Pictures of Woodstock
Woodstock will be forever inextricably linked with the great Palace of Blenheim, the nations gift to the Ist Duke of Marlborough and the birthplace of the greatest Englishman of all time, Sir Winston Churchill.
Blenheim was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh in Baroque style. It has two storeys and is arranged around three sides of a vast courtyard. The building, commenced in 1705 took 17 years and was completed in 1722. Henry Wise, gardener to Queen Anne was largely responsible for the elaborate garden designs at Blenheim in the early 18th-century. The gardens are a triumph of French Landscape design which can be seen in France at the Palace of Versailles.
Woodstock has a long and illustrious history, it has always been a favoured place of Royalty and it is believed that in the times before the Norman Conquest, Kings of England stayed in the town. King Alfred is thought to have visited and Woodstock was granted market rights by Henry II. Borough status was gained by the 13th-century.
The town is of particular charm, it has handsome buildings of the 18th-century, some with heavy, baroque detail that link them with Blenheim. It has a pleasant market place and historic inns. The home of Chaucer, the Poet is here, and Fletchers house, of 17th-century origin is a museum. The handsome Town Hall is a splendid 18th-century building.
Once noted for glove-making, the town now benefits more from tourism. Visitors come to Blenheim in every season of the year. They come in thousands to visit Blenheim Palace where once, some of the greatest artists and craftsmen of the day worked on the magnificent interior decorations; these include the glorious ceiling and wall-painings in the great hall by Sir James Thornhill and Louis Laguerre, and high relief carvings by Grinling Gibbons. The huge chapel was designed by Michael Rysbrack and contains the Ist Duke's tomb. The final resting place of Sir Winston can be seen at Bladon churchyard which lies approximately one mile from the town.
Woodstock, to the edge of the Cotswolds is surely one of England's greatest treasure troves. It is a very atmospheric town of quaint shops and old inns that fit serenly with those of a more modern build. Both the River Dorn and the Evenlode flow close-by and the countryside all round is lush and very beautiful. It is a place to be visited at least once in a lifetime but more often than not - it will be twice!
Nearby places of interest include; Oxford and it's great University buildings, Burford for it's quaint tudor buildings and Witney for it's historic connections to the 'wool' trade.
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