Friday, August 13, 2004

Marlborough Man

Today, August 13th, is the 300th anniversary of the Battle of Blenheim. Englishman John Churchill, leading allied forces, defeated the French in a decisive battle during the War of Spanish Succession. In recognition of this victory, Churchill was named Duke of Marlborough and given Blenheim Palace in the Oxfordshire countryside.

In 1764, the grounds at Blenheim Palace were beautifully landscaped by Lancelot "Capability" Brown--the subject of Chet's latest musing.

Front view of Blenheim PalaceI had the pleasure of visiting Blenheim Palace on my recent trip through England. The Palace still serves as the residence of the Duke of Marlborough, currently the 11th. The Duke graciously opens his palace and grounds to tourists like me.

I don't know if Lancelot Brown would have imagined the capabilities of a huge swath of the palace grounds being used as a car park, but the current Duke has. Marlborough also ensures that visitors are unable to leave his fine estate without first passing through the gift shop.

The guy has to pay these gardening bills somehow I guess. There's probably not too much scratch to be earned in defeating the French these days.