An Irish machinery company can take much of the credit for the beautiful lawns at one of the best known English stately estates, a historic property where more than 750,000 visitors pass through the gates each year.

It’s the next best thing to “by royal appointment” for Major Equipment Intl Ltd, based in Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo.

Steeped in British history, Blenheim Palace has stood like a ‘jewel in the crown’ in the English countryside at Woodstock, Oxfordshire for over 300 years.

The 12,500-acres estate includes 2,100 acres of parkland and award-winning formal gardens connected to the palace. Blenheim is the home of the Twelfth Duke of Marlborough and his family, and a chance viewing by the Duke of a Major Tri-Deck TDR20000 mower at work led to the Irish-made machine becoming a fixture at Blenheim.

His Grace, The Twelfth Duke, said, “I saw the Major Tri-Deck mower operating at Kirtlington Park Polo Club and it was leaving a fantastic finish.”

“Right across the park, there was a lovely striped finish, something we had always wanted to achieve at Blenheim.

“I knew right off that it would be the ideal mower for us.”

The man responsible for grass maintenance at Blenheim is something of a legend in his own right.

Ron Keay is 80 years old, has been working at Blenheim Palace for 65 years, and he knows a good mower when he sees one.

“This Major Tri-Deck mower is fantastic,” said Ron Keay. “We used to use a 16-foot mower, but this new Major is 20 foot, and therefore we get across the ground quicker.

“It’s easy to attach, simple to adjust the height of cut.

“It’s very heavy duty, built strong for the job, simple to maintain, and follows the contours of the ground perfectly, so we don’t get any scalping.

“We cut around 3,000 acres per year, and the Major is well capable of handling that task.”

“This new Major mower leaves it with such a perfect, striped finish that I’m absolutely delighted with the result. It’s the same striping effect you would get with a cylinder mower, but far less costly.”

It couldn’t be a better advertisement for the Co Mayo company, at one of the UK’s most popular rural attractions, also famous as the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, which is open to the general public, year round.

“Lord Randolf Churchill, Sir Winston’s father always said as he passed through the archway, that Blenheim, was the finest view in England,” added His Grace, the Twelfth Duke of Marlborough.

“I’m sure he would feel just as much pride in seeing the beautifully mown and striped grass that we see here today.” he concluded.


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