Originating back to 1070 from William the Conqueror (of the Battle of Hastings fame) and extending over some 13 acres, this must clearly be one of the greatest surviving medieval castles in the world.
The Castle was first built as a royal fortress forming one of a ring of nine forts to protect the area around London from those nasty Norman invaders. The last seige of the Castle was made by the barons loyal to Richard the Lionheart after King John tried to get the Pope to annul the magna Carta signed in 1215 at nearby Runnymede.
The Castle began a legend and link with English sovereignty that has spanned over many centuries. King John starved an enemy’s wife to death within its walls; King Charles I was imprisoned here before (literally) losing his head, Queen Victoria mourned her belovéd Albert who died at the Castle in 1861; The Royal Family rode out much of World War II behind its sheltering walls.
Visitors coming to Windsor to see the Castle and the town’s other attractions are seldom aware that the great building they have come to see is much more than a tourist attraction. Whilst its historic importance is fascinating and its state apartments regal and imposing, Windsor is still a favoured home of the Royal Family and is now the official residence of the Queen.
In parts of the Castle that the tourist won’t see, a relaxed atmosphere prevails and members of the Royal Family come and go with some regularity. Also within the Castle are Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, the magnificent State Apartments, St Georges Chapel and Old Master drawings.