Blenheim Palace covers seven acres of ground and is one of the largest private houses in England.
The Manor of Woodstock and the cost of building the palace were given as a gift by Queen Ann to the Ist Duke of Marlborough. This was in gratitude for his victory over the French in 1704 at the Battle of Blenheim.
The palace was designed in the baroque style by Sir John Vanbrugh.
Building took place between 1705 -1722 and the palace is considered Vanbrugh's masterpiece.
The interior has a series of magnificent rooms, richly decorated and many with painted ceilings by Sir James Thornhill and Louis Laguerre.
The Green Writing Room has a tapestry depicting the Ist Duke accepting the surrender at Blenheim. The Great Hall has a ceiling by Thornhill showing Marlborough presenting his battle plan to Britannia.
The Saloon, used as the state dining room, has splendid ceiling and wall paintings by Laguerre and connecting with the Saloon are three more state rooms hung with tapestries depicting Marlborough's campaigns.
The Long Library was designed by Vanbrugh as a picture gallery and has a stucco work ceiling by Isaac Mansfield.
Blenheim Palace houses a fine collection of paintings including works by Reynolds and Van Dyck. There are also wood carvings by Grinling Gibbons, splendid furniture and bronzes.
Sir Winston Churchill, a cousin of the 9th Duke, was born at Blenheim Palace in 1874.
The five-room Churchill Exhibition includes the room where Sir Winston was born.
Blenheim Palace is surrounded by 2,100 acres of gardens and parkland.
The Walled Garden is the only remnant of the work of Queen Ann's gardener, Henry Wise. 'Capability' Brown re-landscaped the park in 1764 and created the lake.
The great bridge across the River Glyme designed by Vanbrugh was half submerged by the water. In the 1920's the 9th Duke employed Achille Duchene to recreate the Great Court and build the Water Terraces and Italian Garden.
In recent years the Pleasure Gardens have be added and include the Marlborough Maze, Butterfly House, Herb Garden, Putting Greens and Adventure Playground.