Having visitors in town is always a pleasure, I always use this as an opportunity to see some of the stunning sites that are available in the Cotswalds. This weekend I took Hoite & Marleen (the Cloggies) to visit the beautiful estate of the Duke of Marlborough and of course the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.
This is the first time I have been to Blenheim Palace and I have to say that I am absolutely in awe of the place. I am not sure whether it was the sheer beauty of the magnificent Great Hall, the brass band that were playing or reading the history of Sir Winston Churchill but the combination of all 3 together made me feel extremely proud to be British and ever so slightly emotional.
For those of you that have never taken the time to visit Blenheim I highly recommend it. In 1704 John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, the military commander who led the Allied forces in the Battle of Blenheim, was gifted a rundown Manor House by Queen Anne to celebrate victory over the French in the war of the Spanish Succession.
Along with the Manor house John was provided with £240,000 to repair the ruin, his wife Sarah held the purse strings and kept the Palace designer Sir John Vanbrugh in line with the expenses. It took 28 years in total to complete. The palace untold story takes you through the lives of the Duke’s that followed Sarah and John Churchill and is well worth a visit.
Grand Bridge, Library, Victory Column, Pleasure Gardens
Of course there is a whole section dedicated to Sir Winston Churchill his grandfather was the 7th Duke of Marlborough, his father the 3rd son of the Duke. Sir Winston was unexpectedly born in Blenheim 2 months early, while their London home was being decorated for his arrival.
Sir Winston’s exhibition takes you through his years from birth to passing at the good old age of 91. Famous in history for the WWII, his artwork and of course his quotes which are painted on the walls of Blenheim as a reminder of the wealth of character and knowledge of the man.
I wonder when he quoted “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” it is certainly true, his legacy is all around not just at Blenheim but the UK as a country.
Here are my favourite Churchill quotes (non war related)
- “The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.”
- “Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.”
- “It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.”
- “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, it’s also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
- “All the greatest things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honour; duty; mercy; hope.”
- “Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference.”
- “Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.”
- “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Finally, I love his message to his wife “For being rash enough to marry me, foolish enough to stay with me, and… for loving me in a way… I though I’d never be loved“.
It’s worth the trip…go check it out !! All photo’s courtesy of Blenheim Palace.
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