Category Archives: PLACE TO VISIT
Blenheim Palace: a magnificent rival to Versailles. Blenheim is only a few miles out of Oxford at the edge of the little town of Woodstock. It was built on land given to John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough, by Queen Anne to celebrate his victory over the French at Blenheim in 1704. His success prevented Louis XIV from dominating Continental Europe and, as his descendant Winston Churchill wrote, ‘changed the political axis of the world’. Vanbrugh was commissioned to design a palace suitable for the hero, and £240,000 was voted for it by Parliament.
Discover a time capsule of interwar life at the Worksop home of the Straw family who decided to leave their house unchanged for many decades. Opening the door of 7 Blyth Grove is like taking the time machine back to the 1920s. The house is a treasure chest of fascinating objects, fashions and memories from interwar Britain.
Today, few people have heard of Henry Stuart (1594-1612) – eldest son of King James VI and I, older brother to the future Charles I. But back in 1612 things were very different. In fact, when, in November of that year, Henry’s life was ended by typhoid fever (he was just 18), the entire nation was plunged into grief. At Henry’s lavish funeral procession, 2,000 official mourners were joined by thousands lining the streets “whose streaming eyes made knowen howe much inwardly their harts did bleed”.
Surrounded on three sides by the Mediterranean, the city of Valletta is one of Europe’s finest historic attractions. Here visitors enjoy sumptuous palaces, theatres, gardens and churches that recall the heyday of the Knights of St John, known also as Knights Hospitaller.
The origins of Warwick Castle can be traced back to the Saxon fortification which Ethelfleda, daughter of Alfred the Great, used to defend against invading Danes. The first castle, however, to appear on the site was a wooden motte and bailey constructed in 1068 at the command of William the Conqueror. Throughout the Middle Ages, under successive earls of Warwick, the castle was gradually rebuilt in stone. By the 14th century, it was a towering medieval fortress and the stronghold of the mighty Beauchamp family.