Okay, technically it isn't a military site, but the panoramas turned out so well I just had to show them off in a prominent place. And if you didn't know, John Churchill, the Duke of Marlborough, didn't live here because he was a cigarette magnate. Far from it.
Queen Anne had the palace constructed for him because of the Duke's vital military services. (It probably didn't hurt that the Duchess was a good friend of the queen.) During the Glorious Revolution of 1688, in a move that endeared him to the new regime, John Churchill helped facilitate the replacement of James II with William and Mary, Protestants more acceptable to the people and more likely to act in their best interests and oppose French expansion. Marlborough figured prominently in this with a number of smashing victories against the French in the War of Spanish Succession, the most famous of which, Blenheim, gave its name to the palace. Although the Duke didn't live long enough to see his massive palace completed, he and his wife figured prominently in its furnishings. Both being tightwads (He even had the habit of dropping in on his subordinates around mealtimes.), some palace ceilings are white and not painted with naked babies and such as was customary at the time.
Despite being a tightwad myself, I paid eleven and half pounds each for both my good friend and me to enter. Despite the typical annoying prohibition against photography inside, we both found the visit to be a highlight of the trip. To me, it easily rivaled Kensington Palace and Hampton Court.
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