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Brief description of site

Laid out by Sir John Vanbrugh and Henry Wise in the 1720s for the Duke of Marlborough, Blenheim has formal gardens and pleasure grounds within a landscape park, the whole site covering 975 hectares.

Brief history of site

Henry I (1100-35) appears to have first enclosed the park at Woodstock at the beginning of the 12th century, it subsequently becoming an important royal hunting park. The site was developed over the next centuries, but by 1705 was probably in poor condition. The manor was granted to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough by Queen Anne in 1705, for his services in defeating the French in Europe. She built a house for him on the site and called it Blenheim, after the 1704 victory at the battle of Blindheim, close to the Danube. The house was built by Sir John Vanbrugh between 1705 and 1722, with formal gardens by Henry Wise. A formal canal scheme was laid out after 1722, and in 1764 Lancelot Brown was called in to landscape the park. A substantial rock garden was created in the early-19th century. Restoration and re-planting were undertaken in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. The formal gardens were redesigned in the early-20th century by Achille Duchene.

Location information:

Address: Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PX

Locality: Woodstock

Local Authorities:

Oxfordshire; West Oxfordshire; Blenheim

Historical County: Oxfordshire

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 164 Grid Ref: SP441161
Latitude: 51.8418 Longitude: -1.36129


Six miles north-west of Oxford on the A44 Evesham road. Train to Oxford, then No. 20 bus.

Visitor facilities

Opening contact details:

The site is open daily except Christmas Day. Opening times for different parts of the site are variable. Please see:

Visitor information:

Parking. Refreshments. WCs. Disabled access. Shop.

Key information:

Form of site: landscape park

Purpose of site: Ornamental

Context or principal building: palace

Site first created: After 1100

Main period of development: 18th century

Survival: Extant

Site Size (Hectares): 975

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