A visit to Blenheim Palace
On 6 March, 2019, a coach load of members set off for a day’s outing to Blenheim Palace. Blenheim is unique in its combined use as a family home for the Dukes of Marlborough, mausoleum and national monument. The palace is notable as the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill.
On arrival at the palace the coach parked in front of the entrance which was a bonus. We headed off to the Marlborough Room where we had a welcome cup of tea and coffee and demolished the biscuits!
Armed with excellent headsets, we began our tour of the magnificent state apartments. The third remarkable room is the long gallery designed by Christopher Wren. It houses the largest pipe organ in private ownership in Europe.
Next, we had a private viewing of the Young Turner Exhibition. Turner painted Blenheim in 1833. The exhibition presented some of the artist’s first commissions focusing on his increasing expertise in depicting architecture and perspective from the 1780s to the 1810s. Our guide was Helen Cobby, who is the curator and assistant Curator at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. Helen provided fascinating insights into the life of the young Turner.
We then adjourned to the private Marlborough Room for a social lunch. The sun came out and we were able to enjoy glimpses of the 2,000 acres of parkland landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown.