Sweetbriar Dreams

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Saturday, 26 November 2016

Autumn Splendor at Blenheim

... And now to part two of our visit to Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill.  The gardens that we had time to visit were in the last throws of Autumn, perfect for my last real chance to capture the beauty that I wait to see each year.  The bright vibrant colours are nothing better to inspire my soul.  Once again dear readers, a hot Darjeeling tea, a Bourbon and warm, fluffy slippers on... here's outside...

Exquisite sculptures peer out from the Palace, almost lost by the enormity of the columns.  The sheer scale of this place is breathtaking.

But, let's just capture the incredible Autumn splendour that surrounded Blenheim on this day (sorry, it was one of those dull grey sky days which my camera doesn't like!).  The gardens are another masterpiece of Capability Brown who it is said, saved an area of woodland here where the trees date back to the 12th century and probably the oldest in Europe!   I have put a link here to the Capability Brown website that gives some beautiful shots of the masterpiece he created (his real name was Lancelot Brown but was nicknamed Capability after he would say to clients that their land had capability for improvement)

The trees around us were desperately holding on to their copper leaves and at their feet a beautiful rusty carpet, just a bit too soggy for the obligatory crunchy walk.

Their bony limbs now peering through and ready for their winter slumber.

Amongst us the sheep, grazing before turning in for the evening.

This is what I love about Autumn. The dark mistiness, mixed in with a palette of warm, cosy rusty colours.

The sun was setting so our time was limited in the gardens, but come with me and we'll look at the front of the Palace with the lights just starting to flicker like the streets of a Victorian town.

Maybe we should have walked on the other side of the building earlier to see the other elements, but instead we had walked down the driveway (the white tents are the Christmas Fair - VERY crowded!)

To the top and a view seen from the centre section of the Palace, the Column of Victory which was built in 1727 and has John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough in Roman costume in celebration of the victory of the Battle of Blenheim.

What impressed me about this monument was the script at its base (you can read it here if you haven't got a long book to read!).  It felt as though I was reading a legal document that was for all to see and to show that this land and the Palace were not going to be taking by anyone!  There were little corrections that looked like a stonemason had tippexed over them and tapped over a thin piece of stone stuck over the error.  I can quite understand that they didn't want to just say, "oh no, my mistake, get me another three tonnes of stone"... and start again!

They'd be banging their heads against the surrounding trees like this one!

And so, back to the house and time to go home.

Maybe if we hadn't stood in a queue for the Untold Story tour in the Palace we would have had more time to visit the remaining areas of the garden.  But, it wasn't to be.

At least I got to see a small portion of another Capability Brown masterpiece and the last remaining warm and rustic colours of Autumn.

Ok, so my own personal opinion is that I wouldn't visit the inside of the Palace again, but instead I would like to explore the gardens in more depth during late autumn on another year and visit Churchill's grave.  

Have a great weekend everyone, I hope you didn't get crushed or mashed during the Black Friday sales!


  1. I pass Blenheim often but has never visited, you make it look so lovely so I'm putting it on my to go to list!
    That sheep photo is just fab btw.

  2. Chex, another lovely post and beautiful photos. I do love the rusty colours of the leaves and grey skies in these pics. I remember the sheep along the lane into the palace. It's too bad you didn't get out to the gardens but I expect they would be better seen in late summer for colour. Thanks for the tour and I wish you a lovely weekend. xx Pam

  3. An incredibly beautiful place. Love the copper tones in the garden. So beautiful.
    Have a great weekend,

  4. Such a delight to be able to share this tour with you. Definitely on my to do list, stunning.

  5. Great photos, I really must go back and visit the place

  6. Enjoyed your visit to Blenheim, just like Chatsworth last year. Nice to see it in the fall.

  7. It is a most impressive structure! Massive! The gardens sound lovely, even in soggy weather.

  8. Gorgeous photos, Chel! Yes, the place is gorgeous as well. :)
    I enjoyed this post very much also because of good memories. I "met" Capability Brown during my studies. Waldemar Januszczak's "Baroque!" is one of my all-time favourite documentary programmes. I have watched it many times and even now I can hear his voice explaining the marvels of the Palace and the gardens. :)
    Have a lovely Advent season! xx

  9. I can't get over how huge that place is. Goodness, the staff it must have taken to run it! Love the beautiful autumn colors. Gorgeous!

  10. These trees are wonderful, I love the colors!

  11. The autumn colours in the grounds are delightful and I love the way the house it lit up :-)

  12. I've enjoyed visiting Blenheim with you, how lovely it looks in the fall.

  13. A great photo tour, as always, Chel. Loved the one of the sheep head-butting the tree, but your dusk/night shots of the palace are really excellent. The grounds at Blenheim are spectacular but I've never ventured far out of the gardens - it's one of those places you need to go to several times. There's probably a public footpath across it somewhere..?


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