Architectural History of Blenheim Palace

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CONTENTS

List of Figure

Figure 1

The Front View of Blenheim Palace

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Figure 2

Saloon Ceiling

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Figure 3

The Long Library

Figure 4

The Upper Water Terreces of Blenheim Palace

  1. INTRODUCTION

Blenheim Palace is the one of the huge building in England and it was designed by playwright Sir John Vanbrugh, assistantsNicholas Hawksmoor, and landscape architect Lancelot Brown (Capability Brown). An impressive example of 18th English baroque style. It was located at a town in southwestern New York, Oxfordshire,England. Formerly it was called by “Woodstock Manor”, This building of the palace was originally intended to be a reward tothe first duke Marlborough, John Churchill. [1] It was built in 1705 when Queen Anne bestows to John Churchill, he was Winston Churchill forefather. This was to celebrate the victory over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession in 1704. By Blenheim Palace as the axis a huge palace building complex, it was the center of Woodstock. Beside this hidden a lot of precious oil painting and sculpture of magnificent palace, it also had a lake, pasture and a typical of English manor. Even though in later period had add in a lot of artificial features, but it is still a faction elegant English-style afternoon tea. Blenheim palace is an immortal country house, one of the England’s largest country house. it is the only non-royal, non-episcopal in England to hold the title of palace. [2] This is a territory of the Oxfordshire quiet, green village. Futhermore, Winston Churchill was born in Blenheim Palace, the former Prime Minister of the England. In 1988, Blenheim Palace was list as cultural heritage of the world. In early the 20th, the 9th Duke of Marlborough, Charles Richard John Spencer-Churchill, was rebuilt the east and west sides in the shape neat gardens. This pattern of garden, had become a lawn. Regarding to the famous architect and sculptor, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the 9th Duke of Marlborough, he was praised to him.

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Figure 1: Front view of Blenheim Palace

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blenheim_Palace

  1. Source of Name

The origin name of Blenheim Palace was come from a decisive war at the north shore of the Danube and it was happened in 13th August 1704. In a north shore of the Danube, nearby had a small village called Blenheim. It was built as a gift to the 1st Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill the military commander who led the Allied forces in the Battle of Blenheim on 13th August 1704. It was Marlborough who personally received the surrender from Marshall Tallard, leader of the French forces, following the battle.[3] Charity generous queen Anne giving the “Woodstock” royal honor and the construction of “Blenheim Palace” as a gift. The construction of this building start from 1705 to 1722 by Mr. Wenbuhler.The title of “ Woodstock" of the royal honor and building given by her majesty the queen Anne and confirmed by parliament.[4] In 1712, the construction of Blenheim Palace forced to stop all work. Since when Duke Marlborough continue across work for the queen, hostile forces are trying to think of ways to destroyed the queen for his love. Finally, the funds approval to build Blenheim Palace did not get, so that they owned the masonry, sculptor and other things include the architect.

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[1] [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blenheim_Palace

[3] http://www.blenheimpalace.com/blenheimpalace/about-blenheim-palace/the-history-of-blenheim-palace/

[4] http://en.labtud.com/article-160217-1.html

  1. Architectural Style
  1. Interior Design

Blenheim Palace, the main building consists of two wings on the main building and courtyards. The exterior mixed with Collins-style colonnades and tower with Baroque style. High uplift of the triangular wall, forming patchwork of facade line. Entering the hall, it is surrounded salon, reception room, library, living room, all surrounded by a small courtyard, connected by corridors and hall. Furnishings with families portrait paintings, tapestries and a variety of decorative ornaments, each one from the hands of masters. To mimic the natural landscape sculpture gardens seldom do the decoration, while Blenheim Palace is a French Baroque garden. Sculptures are visible everywhere.

The Grand Bridge

Blenheim palace is an English baroque architecture. In 1709, the manor was destructed by the Duchess of Marlborough's command, the foundation of Vanbrugh's Grand Bridge used a lot of rubber to fill up. When John Churchill and Vanbrugh walking though inquired into Woodstock Park, they saw a valley of marsh, this gave Sir Vangbrugh some inspiration, he created and designed the fitnest bridgein Europe. Since in 1711, Marburg was the Queen of favor and banished several years. Sarah Churchill, the first duchess, she finished the Blenheim with Vanbrugh by their own expense, even though they faced a lot of budjet problem and enter the prohibited place.

