What to See in England
By Gordon Home
Public Domain Books
=How to get there.=–Train from Paddington. Great Western Railway. =Nearest Station.=–Windsor. =Distance from London.=–21-1/4 miles. =Average Time.=–Varies between 1/2 to 1 hour.
1st 2nd 3rd =Fares.=–Single 3s. 6d. 2s. 3d. 1s. 9d. Return 5s. 6d. 4s. 0d. 3s. 4d.
=Accommodation Obtainable.=–"White Hart Hotel,” “Bridge House Hotel,” “Castle Hotel,” etc. =Alternative Route.=–Train from Waterloo. L. and S.W. Railway.
The chief interest of Windsor centres in its castle, without which visitors to the town would probably be few in number. Some of the old streets are narrow, and there are many architecturally interesting buildings. The business portion of the town lies nearest to the Castle, the residential parts being chiefly round the Great Park. The Town Hall, in the High Street, was commenced in 1686, and was completed under the direction of Sir Christopher Wren.
The history of Windsor Castle commences with the granting of the site of the castle and town to the Abbot of Westminster by Edward the Confessor. William the Conqueror, was, however, so struck with its splendid military position, that he revoked the grant, and where the castle now stands built a fortress of considerable size. Of this there is no description extant. The first court was held at Windsor by Henry I., and during his reign many splendid functions took place there. Edward III. employed William of Wykeham to rebuild almost the whole castle. Henry VII., Henry VIII., and Elizabeth all made additions to the buildings. Many magnificent paintings were added during the reign of Charles I. George I. made Windsor Castle his chief residence, and appointed a Royal Commission to rebuild the castle in its present form at a cost of more than one million sterling. About 1860, Wolsey’s Chapel, now known as the Albert Memorial Chapel, was restored in memory of the Prince Consort, and the Duchess of Kent’s mausoleum was erected. St. George’s Chapel, a splendid specimen of ecclesiastical architecture, was originally built by Edward III., and was finally restored in 1887. The State apartments, which can be seen when the Royal family are absent, are sumptuously furnished and contain much beautiful tapestry and a valuable collection of pictures.
Windsor Great Park, the chief feature of which is the Long Walk, is well stocked with deer.
[Illustration: Photochrom Co., Ltd. WINDSOR CASTLE.]