Blenheim Palace have opened a new exhibition following a £1.9m investment programme at the Oxfordshire estate of the Blenheim stables and tack room. This is the first time that Blenheims origional tack room will be opened to the public.
Visitors can enjoy a chance to ride side-saddle, watch displays as well as experience the royal hunting lodge and the Capability Brown-landscaped parkland, home to the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials. Features also include a full-size recreation of one of the estate’s ancient oak trees, hung with bowler and top hats.
Within the histroic stables visitors will also be able to find a model of Winston Churchill’s childhood pony Rob Roy. Rob Roy was fiirst ridden by Winston Churchill in April 1882 during a stay at the palace. There is also a life-size shire horse made from willow and an ornate carriage on display.
Blenheim Palace was Winston Churchills birthplace. It is also where is spent many of his formative years and where he proposed to his wife Clementine. The churchyard on the edge of the estate is Churchills final resting place.
A palace spokesperson said “The future wartime leader was the grandson of the seventh Duke of Marlborough and was born at the palace. He went on to become an expert rider and, aged 23, took part in the British army’s last ever cavalry charge, during the Battle of Omdurman in 1898.”
The exhibiton opened on 17th May 2021 highlights the “crucial role” horses have played throughout Blenheim Palace’s history.