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Woodstock is a small town northwest of Oxfordmarker in Oxfordshire, Englandmarker. It is the location of Blenheim Palacemarker, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Winston Churchill was born in Blenheim Palace in 1874 and is buried in the nearby village of Bladonmarker.

Edward, elder son of King Edward III and apparent heir, prince of Aquitainemarker and Walesmarker, Duke of Cornwall and Earl of Chester was born in Woodstock Manor on 15 June 1330. During his lifetime, he was commonly called Edward of Woodstock.

During the reign of Mary I, her half-sister Princess Elizabeth was imprisoned in the gatehouse of Woodstock Manor.

South View of Blenheim Palace


History

The name Woodstock is Old English in origin, meaning a "clearing in the woods", suggesting that English kings would log in the area. The Domesday Book describes Woodstock (Wodestock, Wodestok, Wodestole) as a royal forest. Æthelred the Unready, king of England, is said to have held an assembly at Woodstock at which he issued a legal code now known as IX Æthelred.

Henry I may have kept a menagerie in the park. Woodstock was the scene of King Henry II's courtship of Rosamund Clifford (Fair Rosamund). The market of the town was established when King Henry II gave Woodstock a Royal charter in 1179.

Near the village was Woodstock Palacemarker, a residence that was popular with several English kings throughout the medieval period. The building was destroyed in the English Civil War. Sixty years later the palace remains were cleared for the construction of Blenheim Palace.

In the 17th century, the town was altered greatly, when the Duke of Marlborough became a permanent resident. The local inn, the Bear, was capable of accommodating vast numbers of visitors and horses.

In the past (from the 16th century), the town prospered on manufacturing gloves. Today, it is largely dependent on tourists, many of whom visit Blenheim Palace.

Blenheim Palace

The Palace was designed by John Vanbrugh, in a heavy Italo-Corinthian style. It was designated to John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough. Most of the palace was paid for by the nation. Churchill was given this palace in honour for his victories over the Frenchmarker and the Bavariansmarker at Blenheimmarker in 1704.

The greater part of the art treasures and curios were sold off in 1886, and the great library collected by Charles Spencer, Earl of Sunderland, the son-in-law of the first Duke of Marlborough, in 1881. The magnificent park contains Fair Rosamund's Well, near which stood her bower. On the summit of a hill stands a column commemorating the duke. Blenheim Parkmarker forms a separate parish.

Elizabeth I

When Thomas Wyatt led an uprising in 1554 to depose Queen Mary I and put Princess Elizabeth on the throne in her place, Elizabeth was imprisoned in a lodge in Woodstock as a precaution. The lodge was used because the now lost Woodstock Palace or manor house was too dilapidated to house her. A survey in 1551 reported that "the mansion... for many years past hath been decayed." While imprisoned, Elizabeth wrote a poem. "Much suspected by [of] me, None proved can be." She was released in April 1555 after nearly a year in captivity.

The town

Chaucers Lane, Woodstock
The little River Glymemarker, in a steep and picturesque valley, divides the town into New and Old Woodstock. Woodstock has two main suburbs, namely Hensington to the south and east of the town centre, and Old Woodstock directly to the north. The town hall of Woodstock was built in 1766 after the designs of Sir William Chambers, and there are a number of 17th century buildings in the centre. The almshouses were erected in 1798 by Caroline, duchess of Marlborough. Chaucer's House was once home to the poet Geoffrey Chaucer.

The primary school and The Marlborough Schoolmarker, the secondary school, are both situated on Shipton Road. Nursery provision is available through WUFA (Woodstock Under Fives Association) [61558]

The Church of England parish church of St. Mary Magdalene has a Norman doorway. It features a musical clock which chimes every hour.

The Oxfordshire Museummarker, the county museum of Oxfordshire, occupies a large historic house, Fletcher’s House, in the centre of Woodstock. The museum has a garden containing works of art and a Dinosaur Garden with a full-size replica of a Megalosaurus.

Old Woodstock Townmarker was promoted to the Hellenic Football League Premier Division for the 2008/09 season.

Oxford School of Drama is in Woodstock.

Woodstock is the location of The Calder Game.

Sources



External links

  • Woodstock Guide — Complete guide to Woodstock, Oxfordshire, UK, for visitors and business.
  • Woodstock Website — Guide to Woodstock accommodation, attractions places to eat and more.
  • Art In Woodstock — Art in Woodstock, October 2007 Art Event


References


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