|The front door of Blenheim Palace|
Today I decided to go see Blenheim Palace, the "house" where Winston Churchill was born. The common misconception was that Churchill lived here, but he didn't. The house belonged to his uncle and passed to his cousin. But Winston was born at Blenheim because his mother had gone to a weekend party at Blenheim and danced too much and took a bumpy pony cart ride. Well Winnie was ready, and that's all the encouragement he needed! We got to see the room where he was born and the little gown he was put into. The 1880's onesies were very sweet!
|The palace was built around a courtyard that was about|
the size of a small mall. This is East Wing of the Palace.
|Isn't it astounding what lots and lots of money can do!|
The house took 27 years to build, and the Duke only got to live in it for two years before he died. It wasn't even finished. His wife, Sarah Churchill didn't even like it! I asked the guide why. He said very politely, "Well, would you want to live here?" I had to think about it a second, then I answered, "No, it's too big!" And the lady next to me added, "I bet it's freezing in here in the winter time." All the British people rolled their eyes and said, "Too right!" and "Cor blimey!" It was adorable.
I also asked about the unusual golden color of the house. The guide told me that the house was built from limestone, and over the years the embedded iron ore has leeched out to created this lovely ochre color.
Blenheim was also one of the first great houses to join the National Trust. It turns out that these grand houses were more of a curse for these rich families than a blessing. The first generation was usually given lands and money to create the estate, but the future generations usually struggled, mightily, to maintain the house. This was the reason some of the great families started marrying rich American heiresses in the late 1800's. In their minds, they were marrying down, but exchanging a title for ready cash was appealing.
|The State Dinning Room|
|Just one of the many gardens on the grounds.|
|A picture of beautiful Paddington Station from the Internet.|
I was so busy trying to figure out where to catch the train,
that I forgot to take a picture.
Tomorrow it is suppose to rain! I know it sounds crazy, but it has not rained, or even been overcast once since I got here. I want some good old miserable English weather to complain about. After all, I bought a new umbrella and I want to use it!
|I'm pretty sure I saw this bridge on "To The Manor Born." |
I can just picture Penelope Keith strolling across.
|At the end of the Long Walk, you finally reach the gates to enter Blenheim.|
How's that gate for One-Up-Man-ship?
|The inner gates of Blenheim just continue the suspense. Where's the house? |
If these are the gates, how grand is the house?