A Brief History
The name Woodstock is Old English in origin, meaning a "clearing in the woods", suggesting that English kings would lodge in the area. The Domesday Book of 1086 describes Woodstock (Wodestock, Wodestok, Wodestole) 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 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 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.
'Your History' is 'Woodstock's History'
We'd like to include more historical photographs and articles on this website. If you have information or connections with Woodstock that you think would be of interest to others, and would like to submit for inclusion, we would be very interested to hear from you.