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Rosamund's Bower




A legendary maze, located in Woodstock Park, Oxfordshire, whose purported site is marked today by a well and fountain. It was supposedly intended to conceal Rosamund Clifford, the mistress of King Henry II (1133–1189), from the Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Legend has it that about 1176, Eleanor managed to solve the maze and confronted Rosamund with the choice of a dagger or poison; she drank the poison and Henry never smiled again. Historically, Henry had imprisoned Eleanor for fomenting rebellion by her sons and Rosamund was his acknowledged mistress. Rosamund probably spent her last days at a nunnery in Godstow, near Oxford. The legend of the bower dates from the fourteenth century and her murder is a later addition. In the 19th century, many puzzle collections had a maze called Rosamund's Bower.