Check out our top 20 fun facts about Blenheim Palace and its' history. Brush up your knowledge before coming to visit us at Countryfile Live 2017!
- Movie Central – many exciting films and TV dramas have been filmed at Blenheim Palace, including some popular favourites; Spectre 007, The legend of Tarzan, The Avengers, Black Beauty, Harry Potter, The Order of the Pheonix, Cinderella and most recently The BFG movie.
- The inner roof, located at the entrance of the Palace, features paintings of the eyes of the 9th Dukes' wife. It is widely known that the three blue eyes are paintings of the Duke’s Wife however it remains a mystery who the brown eyes officially belong to.
- The 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and their family currently live at Blenheim Palace.
- Blenheim Palace is the only building in England other than royal buildings to be lucky enough to own the title of 'Palace'.
- The palace was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill in 1874. Although he was born at the Palace, it is rumoured that he never actually lived there.
Blenheim Palace is the only building in England other than royal buildings to be lucky enough to own the title of 'Palace'.
- Blenheim Palace was once converted into a hospital in order to nurse wounded soldiers during the First World War.
- The palace has a huge amount of space and features 200 rooms and 1000 windows. When the palace was first built, the size of the window was decided in regards to the importance of the person which lived in that room. Servants had smaller windows and members of the Duke and Duchess' family had large windows.
- Books galore! The Long Library is home to more than 10,000 books and also hosted a boys school which had to be re-located during World War Two.
- You haven’t always been able to wander around the Palace like you can now. The Palace only opened it’s doors to the public in 1950, so has only been a public visitor site for 66 years.
- Blenheim Palace was appointed by UNESCO as a world heritage site in 1987.
- Blenheim Palace hosts a spectacular jousting tournament every summer where brave knights and their valiant steeds step up to the stage to charge, stampede and battle each other whilst putting on a fantastic show.
- The palace was actually relatively cheap to build given its size and grandeur – costing only £300,000 back in the 18th century.
- The queen still owns the land which Blenheim is built on and she still gets paid rent. However the only payment that is required is a Blenheim Flag – a pretty good deal really!
- Originally the Palace was a gift to John Churchill as a celebration of the Victory won over France in the Spanish Succession.
Servants wages – In the time of the 1st Duchess a Laundry maids salary was only £6 per year!
- From the 1600's to the 1800's the palace had to pay a window tax related to the amount of light that was let into the house per window.
- One of the palace sun dials went missing for a long time after it had been sent off for repair and only recently appeared in a box along with the invoice for the repair work that had been done.
- The flag flies when the Duke is home and is taken down when the Duke is away.
- When the palace clock tower was first built, servants had to scramble up the extremely narrow spiral staircase to change and alter the time. Luckily, it is now done mechanically.
- Servants wages – In the time of the 1st Duchess a Laundry maids salary was only £6 per year!
- The family motto of the Churchill family which is engraved within the crest means ‘faithful but unfortunate’.