Street fair in Woodstock.

Street fair in Woodstock.

If it’s Tuesday it must be….Blenheim!  We left our little attic hotel room dragging ALL our luggage down 2 sets of narrow stairs.  People were very little back in the day….Just over the wall of the little village of Woodstock was Blenheim Palace.  It is a wonderful visit to the past and present of British privileged lives.  This castle was built in 1704 and was not finished until 1714 because the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough were out of favor from Queen Anne for a time and had to live abroad.  The first Duke only spent 2 years here before he died.  The present Duke (the 12th Duke) and his 3rd wife live there now in a private section of this castle.  I believe he is in his 80s and has 4 children who live elsewhere.  They also use the property for many movie sets and were setting up to film a tv series this week.

Little village of Woodstock right next to Blenheim Palace - the home of the 12th Duke of Marborough

Little village of Woodstock right next to Blenheim Palace – the home of the 12th Duke of Marlborough

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One of the gates to the palace

One of the gates to the palace

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Our first view of Blenheim as we were taking an evening stroll last night

Our first view of Blenheim as we were taking an evening stroll last night

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The public can walk on the property free of charge - at least the outside grounds

The public can walk on the property free of charge – at least the outside grounds

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Front view

Front view

A monument built for the 1st Duke of Marborough who became a military hero beating the French in 1704

A monument built for the 1st Duke of Marlborough who became a military hero beating the French in 1704

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The view from our little B & B room

The view from our little B & B room

Street fair right below our window

Street fair right below our window

Cute little breakfast area

Cute little breakfast area

Breakfast area

Breakfast area

Upper right hand window was our overnight attic room

Upper right hand window was our overnight attic room

Blenheim Palace built in 1704

Blenheim Palace built in 1704

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Entry ceiling

Entry ceiling

Entryway

Entryway

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Winston Churchill was born here - his cousin was the 9th Duke of Marborough

Winston Churchill was born here – his cousin was the 9th Duke of Marlborough

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The first Duke and family

The first Duke and family

Looking out the front door

Looking out the front door

Meissen - and a ton of it !

Meissen – and a ton of it !

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The chandelier once hung in Versailles

The chandelier once hung in Versailles

The red room

The red room

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The green room

The green room

Dining room

Dining room

How to set a proper table

How to set a proper table

You need all these glasses

You need all these glasses

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The ceiling in the dining room

The ceiling in the dining room

This silver weighed 110 lbs!  This dining room is used once a year by the family for the Christmas dinner

This silver weighed 110 lbs! This dining room is used once a year by the family for the Christmas dinner

There are numerous tapestries that were commissioned by the original duke from Belgium depicting his military victories and made specifically for these walls.  It took 14 years to complete working day AND night

There are numerous tapestries that were commissioned by the original duke from Belgium depicting his military victories and made specifically for these walls. It took 14 years to complete working day AND night

Consuela Vanderbilt married the 9th Duke.  Her mother wanted aristocratic status and he needed her millions.  They did not want to marry and divorced after 12 years.  She was 18 in this picture.

American Consuela Vanderbilt married the 9th Duke. Her mother wanted aristocratic status and he needed her millions. They did not want to marry and divorced after 12 years. She was 18 in this picture.

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There are 3 of these exquisite jewelry cases...this one and the other 2 at the Getty in LA

There are 3 of these exquisite jewelry cases…this one and the other 2 at the Getty in LA

A statue of Queen Anne who was good friends of the first Duchess - in and out of favor over the years.  This is in the huge library

A statue of Queen Anne who was good friends of the first Duchess – in and out of favor over the years. This is in the huge library

Library - there is a beautiful pipe organ at the end

Library – there is a beautiful pipe organ at the end

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library

library

Library ceiling

Library ceiling

Worn by the Dukes and Duchesses for coronations

Worn by the Dukes and Duchesses for coronations

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Chapel

Chapel

The monument and tomb of the first Duke and Duchess

The monument and tomb of the first Duke and Duchess

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Backyard.  The whole property is 2000 acres

Backyard. The whole property is 2000 acres

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Looking down to the entry hall

Looking down to the entry hall