Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, this beautiful site was bestowed to John Churchill, by a grateful Queen Anne and thankful nation following the victory at the Battle of Blenheim, in 1704, against the French and Bavarians.
How fitting therefore, that this should be the birth-place of arguably the most famous Churchill of all, Sir Winston Spencer Churchill, destined to lead his country and the world in its darkest hour. A great man, who like his famous and much admired ancestor also earned the gratitude of his monarch and a beloved nation.
Blenheim was built by Sir John Vanbrugh between 1705 -1724 in the English Baroque style. Blenheim became the ancestral home of the Churchill’s for the next 300 years and was saved from ruin at the end of the 19th century by the 9th duke’s marriage to the American beauty and heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt.
Thanks to the Vanderbilt fortune, which enabled extensive renovations to take place, Blenheim Palace today remains in good repair.
Sir Winston Churchill perhaps knew his destiny when he ‘chose’ to be born here on November 30th 1874. Catching everyone by surprise he arrived a few weeks early when his parents, Lord and Lady (formerly Jenny Jerome) Randolph Churchill were visiting. Churchill was the grandson of the 7th Duke of Marlborough.
Churchill’s father, Randolph was the 2nd son, hence the tile did not pass to either him or Winston.
Blenheim was much loved by Churchill and he was a frequent visitor. It is the place he was born, christened and where he proposed to the love of his life, Clementine Hozier.
So special was this spot to Churchill that he declined a grand burial site in London as befitting of his status but asked instead to be buried in the local churchyard of St Martins Church, Bladon, just a few miles from Blenheim.
Blenheim Palace been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of Britain’s finest palaces, truly worthy of a visit.