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- Windsor Castle
- Alt Name:
- United Kingdom
- The Normans
- 1000AD - 1099AD
- William the Conqueror
- Buckingham Palace, Blenheim Palace,
Houses of Parliament, Jewel Tower,
about Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is the oldest occupied castle in the world. Covering an area of approximately 13 acres, it contains a wide range of interesting features. These include the State Apartments, Queen Mary’s dolls house and the beautiful St George’s Chapel. It is also the burial place of ten monarchs, including Henry VIII and his beloved wife (the one who gave him a son), Jane Seymour.
The building of Windsor Castle began in the 1070s at the behest of William the Conqueror, with the intent that it was to guard the western approach to London. Since that time, the structure of Windsor Castle has been embellished by many of the monarchs of England and the UK. Notably, in the 1170s, Henry II (the first Plantagenet) rebuilt most of the castle in stone instead of wood, including the round tower and the upper ward, where most monarchs have had their private apartments since the 14th century.
In the mid-fourteenth century, Edward III, who had recently founded the Order of the Garter, built St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle for the use of the knights of this Order. A further addition, St George’s Chapel, was started by Edward IV, but was not finished until the time of Henry VIII. It is here that the ten British monarchs lie buried.
During the English Civil War, Windsor Castle served as a prison and it was to St George’s Chapel that the body of Charles I was brought for burial after his execution. Charles II and George IV (formerly the Prince Regent) made further contributions to the architecture of Windsor Castle in the 1650s and 1820s respectively.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert loved Windsor castle, and Prince Albert died there of typhoid in 1861. Queen Victoria built a mausoleum in the grounds of the castle, Frogmore, where Albert and later Victoria herself were buried.
In the Second World War, Windsor Castle became home to our present Queen, Elizabeth II, and her family, George VI, the (future) Queen Mother and Princess Margaret. It remains a favourite home of Queen Elizabeth, and she spends most of her weekends there. There was a huge fire at the castle in November 1992 which took 15 hours and one and half a million gallons of water to extinguish. It began in the Private Chapel and soon spread to affect approximately one fifth of the area of the castle. It took five years to restore the Castle, and it was finished by the end of 1997.
There are numerous exhibitions and tours at Windsor Castle. In fact, a typical visit can take up to three hours.
Just as empires rise and fall so do entry fees and opening hours! While we work as hard as we can to ensure the information provided here about Windsor Castle is as accurate as possible, the changing nature of certain elements mean we can't absolutely guarantee that these details won't become a thing of the past. If you know of any information on this page that needs updating you can add a comment above or now.
Address: Windsor Castle, Windsor, SL4 1NJ
Phone: +44 020 7766 7304
Windsor Castle is accessable from London, Heathrow,Staines and Slough. By car, exit 6 of the M4 or exit 3 of the M3. No parking on site, but long stay down in the town. Nearest rail is Windsor (National Rail from London Waterloo or London Paddington)
Windsor Castle is open daily, 9:45am-4:15pm (to 5:15pm March-October). Last entry 1hr 45 min before closing. Closed 14 June and 25-26 December (St George’s Chapel closed Sundays - see official site). Entry costs £16 for adults, £14.50 for over 60s and students (valid ID), £9.50 for under 17s and free for under 5s. Fees reduced when state apartments closed. Tours cost extra.
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