Woodstock

The physical secret journey starts at the Palace of Woodstock, just north of Oxford. Blenheim palace which now occupies the site was built by the Duke of Marlborough in the 18th century on land given to him by a greatful king. Blenheim is located to the south side of the lake. The old Palace of Woodstock could originally be clearly seen across the lake.

The Famous Tournament

jousting The occasion which starts our story was one of the most famous tournaments ever held, celebrating the birth of Thomas of Woodstock the thirteenth child of King Edward III and Queen Phillipa and the future duke of Gloucester . The joust at the tournament was won by Edward’s son and heir, the Black Prince, perhaps not surprising as he had been undefeated for several years.

William Montacute, Earl of Salisbury was the Black Prince’s best friend and shared the affection of Joan of Kent with the Prince.  Joan was famous for her tumultuous love life. King Edward was gravely in debt and was trying to use the ebb and flow of trade to boost his finances.

King Henry’s Love Nest

59/Woodstock/17th century plan/551 The old Palace spoiled the desired "vista" looking north. The Marlboroughs did what any good property developer would do, let it go to wrack and ruin the set fire to it and finally demolish it as a saftey concern.In the time of Henry II Woodstock was used as the hideaway for  his lover Rosamund de Clifford. Legend says he built an impenetrable maze around the house.  The old palace was then used by the Kings of England as a country house and as a hunting lodge from the mid 12th century onwards. The Black Prince was born there and the house was again used as a hideaway by Elizabeth I during her teenage years to protect her from the supporters of Queen Mary.

Property Development


59/Woodstock/old palace/553 The old palace was used by the Kings of england as a country house and as a hunting lodge from the mid 12th century onwards. This pencil drawing is from the 17th century.The old Palace spoiled the desired “vista” looking north. The Marlboroughs did what any good property developer would do, let it go to wrack and ruin, then set fire to it and finally demolish it as a saftey concern.

Location

59/Woodstock/location/550 Blenheim is located to the southside of the lake. The old Palace of Woodstock could originally be clearly seen across the lake.
59/Woodstock/Woodstock  Today/552 Blenheim palace which now occupies the site was built by the Duke of Marlborough in the 18th century on land given to him by a greatful king.

Woodstock is eight miles North West of Oxford

The most dangerous woman in the world

List of Characters

Table Of Contents

References

characters

Table of Contents

Extract from The Prisoner of Foix--Chapter 43 -The EntranceNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley-26th April 1355

 

'Looks like we are going to see a bit of excitement, John. The Captain tried to get an agreement from the Prince that if there is surf running across the channel to Arcachon we will turn back to Bordeaux, but the Prince would hear none of it. Instead, he has offered to provide insurance for all three ships. If they are damaged or sunk, the owners will be compensated and every sailor who makes the passage will be given a bounty payment. What none of this seems to take into account is that if we sink in rough, fast-flowing waters we might all drown.'

John raised his eyebrows. 'But that is what we are going to do?'

'Yes, despite the fact that surf running accross the entrance is not uncommon and the deep water channel moves continually. In the end, the Prince attacked their captains on their weakest point, their professional pride! He threw down the gauntlet. He offered to take the Sally first through the channel, and to take control during the passage.' He raised his brow. 'We are going into the Bay of Arcachon, come what may! '

Extract from The Eagle of Carcassone -- Chapter 24-- A Real GoddessNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley - 22 July 1355

An hour later John walked with Ximene close to the river along the valley below St Feriole. It was the very essence of a summer’s day. The sun was fierce but in the shadow of the trees, it was cool and fragrant. The trees and shrubs along the riverbank hid their progress, from the Château, from St Feriole.

Eventually they reached a point where John thought it was safe to emerge from cover. To his satisfaction the stream extended into a pool with a sandy beach, shaded by trees. Where the stream entered the pool there was a flat grassy area, almost circular. Behind this, the bulk of two mountain ridges provided a splendid backdrop. 

He looked around once more ‘Not just a good training ground but a great training ground. If the Greek heroes knew about this they might be tempted to join me, to train with me’

Ximene laughed out loud. He turned to look at her. She had removed her outer clothes and was wearing a white chemise, cut short so that it barely reached her knees. Around her waist, she wore a plaited leather belt, obviously fashioned from the multitude of leather straps to be found in the tackle room.

She ran her hands down over her breasts. ‘When you were unconscious I heard you muttering about gods and goddesses, so  I have decided that from now on, for you, I will be the goddess.’