London Living

Thames Valley: Windsor Castle


On 30 Sept, Robin, Joanne, and I took the train to Windsor Castle. It was a short train ride, with a quick train change in Slough. This is the first castle I've ever been to, and I highly recommend it for everyone. The tour focuses on opulence rather than the military or historical use of the facility, though.

We spent some hours taking the tour, whose highlights include the oppulent state apartments, Queen Mary's doll house, and the art exhibit. The castle is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in England. It was originally built in 1080 by William the Conqueror, and was built of wood.

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I didn't take this.
No, I didn't take this. However, I include it because this is the only place where you can see all of Windsor Castle and appreciate its size. Notice that it is built on top of a chalk butte.

This is The Round Tower, mostly as it was built in 1170 by Henry II. It is the most defensible area of the castle. It now houses the Royal Archives.

This is a neat arch which leads visitors to the Middle Ward where the Round Tower sits. Windsor Castle has always attracted tourists and visitors.

This is a statue in the quadrangle of Charles II, who was crowned after the restoration of the monarchy.

Since the moat around The Round Tower was never filled, it is used as a garden. You can click on this picture and it will blow up to a bigger size.

More moat. This castle is the official residence of the Queen, and her family often spend weekends here.

Here is Joanne.

I don't really know why Robin took a picture of his backside. Maybe she will explain it on her website. Anyway, he looked very young and not as bored as you'd expect.

A fire broke out in 1992, which destroyed a portion of the State Apartments, including St George's Hall, but has been rebuilt.

I didn't take this.
Visitors are allowed into many of the State Apartments that are used for official functions. We don't get to take pictures, though. This picture, which I found on the web, is of the Waterloo Chamber, which was decorated in celebration of Napoleon's defeat. The pictures were all specially made for this room, and contain the portraits of people who were instrumental in the defeat. The table was not here when we went by.

I didn't take this.
The tour of the State Apartments includes the Queen Anne's Dolls' house and Drawing Gallery. We say original works by Da Vinci as well as a photo gallery of the Queen.

I liked this arch. The arch stones are similiar to the castle, but the stone on the right and left is the limestone that is found at Bath. St. George's Chapel is made of this limestone as well.

St. George's Chapel is the final burial place of 10 monarchs, including the current queen's mother and father.



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