The Cotswolds - Woodstock

02nd March 2016

Next in our very occasional series on places to see in the the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, we visit the picturesque market town of Woodstock. The name Woodstock is Old English in origin, meaning a "clearing in the woods". The Domesday Book of 1086 describes Woodstock as a royal forest. Ethelred 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 Ethelred.

Henry I, youngest son of William the Conqueror, built a royal lodge in Woodstock and this was enlarged to create a grand manor house by his successor Henry II. The Black Prince was born here in 1330, and It is this area that became the Blenheim estate.

Henry II often stayed at Woodstock with his mistress 'The Fair Rosamund' and during his time spent here granted parcels of land to build hostelries for the use of his men. A weekly market, on Tuesdays was also established when he gave Woodstock a Royal charter in 1179.

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