History of Blenheim Palace

Once the birthplace of a little known Winston Churchill, and now the home of the 11th Duke of Malborough, this impressive mansion is set within 2100 acres of formal gardens and parkland.

The mansion was originally built as a show of victory for the French during the Spanish Succession Wars. It was given to the first Duke of Malborough as a gift from the Queen for performing well in battle as a commander in 1704. However, the Duchess of Malborough was not happy living in such a grand building, being such a graceful strong-willed woman. She often argued with builders and architects and had fallen out of favour with the Queen with her requests. The funds eventually dried up and the building was halted in 1712. The palace then had to be completed with funding from the Duke’s own pocket.

Several Dukes and Duchesses have expanded and updated the palace over the years, perhaps the biggest renovation was that of the Great Court. The 9th Duke completely restored the court by replanting the entrance avenue and grand avenue. He also redecorated the entire State Rooms.

During the World War, it had its many uses to help with the war effort. Sir Winston Churchill spent a lot of time here during the years and was good friends with the 9th Duke and had close connections to the family as he was the grandson of the 7th Duke.

The mansion is now classed as a World Heritage site and is under the care of the current Duke of Malborough.

Reported Ghosts at Blenheim Palace

The Dean Jones Room was supposedly haunted by that of an old chaplain to the first Duke of Malborough. However, he has not been spotted since the birth of Winston Churchill in that same room.

The palace is also supposedly haunted by the ghost of a Roundhead soldier who has been reportedly seen huddled over near the fireplace in one of the bedrooms.

Another report is that of poltergeist activity. Royal commissioners were in the palace one day when they were forced out by an unseen presence.