Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Home Park includes parkland and two working farms

The Home Park includes parkland and two working farms, along with many estate cottages mainly occupied by employees and the Frogmore estate. The Long Walk, a double lined avenue of trees, runs for 3 miles (5 km) south of the castle, and is 240 ft (75 m) wide.[63] The original 17th-century elms were replaced with alternating chestnut and plane trees. Sony PCG-91111M Battery The impact of Dutch elm disease led to large scale replanting after 1945.[64] The Home Park adjoins the northern edge of the more extensive Windsor Great Park, occupying some 4,800 acres (1,900 ha) and including some of the oldestbroadleaved woodlands in Europe. Sony VAIO PCG-5J4M Battery In the Home Park, to the north of the castle, stands a private school, St George's, which provides choristers to the chapel.Eton College is located within about half a mile of the castle, across the River Thames. Windsor Castle was originally built by William the Conqueror in the decade after the Norman conquest of 1066. Sony VAIO PCG-5K1M Battery William established a defensive ring of motte and bailey castles around London; each was a day's march – about 20 miles (32 km) – from the city and from the next castle, allowing for easy reinforcements in a crisis.[66] Windsor Castle, one of this ring of fortifications, was strategically important because of its proximity to both the River Thames, Sony VAIO PCG-5K2M Battery a key medieval route into London, and Windsor Forest, a royal hunting preserve previously used by the Saxon kings.[67] The nearby settlement of Clivore, or Clewer, was an old Saxonresidence. The initial wooden castle consisted of a keep on the top of a man-made motte, or mound, protected by a small bailey wall, occupying a chalk inlier, Sony VAIO PCG-5J5M Battery or bluff, rising 100 ft (30 m) above the river.[68] A second wooden bailey was constructed to the east of the keep, forming the later Upper Ward.[69] By the end of the century, another bailey had been constructed to the west, creating the basic shape of the modern castle. Sony VAIO PCG-5L2M Battery 5] In design, Windsor most closely resembled Arundel Castle, another powerful early Norman fortification, but the double bailey design was also found at Rockingham and Alnwick Castle.Windsor was not initially used as a royal residence; the early Norman kings preferred to use the former palace of Edward the Confessor in the village of Old Windsor. Sony VAIO PCG-6S4M Battery The first king to use Windsor Castle as a residence was Henry I, who celebratedWhitsuntide at the castle in 1110 during a period of heightened insecurity.[73] Henry's marriage to Adela, the daughter of Godfrey of Louvain, took place in the castle in 1121. Sony VAIO PCG-6W1M Battery During this period the keep suffered a substantial collapse – archaeological evidence shows that the southern side of the motte subsided by over 6 ft (2 m).[74] Timber piles were driven in to support the motte and the old wooden keep was replaced with a new stone shell keep, with a probable gateway to the north-east and a new stone well.[75] Sony VAIO PCG-6W2M Battery Achemise, or low protective wall, was subsequently added to the keep.[75] Henry II came to the throne in 1154 and built extensively at Windsor between 1165 and 1179.[69] Henry replaced the wooden palisade surrounding the upper ward with a stone wall interspersed with square towers and built the first King's Gate.[69] Sony VAIO PCG-7Z1M Battery The first stone keep was suffering from subsidence, and cracks were beginning to appear in the stonework of the south side.[75] Henry replaced the keep with another stone shell keep and chemise wall, but moved the walls in from the edge of the motte to relieve the pressure on the mound, Sony VAIO PCG-8Y2M Battery and added massive foundations along the south side to provide additional support.[75] Inside the castle Henry remodelled the royal accommodation.[69] Bagshot Heath stone was used for most of the work, and stone from Bedfordshire for the internal buildings. King John undertook some building works at Windsor, but primarily to the accommodation rather than the defences.[77] Sony VAIO PCG-8Y3M Battery The castle played a role during the revolt of the English barons: the castle was besieged in 1214, and John used the castle as his base during the negotiations before the signing of the Magna Carta at nearby Runnymede in 1215.[77] In 1216 the castle was besieged again by baronial and French troops under the command of the Count of Nevers, but John's constable, Engelard de Cigogné, successfully defended it.[77] Sony VAIO PCG-8Z1M Battery The damage done to the castle during the second siege was immediately repaired in 1216 and 1221 by Cigogne on behalf of John's successor Henry III, who further strengthened the defences.