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Figure 2: The Grand Bridge of Blenheim Palace

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blenheim_Palace

From the figure 2 above, can see the sea is surrounding the grand bridge. After the first duke died, his wife called in Colonel John Armstrong, he was a chief engineer, to re-designed the water-works in the park.

The Great Hall

The most amazing thing is the grand lobby, especially theGibbons hall. The hall is 67’ ft high, due to James Thornhill who is an english painter of historical subject, in 1716 he painted the ceilings of blenheim palace, according the order of war and to expand in blenheim palace, and to show the Madero victory. Futhermore, there had stone carving by Grinling Gibbons. However, the 9th Duke's bronze bust was made by Sir Jacob Epstein. Sarah Churchill was famous on bargain prices, she always argue with the workers that she hire. In a similar situation, she was argue with Grinling Gibbons, the master carver, he haven’t complete the work on house, but after that he never returned to complete and continue his work.

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Figure 3: Great Hall of Blenheim Palace

Source:http://www.discoverbritainmag.com/britain/blenheim_palace_steeped_in_history_1_3770278

The Saloon

The Saloon, can only use once a year in Christmas dinner for the family of Duke Marlborough. In this elegant and classic room painted murals and paintings of French artist Louis Laguerre.

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Figure 4: Saloon ceiling of Blenheim

Source:http://www.wikigallery.org/wiki/painting_282079/Sir-James-Thornhill/Proposed-design-for-the-saloon-ceiling-at-Blenheim-Palace,-Oxfordshire-The-Apotheosis-of-Hercules

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Sarah Churchill were instructed to the first duke, John Churchill report the victory to Queen Anne. John Churchill used solid silver centerpiece writing the dispatch on horseback to his wife in this room. The centerpiece was made byGarrard, the Crown Jewellers. [5]

The Green Writing Room

In addition to Blenheim’s wall, there were thick tapestries made of expensive fabrics hang from the wall, describing the surrender from French on the battle been accepted by Marlborough in the green writing room. A carefully planned bureau in the room, the style of decorated was a modern inlay style, and this was made from the Queen’s nephew.

The Long Library

The long library, is one of the private house in Britain, the long library it was originally designed for the gallery, designed by Vanbrugh and Nicholes Hawksmoor. The library can contain around 10,000 books, the largely collection was from 9th Duke. Inside the wall, at the northern end, hang in a systemic statue of Queen Anne, King William III and the first duke, John Churchill. Maybe the most compelling place in the room is the magnificent Willis government agencies. In 1891, there was an organ belongs to Henry Willis and he designed it. This is the most ou tstanding room from Hawksmoor’s designed. The ordinary stucco ceilings designed, included two false domes, was completed in 1725.

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Figure 5: The Long Library

Source: http://prato12.blog.sbc.edu/2011/08/11/blenheim-palace/

Due to the figure 3 above, there have a blank ceiling. At first, Sir James Thornhill was entrusted to filled up allegorical scenes. But it was too expensive, so they remained blank. The interesting things is, in 18th century, the blank and plane ceiling giving simple appearance to show atypical of the neoclassical or Georgian style of the Robert Adam. For many years, this long library had a number variety of uses. During World War I it was a hospital ward and during World War II it served as a dormitory for Malvern College boys. [6]

[5] http://gouk.about.com/od/thingstodo/ig/Blenheim-in-Pictures/The-Saloon-at-Blenheim-Palace.htm#step-heading

[6] http://gouk.about.com/od/thingstodo/ig/Blenheim-in-Pictures/The-Long-Library.htm

3.2 The Water Terraces

Due to the water terraces of Blenheim palace, Winston Churchill was be responsible for the creation of a huge lake, the artificial fluctuations and a series of water cascades. He wrote that Blenheim’s unique attraction lie in its perfect adaptation of English parkland to an Italian palace. The “Italian palace” it seems to be part of the reference about the unique garden, the western water terraces, designed bythe French landscape architectAchille Duchêne.

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Figure 6: The upper water terrace in Blenheim Palace

Source:

During the 9th Duke of Marlborough, water terraces was built. It was built form 1925 to 1930, took around five years. The lower Water Terrace, separated from the upper Water Terrace by a wall of caryatids and tiered shells has been compared to the Parterre d'Eau at Versailles.

Reportedly, the Water Terraces were inspired by the sculptor Bernini. The sphinx is one of pair with heads modeled on the features of the 9th Duke's second American wife Gladys Deacon. It was created by Ward Willis in 1930. Another piece of sculpture on the lower Water Terrace was modeled on local man and gardener by Bert Timms of Hanborough. Due to the story, he got inspired when walking through the garden and noticed who was carving Visseau at the time, As a result, he made the model of the head and torso of the leftmost caryatid on the wall that separates the two Water Terraces at Blenheim When walk in through, there had an archway describe about British lion forced down to a cockerel (the emblem of France). Altogether, on the exterior there were almost 15 references to mention British Victories against the French.

