Windsor Castle, a Royal Residence at Windsor
Windsor Castle is a very large castle in England that was built a very long time ago.It is one of the largest castles in the world that is still used and lived in. Kings and Queens for over 1,000 years have called Windsor Castle their home. The Castle was built in wood and then stone. It was always popular with the Kings of England. They liked to hunt in the Forest and the Great Park.
The original castle was built in the 11th century after the Norman invasion of England by William the Conqueror. Over 40 monarchs (kings and queens) have lived at the castle, and King Henry I was the first.
Today, more than 500 people live and work in Windsor Castle.
Windsor Castle is not a single building but a large complex of buildings that stretch west to east above the river. Within the complex are two courtyards known as the upper and lower wards. These are separated by the massive Round Tower, built on an artificial mound in the middle ward that separates the two sets of buildings. When the monarch is in residence, the royal flag flies from the Round Tower.
St George’s Chapel was the creation of Edward III, founder of the Order of the Garter — the highest order of chivalry in the United Kingdom. Every June, members of the order meet at Windsor Castle for the annual Garter Service.
Windsor Castle is a popular tourist attraction. More than million tourists visit Windsor Castle each year.
Don’t miss these top things to do at Windsor Castle.
- The Precincts tour will help you learn of the Castle Precincts. You will learn about its past as a fortress and palace, from 1070 when William the Conqueror first built a castle here, to its role as an official residence for the Queen today.
- Admire the intricate gothic architecture of St George’s Chapel, where the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Harry and Meghan) took place. Inside the chapel lie the tombs of 10 monarchs.
- Enjoy the colourful Changing the Guard at Windsor Castle.
- The castle is full of amazing artwork. Be awed by paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Canaletto in the State Apartments and see changing selections from the Royal Collection in the Drawings Gallery, including major works by Leonardo, Holbein, Michelangelo and Raphael.
- Marvel at the incredibly detailed doll house built for Queen Mary in the 1920s. It is a perfect replica of an aristocratic home and even has electricity and running water. A starring feature is the library of 700 miniature books.
- Examine beautiful pieces of porcelain in the China Museum. Among the collection are beautiful Chinese and Japanese pieces from the 17th and early-18th centuries and two Sèvres sets.
- Wander through Windsor Great Park which has witnessed countless events throughout history, dating back to pre-Saxon times. You can admire an impressive collection of plants and flowers from around the world.