[78] The walls of the Lower Ward were rebuilt in stone, complete with a gatehouse in the location of the future Henry VIII Gate, between 1224 and 1230.[69] Sony VAIO PCG-8Z2M Battery Three new towers, the Curfew, Garter and the Salisbury towers, were constructed.[77] The Middle Ward was heavily reinforced with a southern stone wall, protected by the new Edward III and Henry III towers at each end.[69] Windsor Castle was one of Henry's three favourite residences and he invested heavily in the royal accommodation, spending more money at Windsor than in any other of his properties. Sony VAIO PCG-8Z3M Battery Following his marriage to Eleanor of Provence, Henry built a luxurious palace in 1240–63, based around a court along the north side of the Upper Ward.[80] This was intended primarily for the queen and Henry's children.[69] In the Lower Ward, the king ordered the construction of a range of buildings for his own use along the south wall, including a 70 ft (21 m) long chapel, later called the Lady Chapel. Sony VAIO PCG-7112M Battery This was the grandest of the numerous chapels built for his own use, and comparable to the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris in size and quality.[82] Henry repaired the Great Hall that lay along the north side of the Lower Ward, and enlarged it with a new kitchen and built a covered walkway between the Hall and the kitchen.[81] Sony VGP-BPL15/B Battery Henry's work was characterised by the religious overtones of the rich decorations, which formed "one of the high-water marks of English medieval art".[83] The conversion cost more than £10,000.[78] The result was to create a division in the castle between a more private Upper Ward and a Lower Ward devoted to the public face of the monarchy. Sony VGP-BPS15/B Battery Little further building was carried out at the castle during the 13th century; the Great Hall in the Lower Ward was destroyed by fire in 1296, but it was not rebuilt. Edward III was born at Windsor Castle and used it extensively throughout his reign.[84] In 1344 the king announced the foundation of the new Order of the Round Table at the castle. Sony VGP-BPL15/S Battery Edward began to construct a new building in the castle to host this order, but it was never finished.[3] Chroniclers described it as a round building, 200 ft (61 m) across, and it was probably in the centre of the Upper Ward.[85] Shortly afterwards, Edward abandoned the new order for reasons that remain unclear, and instead established the Order of the Garter, Sony VGP-BPS15/S Battery again with Windsor Castle as its headquarters, complete with the attendant Poor Knights of Windsor.[3] As part of this process Edward decided to rebuild Windsor Castle, in particular Henry III's palace, in an attempt to construct a castle that would be symbolic of royal power and chivalry.[86] Sony VGP-BPS15 Battery Edward was influenced both by the military successes of his grandfather, Edward I, and by the decline of royal authority under his father, Edward II, and aimed to produce an innovative, "self-consciously aesthetic, muscled, martial architecture".[87] Edward placed William of Wykeham in overall charge of the rebuilding and design of the new castle and whilst work was ongoing Sony VGP-BPL15 Battery Edward stayed in temporary accommodation in the Round Tower.[84] Between 1350 and 1377 Edward spent £51,000 on renovating Windsor Castle; this was the largest amount spent by any English medieval monarch on a single building operation, and over one and a half times Edward's typical annual income of £30,000.[88] Sony VGN-P series Battery Some of the costs of the castle were paid from the results of ransoms following Edward's victories at the battles of Crécy, Calais and Poitiers.[84] Windsor Castle was already a substantial building before Edward began expanding it, making the investment all the more impressive, and much of the expenditure was lavished on rich furnishings.[89] Sony VGN-P11Z/Q Battery The castle was "the most expensive secular building project of the entire Middle Ages in England".[3] Edward's new palace consisted of three courts along the north side of the Upper Ward, called Little Cloister, King's Cloister and the Kitchen Court.[90] At the front of the palace lay the St George's Hall range, which combined a new hall and a new chapel. Sony VGN-P11Z/R Battery This range had two symmetrical gatehouses, the Spicerie Gatehouse and the Kitchen Gatehouse. The Spicerie Gatehouse was the main entrance into the palace, whilst the Kitchen Gatehouse simply led into the kitchen courtyard.[91] The great hall had numerous large windows looking out across the ward.[92] Sony VGN-P11Z/W Battery The range had an unusual, unified roof-line and, with a taller roof than the rest of the palace, would have been highly distinctive.