You'll Never Convince Me This Elaborate 18th Century Bridge Wasn't an Elaborate Sex House

A swimming competition held in the lake, with the Grand Bridge behind.
A swimming competition held in the lake, with the Grand Bridge behind.
Image: Getty

At England’s magnificent Blenheim Palace—the stately home to end all stately homes—they’ve recently begun restoring a 250-year-old manmade lake and bridge that crosses it. Well, they drained the lake, and they discovered dozens of previously sunken rooms in the bridge.


Hm—a ludicrously overbuilt bridge with seemingly no obvious purpose on the estate of a lavishly wealthy 18th century aristocrat? Sorry; those are sex rooms.

The lakes on the estate were created as part of a scheme by the famous landscaper Capability Brown in the 1760s, the BBC reported. But first, in 1708, Sir John Vanbrugh built a 400-foot “habitable viaduct,” which contains the newly rediscovered “ground floor rooms with fireplaces and chimneys, and a large windowless chamber that appears to be a theatre.” The bridge was so elaborate, according to the Sun, that it got Vanbrugh fired by Sarah, the first Duchess of Marlborough.

The BBC calls the uncovered rooms “mysterious.” Not a mystery to me! I know exactly what these rooms were for: Orgies. Gotta be orgies. No fucking way were these anything but sex rooms. I mean, a theater? Come on. A sex theater, more like.

“They have also uncovered evidence that the windowless rooms may have once been lived in by people in the early 18th century,” said the Daily Mail. Lived in? More like fucked in! However, “There is no evidence the rooms Sir John created were ever used,” said the BBC. Sure! Because they didn’t invent rubber condoms until many, many years later and two centuries of water destroyed any pornographic prints lying around, and even lavishly wealthy 18th century aristocrats weren’t just going to abandon yards and yards of horny red velvet curtains in a lake. Check the toilets for dildos!

Senior Editor at Jezebel, specializing in books, royals, romance novels, houses, history, and the stories we tell about domesticity and femininity. Resident Windsor expert.


The Ghost of James Madison's Rage Boner

I was unconvinced until I read The Sun article and got to the mention of a “secret tunnel” leading back to the palace.

Yeah, this was the orgy house.