Along the southern side of Blenheim Palace is a row of state rooms, aligned with shared doors to allow a completely open channel from one end to the other. The state rooms were primarily used to entertain and accommodate distinguished guests, usually of higher rank, and were intricately decorated to impress. Stunning portraits and tapestries adorn the walls, illustrating victories and the history of the dukedom of Marlborough.Blenheim Palace was built in the early 18th century to celebrate victory over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession. In particular, it was built as a gift to the 1st Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill, the military commander who led the Allied forces in the Battle of Blenheim on August 13, 1704. Winston Churchill was later born at the palace in 1874.