Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Day at Windsor (Part 2)

Paddington Station - Train to Windsor

Arriving in Windsor

On November 3, 2008, we hopped on the Tube at Bayswater and got off at Paddington Station, the next stop. There we boarded the train to Windsor via Slough Station. We walked up Castle Hill to the Castle entrance.

There we spent the day touring the magnificent State Apartments furnished with some of the finest works of art from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Canaletto, Gainsborough and the famous triple portrait of Charles I by Sir Anthony van Dyck; the Drawings Gallery with an exhibition celebrating HRH The Prince of Wales 60th Birthday; the Royal China collection; and St. George's Chapel, one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in England.

The day was gray and cold, but the tour was amazing!

Road to Castle Gate

Aerial View from Post Card

Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. (The Queen was not at home during our visit.)

Over a period of nearly 1,000 years it has been inhabited continuously, and altered and refurbished by successive monarchs. Some were great builders, strengthening the Castle against uprising and rebellion; others, living in more peaceful times, created a palatial Royal residence.

Queen's Receiving Room

The twentieth-century history of the Castle is dominated by the major fire that started on 20 November 1992. (The Queen's worst year.) It began in the Private Chapel, when a spotlight came into contact with a curtain and ignited the material. It took 15 hours and one-and-a-half million gallons of water to put out the blaze.

Nine principal rooms and over 100 other rooms over an area of 9,000 square metres were damaged or destroyed by the fire, approximately one-fifth of the Castle area.

The next five years were spent restoring Windsor Castle to its former glory. It resulted in the greatest historic building project to have been undertaken in this country in the twentieth century, reviving many traditional crafts.

The restoration was completed six months ahead of schedule on 20 November 1997 at a cost of £37 million (US $59.2 million), £3 million below budget. Seventy per cent of the necessary revenue was raised from opening Buckingham Palace's State Rooms to visitors in August and September.

Royal Guards - November 3, 2008

Moat Gate

Moat Garden

Moat Garden and Waterfall

The Village of Windsor -- We ate at Horse & Groom Pub

The River Thames and Footbridge to Eton

Travel companions Christine and April on Footbridge

Village of Eton - School boys going home

Darling Eton Scholar - Future Prime Minister??

We spent too much time at the Castle and Chapel to take a tour of Eton College, but we did see the charming young men leaving classes and returning to their apartments.

Our goal in Eton was to buy my husband an Eton tie. He has a collection of ties from universities and colleges all over the world. As you can see in the above picture, the Eton boys don't wear ties with their formal black "tails" uniforms. They wear a white linen "tab" at the neck closure. After graduating, the scholars wear a navy tie with light blue stripes.

My husband now proudly sports the classy "Eton Graduate Tie".

1 comment:

Keri(th) said...

The history of England is incredible. This looks like the trip of a life time!