Situated just eight miles north-west of Oxford, Woodstock is a charming old English town in the picturesque Oxfordshire countryside.
With a rich history, charming scenery and beautiful architecture, Woodstock provides the perfect escape into English history and culture and is easily accessible by either road, rail or air.
The town’s rich history stretches back as far as 1086 where it appeared in the Doomsday book described as a ‘royal forest’. Woodstock began its life as a clearing in the woods and the site for a royal hunting lodge and from here grew into The Royal Park of Woodstock. In 1110 a wall was built around the park by King Henry I in order to enclose his collection of exotic and wild animals. Peasants living within the stone walls were evicted and moved outside of the Royal Park, creating the first settlement of Old Woodstock.
New Woodstock was later created by Henry II in 1179 when he gave Woodstock a Royal Charter creating the Market Place that still remains the bustling centre of Woodstock today.
After civil war in the mid 17th century left The Royal Park of Woodstock in ruins, it wasn’t until 1704 that it began to regain its splendour. Presented to John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough, as a gift from Queen Anne for his victory at the Battle of Blenheim, the parklands were wonderfully restored by famous gardener “Capability” Brown and Blenheim Palace was built.
Since its construction, Blenheim Palace has continued its rich history with its many connections to Sir Winston Churchill. From his birth at the Palace in 1874, Churchill spent much of his childhood within the grounds, later proposing to his wife in the Temple of Diana and finally being buried in St Martin’s Churchyard, Bladon, a short walk from one of the Park’s gates.
Nowadays, Woodstock is a bustling market town. With ivy-clad stone walls, stunning Georgian architecture and a rich, long history, it still oozes quintessential English countryside charm.