Results 1-10of 18 Reviews
by two cruisers
March 11, 2012
From journal Three Friends Tour London
Coon Rapids, Minnesota
November 20, 2008
From journal 2000 Europe Trip: London, England
October 9, 2007
From journal Lads in London
by The Breeze
April 16, 2006
The castle is very visitor friendly; there is a good historical overview in the first building you enter. You may purchase an official souvenir guidebook or rent an audio guide at the start of your visit for a self-guided tour. In addition, there are 30-minute guided tours available for free.
Things to see in the castle include the lavish staterooms, the gallery featuring the royal art collection, and Queen Mary’s Dollhouse (which I didn’t see). Downhill from the castle is St. George’s Chapel and the Albert Memorial Chapel. We got to see the changing of the guard as well. Outside the castle walls, the city of Windsor abounds in shops and restaurants, etc., which visitor might enjoy.
From journal London Side-trips
January 21, 2006
From journal Windsor Castle
Glen Mills, Pennsylvania
August 2, 2005
There are various staterooms, and the exhibits in them are staggering – armor, weapons, and clothing from all over the world made of gold and silver and studded with precious stones. The state apartments and doll house are other tourist attractions, as well as the St. George's Chapel, with its amazing stained-glass windows.
Once outside the castle, have lunch in one of the restaurants on the picturesque Thames. After lunch, walk across the bridge for a stroll in the village of Eton. There, even on holidays, you will see high school kids in uniform - pin-striped trousers with a black tailcoat and waistcoat.
From journal It's the tower bridge, all you tourists!
June 28, 2004
The short walk up Castle Hill from the Visitors Entrance takes you past the pleasant little Jubilee Garden created in 200 to celebrate Queen Betty’s Golden Jubilee. From here you get a wonderful view of the magnificent Round Tower built by Henry II (r.1154-1189) and sat atop the earthen motte that is all that remains of William I’s original fortress. The Curtain Wall with its square towers and the St George’s Gate also date from this time of Henry II. Pause here to glancing through the gates into the Quadrangle that forms the heart of the Royal Staterooms for an excellent view of the statue of Charles II (r.1660-1685) and the State Entrance with its bearskin wearing Grenadier Guard. In the small hall to the side you will find a dry and poorly presented history of the castle that is best skipped as you dash headlong into the castle.
Wander around the base of the Round Tower with its pleasant rock garden to the misnamed Norman Gate added by, the Plantagenet, Edward III (r.1327-1377) in the early 1360s as a formal entrance to his newly constructed Staterooms. Behind is the Northern Terrace, which affords fantastic views across the River Thames, and provides access to the Staterooms, which are one of the highlights of a visit to the castle. You emerge into the Engine Court from where you can get a view of the other-side of the Quadrangle, which includes the King George IV Gate and the King Edward III tower added by their namesakes.
Wandering back down the hill you come to the Lower Ward where Henry III (r.1216-1272) built a small chapel (now Albert Memorial Chapel) in the 1220s and Edward IV (r.1461-1483) started work on the magnificent St George’s Chapel in 1475 that was finally completed by Henry VIII (r.1509-1547) in 1528. The exit from the castle is via the King Henry VIII gates also added by the great Tudor King and alongside of which can be seen the lodgings for the Military (Poor) Knights of the Order of The Garter added by his daughter Mary I (r.1553-1558). Out front of the castle is a statue of Queen Victoria and Henry III’s fine Curtain Wall with five round towers including the appropriately named King Henry III Tower.
The exterior of the castle was standardised under Charles II with solid castelations and round-arched windows, which were mostly replaced with Gothic style windows by George III (r.1760-1820). George IV made further enhancements to the silhouette of the castle by heightening the Round Tower and adding some extra castelations completing the final look of the spectacular castle that now dominates the small town of Windsor.
From journal Windsor: A Castle Fit for a King
June 27, 2004
Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House is one of these and can be found in a specially constructed room on the North Terrace. Built by Sir Edwin Luytens this 1 to 12 scale replica of an Edwardian Stately Home was presented to Queen Mary, the wife of George V (r.1910-1936), in 1924. No expense was spared in preparing this astonishing record of contemporary design. The water and electrics are fully functional, the furnishings come from the workshops of the leading manufacturers, tiny LPs can be played on the minuscule gramophone, the bottles of wine in the cellar contain genuine vintage wine, the painting were commissioned from famous artists and the books were hand-written by popular authors. You can also view the two dolls presented to Princesses Betty and Margaret on a state visit to France along with their wardrobes of genuine Hermĕs, Vuilton and Cartier. The neighbouring galleries housed in the footings of William Wykeham’s stone-vaulted undercroft created in the 1360s for Edward III (r.1327-1377) are home to some of the treasures from the Royal Collection. The main gallery hosts regularly changing exhibitions of royal regalia, antiquarian books, Old Masters’ or any other junk that Betty finds kicking about in her attic and the China Museum houses her large collection of dining services, when she’s not eating her sandwiches off of them obviously.
