The Full Wiki

Woodstock, Oxfordshire: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 51°50′42″N 1°21′14″W / 51.845°N 1.354°W / 51.845; -1.354

Woodstock town hall
Woodstock is located in Oxfordshire

 Woodstock shown within Oxfordshire
Population 2,924 (2001 Census)[1]
OS grid reference SP4416
    - London  62.4 miles (100.4 km) 
Parish Woodstock
District West Oxfordshire
Shire county Oxfordshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Woodstock
Postcode district OX20
Dialling code 01993
Police Thames Valley
Fire Oxfordshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Witney
Website Woodstock Town Council
List of places: UK • England • Oxfordshire

Woodstock is a small town 8 miles (13 km) northwest of Oxford in Oxfordshire, England. It is the location of Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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

Edward, elder son of King Edward III and apparent heir, prince of Aquitaine and Wales, 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.



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.[2]

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.[3]

Near the village was Woodstock Palace, 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

South View of 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 French and the Bavarians at Blenheim 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 Park 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."[3] While imprisoned, Elizabeth wrote a poem. "Much suspected by [of] me, None proved can be."[4] She was released in April 1555 after nearly a year in captivity.

The town

Chaucers Lane, Woodstock

The little River Glyme, 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 School, the secondary school, are both situated on Shipton Road. Nursery provision is available through WUFA (Woodstock Under Fives Association) [2]

The Church of England parish church of St. Mary Magdalene has a Norman doorway.[5] It features a musical clock which chimes every hour.

The Oxfordshire Museum, 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.[6]

Old Woodstock Town 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.


  • Ballard, Adolphus (1896). Chronicles of the royal borough of Woodstock. Compiled from the borough records and other original documents. Oxford: Alden & Co..  
  • Alan Crossley, C.R Elrington (Eds.); A.P. Baggs, W.J. Blair, Eleanor Chance, Christina Colvin, Janet Cooper, C.J. Day, Nesta Selwyn, S.C. Townley (1990). Victoria County History: A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12: Wootton Hundred (South) including Woodstock. Victoria County History of the Counties of England. pp. 325–430. ISBN 0197227740.  
  • Jenkins, S.C. (1987). The Woodstock Branch. Wild Swan Publications. ISBN 0-906867-51-7.  
  • Marshall, Edward (1873). The early history of Woodstock manor and its environs, in Bladon, Hensington, New Woodstock, Blenheim: with later notices. Oxford & Co.  
  • Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1974). The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 856–859. ISBN 0 14 071045 0.  
  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

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


  1. ^ UK Census 2001
  2. ^ See Prosophography of Anglo-Saxon England. In the 17th century, Robert Plot wrote that King Alfred stayed at Woodstock about the year 890 when he translated Boethius' Consolations of Philosophy. R. Plot, The Natural History of Oxfordshire. Oxford, 1677. p. 349 Ch. X § 118. The source cited by him was a "Cotton Otho A" manuscript, but no such manuscript has produced evidence of this. It may have been Cotton Otho A.x, destroyed in the Ashburnham House fire of October 1731, though the catalogues by Humfrey Wanley and Franciscus Junius make no mention of this. Bill Griffiths, Alfred's Metres of Boethius (1991), p. 13.
  3. ^ a b BBC - Oxford - Features - Woodstock's lost royal palace
  4. ^ [1] Hentzner, Paul. A Journey Into England, (1598). Horace Walpole, ed. 1757. Fugitive Pieces on Various Subjects. Vol II. Robert Dodsley, ed. London: J. Dodsley, 1771. 258.
  5. ^ Sherwood & Pevsner, 1974, page 856
  6. ^ BBC News: Dinosaur footprints go on display, 10 May 2009


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address