"the palace was largely the work of Henry II, who had enjoyed its rural bliss with his mistress, the fair Rosamund"


Fair Rosamund by John William Waterhouse. 1917
Public DomainFair Rosamund by John William Waterhouse. 1917 - Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Rosamund Clifford (1150-1176), also known as the Fair Rosamund, was renowned both for her beauty and for being a mistress of King Henry II.  Although legends have developed over the years little is actually known about Rosamund, other than that her relationship with Henry became public in 1174 and that it ended when she retired to a nunnery just before she died.  It is also known that she spent time at Woodstock Palace with Henry II.



Woodstock Palace in Oxfordshire was destroyed during the English Civil War, and indeed, at the time of Elizabeth's imprisonment there in 1553 it was badly in need of repair.