Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, is one of the largest country houses in England and known as the birthplace of Winston Churchill. The Palace has been in the Churchill family since it was constructed as a gift from the English nation to John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough, in 1704 for a significant military triumph against the French at the Battle of Blenheim.
The house was completed in the short-lived English-Baroque style, and its reception rooms, devoid of any unnecessary comfort, reflect the palace’s present role as a national monument rather than a family home. The imposing main hall leads to a frescoed saloon, which looks out over the Column of Victory in the adjacent castle park, with the surrounding trees symbolizing Marlborough’s soldiers. The saloon is highly decorated, complete with a bust of the vanquished Louis XIV at its back.
Blenheim Palace, with its intricate stone work and ornate ceilings, is a masterpiece of Baroque architecture and has notably influenced the later Romantic architectural movement. The building is impressive to look at and is situated in a walled landscape garden, complete with fountains, lakes and perfectly trimmed hedges, which make for a perfect stroll after a tour through the palace wings.