Tuesday, 17 February 2015

200 Butterflies Released in to Blenheim Palace’s Butterfly House

Butterfly release
More than 200 native and exotic butterflies have been released in to Blenheim Palace’s newly renovated Butterfly House.

A member of Blenheim Palace staff helped release dozens of exotic species from Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines alongside a selection of native butterflies in time for the start of the February Half Term holidays.

Alongside the live butterflies, staff also delivered around 180 pupae from Africa and the Philippines which have been placed in the Butterfly House’s hatchery area where visitors can see them develop within their chrysalises before being released in to the main area.

Garden staff have planted a wide variety of nectar-rich flowers including marguerite, black eyed Susan’s, hydrangea and hibiscus. There are also sugar bowls and fruit from which the butterflies can feed.

Head of Gardens, Hilary Wood, said: “It’s an amazing sight to see the house filled with exotic butterflies once again and we’re expecting many more to hatch out over the coming days.”

The butterflies share their home with a colony of Zebra Finch.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Churchill Exhibition at Blenheim Palace

The Oxfordshire World Heritage Site, which was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, announces a newly-curated Churchill Exhibition for 2015.

Churchill Exhibition
The Churchill Exhibition opening marks the start of a year of commemoration as the nation recognises three key anniversaries; the 50th anniversary of his death, the 75th anniversary of his becoming Prime Minister and the 75th anniversary of, arguably, his finest hour during the Battle of Britain. 

The Churchill Exhibition includes a series of new displays and features aimed at providing a fascinating insight in to the life of our ‘Greatest Briton’. 

Each of the five rooms situated in the Palace will include a selection of new images, artefacts and audio as well as a replica uniform from his military days. Visitors will have the chance to listen to his most iconic speeches as well as learn more about his childhood at Blenheim Palace.

The exhibition will also focus on the great man’s state funeral, which brought the nation to a halt as they paid their final respects. The tour will include never-been-seen-before images from the funeral at Bladon Church.

New artefacts include an original Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars uniform, worn by Churchill’s colleague Ferdinand St. John. Visitors will again be able to see Churchill’s velvet ‘romper’ suit also known as the ‘Siren Suit’. He was known for wearing it with his monogrammed slippers whilst in the Cabinet War Rooms. 

Other never-seen-before items, including his pony saddle, help to paint the picture of Churchill’s childhood. Tales of his early equestrian career feature in his juvenile letters from boarding school to his Grandmother, the 7th Duchess of Marlborough.

The interactive exhibition now uses multi-media to enhance the visitor experience including video content which is screened within the rooms. There are transcripts from private communications and a section is dedicated to Churchill’s past love interests too. 

The Churchill Exhibition opens from 14 February – 20 December, more information can be found at blenheimpalace.com

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

10 Exhibitions not to miss at The Treasure Houses of England 2015

Winston Churchill Exhibition
From artistic masterpieces to fascinating historical exhibitions, The Treasure Houses of England look set to deliver a captivating programme of exciting events this year. Here are 10 exhibitions not to miss!

Beaulieu’s new Motorsport Exhibition opens on Friday 6 March 2015. The new exhibition will include two exciting new displays: Grand Prix Greats and Road, Race and Rally perfect for motoring enthusiasts and families to enjoy.

Blenheim Palace unveils a reinvigorated Winston Churchill Exhibition on 14 February. The exhibition marks the beginning of a year of commemorative activities and events at Blenheim Palace and includes a series of new and never-before-seen displays and features, providing a fascinating insight into Churchill’s life.

Burghley’s exhibition Oriental Ceramics, showcases star items from Burghley’s World- famous collections including the unusual Wrestling Boys, who were famously used as a doorstop for many years before their provenance was discovered.  The exhibition highlights the differences between Japanese and Chinese variants.
Burghley Collectibles and Curiosities

Duty Calls, an exciting exhibition from Waterloo to World War II, explores the stories of Castle Howard in times of war, giving a glimpse into a hitherto unknown chapter of the family and estate.

From 28 March - 23 October, experience Chatsworth in a whole new way with contemporary seating exhibition Make Yourself Comfortable at Chatsworth. Contemporary seating by international designers, such as Marc Newson, Moritz Waldemeyer and Thomas Heatherwick will be shown throughout Chatsworth, bringing to light new stories about the interior and the historic collection.

Harewood will showcase a collection of gift boxes in a special display on the State Floor in the new A Gift from the Whole Nation from 3 April –1 Nov. The gift boxes are some of the ‘thank you’ presents given by Princess Mary in 1914 to send to the troops at Christmas time. In total over 426,724 gift boxes had been made and distributed in just two months helping boost moral for serving troops.

Art in Clay at Hatfield House is an outdoor summer exhibition from 3 - 5 July. Showcasing over 190 ceramists in the beautiful parkland visitors can see some of the finest ceramics currently being made by individual makers in the UK and Europe.

For one year renowned Magnum photographer Chris Steele-Perkins had unrestricted access to Holkham Hall and the estate. Behind Closed Doors:  A Year in the Life of a Working Estate is the stunning collection of extraordinary and intimate photographs that resulted. Runs from 29 March - 31 October.

From May the world famous Leeds Castle Dog Collar Collection returns to public display. More than 130 collars will be on view in a new display, in the largest public collection of dog collars and it documents the history of canine fashions dating from the 16th century into modern times.

Visitors can experience the largest private collection of Venetian Views by Canaletto on public view at Woburn Abbey. There are 21 paintings on display in the Dining Room. Opening 27 March 2015.