An amateur historian from the US believes he has discovered a connection between the court of King Henry II in Woodstock and classic children’s book Alice in Wonderland.

According to Christopher Tyler, a white rabbit, a treacle well, and the Queen of Hearts could all be characters from the 12th century court of King Henry II and his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Mr Tyler, who lives in San Francisco, is a life-long fan of the Alice in Wonderland stories of Oxford author Lewis Carroll, but only began to notice the parallels when he read through the books with his son.

He said: “If you start looking through the story and looking at some of the history, you come across an extraordinary amount of similarities.”

Carroll’s tale begins when Alice follows a talking white rabbit down a burrow and into a corridor with nine doors leading off it, much like a maze.

According to Mr Tyler’s six months of research, Eleanor’s first husband was nicknamed the white rabbit, because he was so shy.

And the maze-like corridor bears similarities to descriptions of a labyrinth King Henry is reported to have built at Woodstock to conceal his lover, Rosamund, and is described as a corridor with nine doors, and a gallery with different entrances.

Mr Tyler also found similarities between Eleanor and the ill-tempered Queen of Hearts. Carroll, whose real name was Charles Dodgson, was himself a keen local historian and is believed to have based the treacle well in the story on the holy well at Binsey.

Woodstock historian Dr Robert Edwards said ‘treacle’ was a medieval term for a healing liquid and the well was widely believed to have health-giving properties.

He added: “I met Mr Tyler the other day and he has some very interesting thoughts.

“The part of the story where Alice goes through the maze does tie in with a popular myth about a labyrinth at Woodstock.”