4.0 Architectural History

In 13 August 1704, John Churchill achieved victory the Battle of Blenheim, who led the Allied forces. He was defeated in Bavaria with army of Louis XIV, in order to award his feats, he was awarded be the first Duke of Marlborough the king and giving him the construction of Blenheim as a gift. Blenheim Place is a masterpiece completed with a famous architect John Vanbrugh between 1705 until 1722. The building style of this was intended to reflect the establishment of the Duke of Marlborough's outstanding contributions. The British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill was born at Blenheim, he is the eighth generation the first Duke of Marlborough’s grandson. He inherited on the fine tradition of the family, exert excellence military talent, go through brilliant political career. Winston Churchill wrote a biography about his family. Long ago, he was an officer, but later he served as British Prime Minister because of he successfully defended Britain in World War II. First, the first Duke took a fancy to a wide valley, later it formed to a piece of marsh. Sir John Vanbrugh design and build a grand large bridge. Bridge arches of main bridge total width 31 meters. It started the construction in 1708, but because of the cost was too high, and did not complete the constructed. Sarah Churchill, the first duchess, disagree to build an arched bridge under the valley. So, just built an ordinary bridge to connected between Blenheim and the ranch. In 1764, the family of duke the important task of construction to Blenheim Palace handed over to landscape architect, Capability Brown. He think that landscape design should blend with the natural landscape, not to leave traces of artificial modification. He repaired dams in the valley, form to a large territorial waters. Therefore, under the bridge become two edges of crooked lake. The first duke, John Churchill death on 1725, after the five years he death, the construction of Blenheim Palace just fully completed. The duke memorial was a landmark to Blenheim Palace, under the memorial hall rooftop have a small tower and belfry. Supporting the Duke memorial hall there have 4 pillars, have the sing of Marlborough moral merit. The main part of this construction was using the columns to connect, and to replace the wall. Top of the memorial hall. There have a sculpture of British lion forced down to a cockerel, which means that the strength of victory. In early the 20th, the 9th Duke of Marlborough, Charles Richard John Spencer-Churchill, was rebuilt the east and west sides in the shape neat gardens. This pattern of garden, had become a lawn. The 9th duke of Marlborough hire the famous French landscape designer,Achille Duchêne to create a water garden. Duke hopes to restore the original appearance of the lake, but he just here to build a strange pond. Regarding to the famous architect and sculptor, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the 9th Duke of Marlborough, he was praised to him. Bernini used the Roman of St. Pierre Cathedral transformed into the famous Palazzo Barberini, it was very famous and well-known in Europe. At that time, they called it Bernini was a “Knight”, Louis XIV also asked him to remodelled the Louvre. In order to satisfy the wish of the Duke, Achille Duchêne have to follow according to Bernini's approach to the design of Blenheim Palace Gardens. He imitated Bernini to build a new plaza, in this pond middle of Alpheus built a small fountain. In England, natural landscape gardens seldom to do the decoration, yet Blenheim Palace was a French Baroque garden, sculptor can easy to be seen at here. The layout of garden neat and orderly, wherein plants and ornaments panoramic view passage. Statue in every corner is a sign of military bravery and honor of military. Because this is to commemorated the residence of the British army and built it.

Bibliography

References

  1. The front view of Blenheim Palace, available on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blenheim_Palace, accessed on 29 April 2015, 8p.m
  2. The Grand Bridge of Blenheim Palace, available on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blenheim_Palace, accessed on 02 May 2015, 02:14am.
  3. The Great Hall of Blenheim Palace, available on http://www.discoverbritainmag.com/britain/blenheim_palace_steeped_in_history_1_3770278, accessed on 2 May 2015, 01:50 a.m.
  1. Saloon ceiling of Blenheim, available on http://www.wikigallery.org/wiki/painting_282079/Sir-James-Thornhill/Proposed-design-for-the-saloon-ceiling-at-Blenheim-Palace,-Oxfordshire-The-Apotheosis-of-Hercules, accesed on 1 May 2015 2:30pm.
  1. The Long Library available on, http://prato12.blog.sbc.edu/2011/08/11/blenheim-palace/, accessed on 1 May 2015, 4:00pm.