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Blenheim Park, the bridge

Blenheim Park, the bridge

Artist: Grimm, Samuel Hieronymus

Medium: Ink on paper

Date: 1781

Shelfmark: Additional MS 15545

Item number: f.132

Length: 26.8

Width: 37.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript

An outline view in ink of John Vanbrugh's Grand Bridge, which, whilst spanning the lake, is the focal point of 2000 acres of parkland. When it was first built in the early 18th century it was considered too ostentatious and ill-suited to its surroundings. Daniel Defoe, who visited in 1720, complained there was little justification for "a bridge or ryalto rather, on one arch costing 2000l. and this, like the bridge at the Escurial in Spain, without a river". It was given a more appropriate setting by Capability Brown who dammed the river to form two long lakes meeting at the bridge.

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