Cavalry charges and musket fire are promised when Blenheim Palace celebrates the life of a legendary soldier described by Winston Church as Britain's greatest ever general.

Next weekend the UNESCO World Heritage Site just an hour away from Swindon hosts Marlborough 300 – a pageant to commemorate the 300th anniversary of John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough.

A courageous leader in battle, Marlborough’s victories over Louis XIV of France forever changed the face of Europe. He was an ancestor of Britain's wartime leader.

The Pageant will tell the story of John Churchill’s early life, from his birth in 1650 to his emergence in society and at Court, his role as a soldier in the Sedgemoor campaign of 1685, and his relationship with his beloved wife Sarah.

There are two arena shows each day re-enacting a race meeting at the court of Charles II and a battle from 1685. Visitors can expect action, horses, muskets, flags, drums and cavalry charges.

Re-enactors posing as John and Sarah Churchill will interact with the audience, giving details of their life and family, and the period in which they lived. Families can enjoy acted historical cameos and living history encampments showing life in the late 17th Century.

Entry to the pageant, which runs on July 30 and 31, is included with Palace, Park and Gardens tickets with the horse race meeting getting underway at 12pm and the battle re-enactment starting at 3pm.

The estate at Woodstock, features tours of the house, a Winston Churchill trail, formal gardens, the Marlborough Mase and a miniature railway among the attractions.

Visit for details.