Summer Swordsmanship returns to Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace

Bravado, swordsmanship and performance will all be combined as the ‘Art of the Duel’ returns to Blenheim Palace.

Throughout weekends in August,  stage-fighting actors will dazzle visitors with their re-enactment of classical two-person combat.

The codes, traditions and gory details of duelling are all covered in the display, which is included in a Palace, Park and Gardens ticket.

The series of performances is particularly poignant this year with Blenheim Palace celebrating the 300th anniversary of the death of the 1st Duke of the Marlborough.

There will be a particular focus on the young John Churchill’s 1671 duel with Sir John Fenwick with the action-packed displays exploring the art and awfulness of duelling.

Between the 17th and early 19th centuries, duelling was a common way of settling disputes between members of the aristocracy.

One of England’s most famous duels came after the 1st Duke’s dismissal as general of British Forces in 1712. James Hamilton, the 4th Duke of Hamilton, fought Charles Mohun, the 4th Baron Mohun of Okehampton and both men were killed.

The performances will take place in the Great Court at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm and 3:30pm, every weekend in August.