[93] The Rose Tower, designed for the king's private use, set off the west corner of the range.[90] The result was a "great and apparently architecturally unified palace ... Sony VGN-P21S/W Battery uniform in all sorts of ways, as to roof line, window heights, cornice line, floor and ceiling heights".[94] With the exception of the Hall, Chapel and the Great Chamber, the new interiors all shared a similar height and width.[95][nb 7]The defensive features, however, were primarily for show, possibly to provide a backdrop for jousting between the two halves of the Order of the Garter. Sony VGN-P21Z/G Battery Edward built further luxurious, self-contained lodgings for his court around the east and south edges of the Upper Ward, creating the modern shape of the quadrangle.[6] The Norman gate was built to secure the west entrance to the Ward.[84] In the Lower Ward, the chapel was enlarged and remodelled with grand buildings for the canons built alongside.[84] Sony PCG-31211T Battery The earliest weight-driven mechanical clock in England was installed by Edward III in the Round Tower in 1354.[96] William of Wykeham went on to build New College, Oxford and Winchester College, where the influence of Windsor Castle can easily be seen.[84] The new castle was used to hold French prisoners taken in at Poitiers in 1357, including John II, who was held for a considerable ransom. Sony PCG-31311T Battery Later in the century, the castle also found favour with Richard II. Richard conducted restoration work on St George's Chapel, the work being carried out by Geoffrey Chaucer, who served as a diplomat and Clerk of The King's Works. Windsor Castle continued to be favoured by monarchs in the 15th century, despite England beginning to slip into increasing political violence. Sony PCG-51111T Battery Henry IV seized the castle during his coup in 1399, although failing to catch Richard II, who had escaped to London.[98] Under Henry V, the castle hosted a visit from the Holy Roman Emperor in 1417, a massive diplomatic event that stretched the accommodation of the castle to its limits.[99] Sony PCG-81111T Battery By the middle of the 15th century England was increasingly divided between the rival royal factions of the Lancastrians and the Yorkists. Castles such as Windsor did not play a decisive role during the resulting Wars of the Roses (1455–85), which were fought primarily in the form of pitched battles between the rival factions. Sony PCG-81311T Battery Henry VI, born at Windsor Castle and known as Henry of Windsor, became king at the young age of nine months.[101] His long period of minority, coupled with the increasing tensions between Henry's Lancastrian supporters and the Yorkists, distracted attention from Windsor.[ Sony VPCF138FC Battery The Garter Feasts and other ceremonial activities at the castle became more infrequent and less well attended.[102] Edward IV seized power in 1461. When Edward captured Henry's wife, Margaret of Anjou, she was brought back to be detained at the castle.[103] Edward began to revive the Order of the Garter, and held a particularly lavish feast in 1472. Sony VPCF219FC Battery Edward began the construction of the presentSt. George's Chapel in 1475, resulting in the dismantling of several of the older buildings in the Lower Ward.[105] By building the grand chapel Edward was seeking to show that his new dynasty were the permanent rulers of England, Sony VPCS135EC Battery and may also have been attempting to deliberately rival the similar chapel that Henry VI had ordered to be constructed at nearby Eton College.[102] Richard III made only a brief use of Windsor Castle before his defeat at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, but had the body of Henry VI moved from Chertsey Abbey in Surrey to the castle to allow it to be visited by pilgrims more easily.[106] Sony VPCS136EC Battery Henry VII made more use of Windsor. In 1488, shortly after succeeding to the throne, he held a massive feast for the Order of the Garter at the castle.[107] He completed the roof of St George's Chapel, and set about converting the older eastern Lady Chapel into a proposed shrine to Henry VI, whose canonisation was then considered imminent. Sony VPCS138EC Battery In the event, Henry VI was not canonised and the project was abandoned, although the shrine continued to attract a flood of pilgrims.[108] Henry VII appears to have remodelled the King's Chamber in the palace, and had the roof of the Great Kitchen rebuilt in 1489.[109] He also built a three-storied tower on the west end of the palace, Sony VPCS139GC Battery which he used for his personal apartments.[110] Windsor began to be used for international diplomatic events, including the grand visit of Philip I of Castile in 1506.