The Semi-Staterooms were created in the 1820’s for the personal occupation of George IV (r.1820-1830) and are still used by the current royal family. The Green Drawing Room with its gilded ceiling and the Crimson Drawing Room with its Bernasconi plaster work were both decorated by Morel and Seddon and are fine examples of Regency style design reflecting the personal tastes of the Regent himself. While the Octagon Dining Room with its dark marble chimney-piece and the State Dining Room that once housed a magnificent portrait of his father (destroyed in the fire of 1992), reflect the Gothic style that was prevalent in England at that time. The later Royals have left their own personal touches including Ludwig Gunner’s magnificent Axminster carpet laid down in the Green Drawing Room by Queen Victoria (although she presumably got Albert to help her tac down the edges) and Sir Gerald Kelly’s state portraits of George VI (1936-1952) and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) hung in the Crimson Drawing Room by their daughter Betty. Be warned that these rooms are closed to the public during the summer months when Betty is in residence.
These minor exhibits are curiously engaging and offer a chance to feel what it really means to be a Royal, for whatever that is worth.
Between 1673 & 1684 Charles II (1649-1685), whose statue stands in the Quadrangle, appointed architect Hugh May to refurbish the interiors in baroque style. The best surviving examples of this are The King’s Dining Room, The Queen’s Presence Chamber and The Queen’s Audience Chamber with delicately carved oak panelling by Edward Gibbons and ornately painted ceilings by Antonio Verro including one of Queen Catherine riding a swan drawn chariot towards the temple of virtue. Despite all of Charles II’s hard work his grandchildren William III of Orange and Mary II would move the royal residence to Hampton Court letting the castle fall into disuse for many years.
In 1789 George III (r.1760-1820) moved the royal residence back here and appointed architect James Wyatt to lighten the interiors by tearing out Gibbon’s oak panelling and putting up brightly coloured hangings instead. In 1823 the extravagant George IV (r.1820-1830) proceeded to complete his father’s work in grand style appointing architect Jeffrey Wyatville, the nephew of John Wyatt, to add the Garter Throne Room, Waterloo Chamber, and knock together Edward III’s Great Hall and Royal Chapel to form the enormous Gothic St George’s Hall. He also refurbished many of Charles II’s Staterooms to suite the King’s Versailles influenced taste on of the best examples of this being the gilt-edged Grand Reception Room. George IV took up residence in 1828 but Wyatville didn’t complete his work until 1830 under George’s brother William IV (r.1830-1837). Despite spending much of her reign here Queen Victoria (r.1837-1901) made few changes except for the addition of a Private Chapel designed by Edward Blore.
On the 20th of November 1992 a fire ignited by a spotlight, broke out in Queen Victoria’s Private Chapel and swept through the Staterooms. Most of the artwork was in storage at the time, due to electrical works, but many of the ornate decorations were damaged or destroyed. Restoration work was carried out to restore the damaged rooms to Wyatville’s original designs. The Private Chapel, the Holbein Room and the roof of St George’s Hall were, however, considered beyond repair and architect Giles Downes was commissioned to refurbish them in a "Modern" Gothic style that sits uneasily alongside Wyatville’s, especially in the jarring Lantern Lobby that replaces the Private Chapel. The repairs were completed in 1997 and the Staterooms are once again open to visitors.
October 11, 2002
St. George's Chapel is a small church which holds some amazing things. First of all, it houses the tombs of ten monarchs, including Henry VIII and his wife, Jane Seymour. Most recently, the "Queen Mum" was buried there along side of her husband, King George VI. The chapel has some amazing architecture, which can be hard to see with the crowds of people trying to get a good view. Photographs are not allowed in the chapel.
The State Apartments situated within Windsor Castle are the formal rooms used for Ceremonial, State, and Official occasions. They range from the smaller, intimate rooms of Charles II's apartments to the vast scale of the Waterloo Chamber, built to commemorate the famous victory over Napoleon in 1815. The rooms are furnished with some of the finest works of art in the country including masterpieces by Holbein, Rembrandt, and Van Dyck as well as magnificent French and English furniture and porcelain. Photographs are not allowed in the State Apartments.
Queen Mary's Dolls' House was created by Sir Edwin Lutyens for Queen Mary, consort of King George V. Built on a scale of 1:12, the house took three years to complete (1921-24) and involved the skills of more than a thousand artists and craftsmen. Every item is perfectly manufactured to scale and each room is exquisitely furnished. The hundreds of books in the library include many specially written by authors of the day. Working lifts stop at every floor and all five bathrooms have running water. Photographs are not allowed of the Dolls' House.
Windsor Castle opens at 9:45am daily throughout the year. From March to October admission continues until 4:00pm and the Castle closes at 5:15pm. From November to February admissions cease at 3:00pm and the Castle closes at 4:15pm. Semi-State Rooms open from September 28th, 2002, until March 23rd, 2003. East End of North Terrace open from August 5th, 2002, until September 29th, 2002.
Price: Adults £11.50, Children £6.00, Seniors £9.50, Family tickets (two adults and two children) £29.00.
Audio tours are available at £2.95 in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.
Contact: Telephone 020 7321 2233
Fax 020 7930 9625
The website can be found here.
From journal A Year in Winchester