Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for WOODSTOCK

WOODSTOCK, a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district, in Oxfordshire. The town stands on the river Glyme, 2½ miles W of Woodstock-Road r. station, and 8 NNW of Oxford; was known to the Saxons as Wudestoke; had a royal palace, built by Ethelred, rebuilt by Henry I., destroyed in the time of the Commonwealth, and now extinct; adjoins the ducal park of Blenheim, where the royal palace stood, and which we have separately noticed; had R. Cornwall as a native, the poet Chaucer as a resident, and Dr. Mavor as a clergyman; gives the title of Viscount to the Duke of Portland; is a borough by prescription, first chartered by Henry VI., and now governed by a mayor, 5 aldermen, and 17 councillors; is also a seat of county courts; sent two members to parliament from the time of Elizabeth till 1832, and now sends one; includes, within its parliamentary boundaries, eleven parishes and a part; has been famous, from before the time of Elizabeth, for the manufacture of fawn-skin gloves; consists of several regularly-aligned and well built streets; and has a head post-office,‡ a banking office, a hotel, a town hall of 1766, a church mainly rebuilt in 1785, three dissenting chapels, an ultra-mural cemetery, a literary institution, an endowed grammar-school, a national school, alms houses for six widows, other charitabable institutions, a weekly market on Tuesday, and a fair on the first Tuesday of Oct. Alfred the Great occupied the palace, and translated in it Boethins into Saxon; Henry I. established at it the earliest zoological garden in England; Henry II. received at it the homage of Malcolm of Scotland and Rhys of Wales, and made at it the "bower'' for fair Rosamond; Henry III. received at it Alexander of Scotland; Edward III. held a parliament at it in 1275; Prince Edmund of Woodstock and the Black Prince were born in it; royal tournaments were held at it in 1355 and 1391; Elizabeth was confined in it by Mary in 1554, and visited it in 1572; James I. visited it in 1603 and 1624; Charles I. visited it in 1629; and the parliamentary commissioners occupied it in 1646-9, and were then plagued by the tricks of "the merry devil'', Joe Collins, the prototype of "Wildrake'' in Scott's novel of "Woodstock." Electors of the borough in 1863, 316. Pop. in 1851, 7,983; in 1861, 7,827. Houses, 1,663.

The parish is all in the borough, and comprises 360 acres. Real property, £3,468. Pop. in 1861, 1,201. Houses, 254. The living is a p. curacy, annexed to Bladon.—The sub-district contains 13 parishes and an extra-parochial tract. Acres, 25,336. Pop., 7,778. Houses, 1,641.—The district includes Deddington sub-district, and comprises 47,913 acres. Poor rates in 1863, £7,855. Pop. in 1851, 14,453; in 1861, 14,236. Houses, 3,067. Marriages in 1866, 98; births 472,-of which 24 were illegitimate; deaths, 293,-of which 100 were at ages under 5 years, and 8 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1,039; births, 4,442; deaths, 2,877. The places of worship, in 1851, were 28 of the Church of England , with 7,596 sittings; 2 of Independents, with 350 s.; 2 of Baptists, with 330 s.; 10 of Wesleyans, with 1,521 s.; and 3 of Primitive Methodists, with 128 s. The schools were 30 public day-schools, with 1,799 scholars; 20 private day-schools, with 338 s.; 33 Sunday schools, with 1,885 s.; and 6 evening schools for adults, with 122 s. The workhouse is in Bladon.


(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Woodstock Hmlt/CP       Woodstock SubD       Woodstock PLU/RegD       Oxfordshire AncC
Place names: WOODSTOCK     |     WUDESTOKE
Place: Woodstock

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