The Guildhall, Windsor High Street © TAB
The town of Windsor owes its existence and much of its livelihood to its great royal castle, which sits proudly on a chalk bluff above the Thames. William the Conqueror began its construction in 1070, and due to its prime location close to London, and easy accessibility to the Thames, it soon became a popular royal residence for England's kings and queens. Each monarch has modified and added to the castle over the years, creating a lasting monument to their varied tastes and interests.
Tourist Information Centre:
|24 High St, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 1LH - Tel: 01753 743 907|
The seat of power for British monarchs for nearly 900 years. The main chapel of St George's is one of the finest and best preserved medieval churches in Britain. James I of Scotland was imprisoned at the castle for 19 years, and the Earl of Surrey, Thomas Howard, was also held there before his execution.
Most of the royal hunting forest that once stretched across southern Berkshire in medieval times has long since disappeared, except for the 4,800 acre Great Park at Windsor, which is a reminder of its former glory. The park has tracts of woodland separated by walks and drives, formal gardens, farms and cottages. Within its boundaries is the 'Long Walk', a 3 mile long, tree-lined avenue that runs from Windsor castle to a statue of George III and Virginia Water (a large artificial lake), beside which stand Roman ruins transported from North Africa in 1816.
Home Park, which runs up to the castle ramparts, includes the Queen's own private gardens.