Thursday, May 4, 2000. The
second part of the Frames Rickards tour was to
Windsor Castle. Instead of the bus taking us all the way there it deposited
us at a dock near Runnymede where we boarded a boat for a lunch cruise up
the Thames River.
Click on this
When we arrived at Windsor,
Vivian (our guide) walked us up the hill to the Castle.
The entry to the castle has changed since our last visit; now there's an airport-like
security system with metal detectors and x-rays on bags.
The existing vast structure
has evolved over many centuries from its origin as
a Norman fortress. The earliest part of the structure is the artificial earthen
mound in the middle, which was raised c. 1080 by William the Conqueror.
It is on this earth mound that King Henry II rebuilt, in stone, the Round Tower c. 1170s.
This area is know as the Middle Ward and is where the inner defense and dry moat is located.
The north end of the 13
acres the Castle covers is known as the Upper Ward.
King Edward III reconstructed the Upper Ward (1358-1368) as a large royal
palace in the medieval Gothic style. This is when Norman Gate was built.
Entrance to the State
Apartments is gained from the North Terrace, which
enjoys extensive views of the Thames River and Eton. The North Terrace
was originally constructed by Henry VIII and widened by Charles II. We went
through the State Apartments but no photos are allowed. Just the artwork is enough
to boggle the mind - Van Dykes, Gainsboroughs, Holbeins... unbelievable.
The furnishings are incredibly ornate and the scale is massive.
Then consider that the whole thing was burned out 8 years ago... wow!
St George's Chapel was built
in the 1475-1483 time frame by Edward IV.
We went around the inner wall of the Chapel where we saw (among other
things) where Henry VIII and Jane Seymour are buried. The chapel is
incredibly ornate and is where British monarchs are buried since there's
no room at Westminster Abbey.
There were a lot of hands
involved in the building of the present day Lower Ward.
King Henry VIII built the Lower Ward gate in 1511. Queen Mary I had the
Military Knights' Houses built in 1550.
Having left the castle we walked around Windsor a little before returning to London.
The below links will take you to other web sites.
St George's Chaple