Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Blenheim Park & Gardens

Blenheim Palace and Grand Bridge set in Capability Brown's landscaped park by Martyn Ferry Photography

A couple of weeks ago I visited Blenheim Palace park and gardens for a spot of photography. Located in the village of Woodstock in Oxfordshire, this magnificent building and surrounding gardens are always worth a look.

The building of the palace was originally intended to be a reward to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, from a grateful nation for the duke's military triumphs against the French and Bavarians during the War of the Spanish Succession, culminating in the 1704 Battle of Blenheim.

Designed in the rare, and short-lived, English Baroque style, architectural appreciation of the palace is as divided today as it was in the 1720s. It is unique in its combined usage as a family home, mausoleum and national monument. The palace is also notable as the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill. At the end of the 19th century, the palace was saved from ruin by funds gained from the 9th Duke of Marlborough's marriage to American railroad heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Hertfordshire Poppies

Bright red poppies in the morning sun under a blue sky and white clouds outside Royston in Hertfordshire by Martyn Ferry Photography

This morning I visited a poppy field outside the town of Royston in Hertfordshire. This particular poppy field has been in the news recently because local Farmer Helen Smith was expecting a field of blue linseed, but ended up with field of red when the crop spray they used didn't suppress the poppies sufficiently.

You can hear more about it on the itv website here.

Whatever the reason for the display, it certainly is an arresting site. What with the weather looking to get pretty dismal for the rest of the week, I thought it was prudent to get down there ASAP, and luckily for me the clouds were almost as spectacular as the poppies.