. ... Kenneth Charles Branagh (born December 10, 1960) is an Emmy Award-winning, Academy Award-nominated Northern Irish-born actor and film director. ... Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a 2007 fantasy adventure film, based on the novel of the same name, by J. K. Rowling. ... History of the World, Part I is a 1981 film written, produced and directed by Mel Brooks. ... Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (Devanagari : कभी खुभी कभी ग़म - Sometimes Laughter, Sometimes Tears) is a Bollywood film released in India and countries with large NRI populations on December 14, 2001. ... King Ralph (first released on February 15, 1991) is an American film starring American actor John Goodman in the title role of Ralph Jones. ... Miranda Richardson as Queen Mary in The Lost Prince The Lost Prince is an acclaimed two-part British television drama, produced by Talkback Thames for the BBC and originally broadcast on BBC One in January 2003. ... Orlando is a 1992 film, based on Virginia Woolfs novel Orlando: A Biography, starring Tilda Swinton as Orlando, Billy Zane as Marmaduke Bonthrop Shelmerdine, and Quentin Crisp as Queen Elizabeth. ...

Blenheim in fiction

  • The setting for T. H. White's novel Mistress Masham's Repose is a huge, ruined estate called Malplaquet, a parody of Blenheim Palace.

Terence Hanbury White (May 29, 1906 – January 17, 1964) was an English writer, born in Bombay (now Mumbai), India. ...

See also

John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (26 May 1650 – 16 June 1722) (O.S)[1] was an English soldier and statesman whose career spanned the reigns of five monarchs throughout the late 17th and early 18th centuries. ... Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, c. ... Churchill redirects here. ... Sir John Vanbrugh in Godfrey Knellers Kit-cat portrait, considered one of Knellers finest portraits. ... England is the largest and most populous of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom. ...

Footnotes

  1. ^ Voltaire wrote of Blenheim: "If the apartments were only as large as the walls are thick, this mansion would be convenient enough." Joseph Addison, Alexander Pope, and Robert Adam (normally an admirer of Vanbrugh's) also all criticised the design.
  2. ^ When the Duchess came to build Marlborough House, her London home, in 1706, she employed Sir Christopher Wren. She later dismissed him too, because she felt that the contractors took advantage of him. She personally supervised the completion of the house. See Marlborough House.
  3. ^ Green, p 39
  4. ^ This clock tower, completed in 1710 at a cost of £1,435, was despised by the 1st Duchess, who referred to it as "A great thing where the Clock is, and which is Called a Tower of great Ornament (sic)".
  5. ^ http://www.blenheimpalaceeducation.com/history/duchess2.htm

Joseph Addison, the Kit-cat portrait, circa 1703–1712, by Godfrey Kneller. ... For other uses, see Alexander Pope (disambiguation). ... Robert Adam Robert Adam (3 July 1728 - 3 March 1792) was a Scottish architect, interior designer and furniture designer, born in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland. ... Marlborough House, London Marlborough House is a mansion in Westminster, London. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ...

References

  • Cropplestone, Trewin (1963). World Architecture. London: Hamlyn.
  • Dal Lago, Adalbert (1966). Ville Antiche. Milan: Fratelli Fabbri.
  • Downes, Kerry (1987). Sir John Vanbrugh: A Biography. London: Sidgwick and Jackson.
  • Downes, Kerry (1979). Hawksmoor. London: Thames and Hudson.
  • Girouard, Mark (1978). Life in the English Country House. Yale University Press.
  • Green, David (1982). Blenheim Palace. Oxford: Alden Press.
  • Halliday, E. E. (1967). Cultural History of England. London: Thames and Hudson.
  • Harlin, Robert (1969). Historic Houses. London: Condé Nast.
  • Turner, Roger, Capability Brown and the Eighteenth century English Landscape, 2nd ed. Phillimore, Chichester, 1999.
  • Vanderbilt,Arthur II (1989) Fortune's Children: The fall of the house of Vanderbilt. London: Michael Joseph LTD
  • Watkin, David (1979). English Architecture. London: Thames and Hudson.

Roger Turner is a British garden designer and writer of gardening-related non-fiction books. ...

External links

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Blenheim Palace

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Blenheim Palace (515 words)
Blenheim Palace is situated in Woodstock, eight miles north of Oxford, within the Oxfordshire Cotswolds.
The Palace, conceived in 1705 by Sir John Vanbrugh and finished in 1722 is a masterpiece of English Baroque architecture.
Palace, Park and Gardens will be open daily from 10 February 2007 to 28 October and from Wednesdays to Sundays from 31 October to 9 December.
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