Blenheim Palace was a gift to John, the first Duke of Marlborough, from Queen Anne and a grateful nation. Following Marlborough’s great victory at The Battle of Blenheim in 1704, he was awarded the Royal Manor of Woodstock, accompanied by a sum of £240,000.
Marlborough was charged to build for himself a great Palace as a monument to this victory. Blenheim Palace was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, with assistance from Nicholas Hawksmoor. Building began in 1705 and was completed in 1722. Instrumental in the construction, interior design and decoration was Sarah, the First Duchess of Marlborough.
Designed on a grand scale, the Palace was subsequently complemented in the 1760’s by the landscaping of Lancelot “Capability” Brown, who created the great lake over which Vanbrugh’s Grand Bridge now stands, adding the final piece of the magnificent composition that gives us the overall splendours of Blenheim Palace and its park today.
Blenheim is still in the family of the Duke of Marlborough, lived in and much loved by the family. It was in 1874 that Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was born in a small ground floor bedroom, adding another illustrious page to Blenheim’s history.