[107] William de la Pole, one of the surviving Yorkist claimants to the throne, was imprisoned at Windsor Castle during Henry's reign, before his execution in 1513. Sony VPCYA15EC Battery Henry VIII enjoyed Windsor Castle, as a young man "exercising himself daily in shooting, singing, dancing, wrestling, casting of the bar, playing at the recorders, flute, virginals, in setting of songs and making of ballads".[112] The tradition of the Garter Feasts was maintained and became more extravagant; Sony VPCYA16EC Battery the size of the royal retinue visiting Windsor had to be restricted because of the growing numbers.[113] During the Pilgrimage of Grace, a huge uprising in the north of England against Henry's rule in 1536, the king used Windsor as a secure base in the south from which to manage his military response. Sony VPCYA25EC Battery Throughout the Tudor period, Windsor was also used as a safe retreat in the event of plagues occurring in London.[115] Henry rebuilt the principal castle gateway in about 1510 and constructed a tennis court at the base of the motte in the Upper Ward.[116] He also built a long terrace, called the North Wharf, along the outside wall of the Upper Ward; Sony VPCYA26EC Battery constructed of wood, it was designed to provide a commanding view of the River Thames below.[109] The design included an outside staircase into the king's apartments, which made the monarch's life more comfortable at the expense of considerably weakening the castle's defences.[117] Sony VPCYB15JC Battery Early in his reign, Henry had given the eastern Lady Chapel to Cardinal Wolsey for Wolsey's future mausoleum.[118] Benedetto Grazzini converted much of this into an Italian Renaissance design, before Wolsey's fall from power brought an end to the project, with contemporaries estimating that around £60,000 (£295 million in 2008 terms) had been spent on the work.[119] Sony VPCYA17GH/R Battery Henry continued the project, but it remained unfinished when he himself was buried in the chapel, in an elaborate funeral in 1547. By contrast, the young Edward VI disliked Windsor Castle.[121] Edward's Protestant beliefs led him to simplify the Garter ceremonies, to discontinue the annual Feast of the Garter at Windsor and to remove any signs of Catholic practices with the Order. Sony VPCCW2S8E/W Battery During the rebellions and political strife of 1549, Windsor was again used as a safe-haven for the king and the Duke of Somerset.[123] Edward famously commented whilst staying at Windsor Castle during this period that "Methink I am in a prison, here are no galleries, nor no gardens to walk in".Sony VPCCW2Z1E/B Battery Under both Edward and his sister, Mary I, some limited building work continued at the castle, in many cases using resources recovered from the English abbeys.[124] Water was piped into the Upper Ward to create a fountain.[109] Mary also expanded the buildings used by the Knights of Windsor in the Lower Ward, using stone from Reading Abbey. Sony VPCY11S1E Battery Elizabeth I spent much of her time at Windsor Castle and used it a safe haven in crises, "knowing it could stand a siege if need be".[125] Ten new brass cannons were purchased for the castle's defence.[126] It became one of her favourite locations and she spent more money on the property than on any of her other palaces.[ Sony VPCY11S1E/S Battery She conducted some modest building works at Windsor, including a wide range of repairs to the existing structures.[128] She converted the North Wharf into a permanent, huge stone terrace, complete with statues, carvings and an octagonal, outdoor banqueting house, raising the western end of the terrace to provide more privacy. Sony VPCW1 Battery The chapel was refitted with stalls, a gallery and a new ceiling.[130] A bridge was built over the ditch to the south of the castle to enable easier access to the park.[127] Elizabeth built a gallery range of buildings on the west end of the Upper Ward, alongside Henry VII's tower. Sony VPCW1E8R/BU Battery Elizabeth increasingly used the castle for diplomatic engagements, but space continued to prove a challenge as the property was simply not as large as the more modern royal palaces.[132] This flow of foreign visitors was captured for the queen's entertainment in William Shakespeare's play, The Merry Wives of Windsor. Sony VPCY11AGJ Battery James I used Windsor Castle primarily as a base for hunting, one of his favourite pursuits, and for socialising with his friends.[134] Many of these occasions involved extensive drinking sessions, including one with Christian IV of Denmark in 1606 that became infamous across Europe for the resulting drunken behaviour of the two kings. Sony VPCY11AHJ Battery The absence of space at Windsor continued to prove problematic, with James' English and Scottish retinues often quarrelling over rooms.[135] Charles I was a connoisseur of art, and paid greater attention to the aesthetic aspects of Windsor Castle than his predecessors. Sony VPCY11AVJ Battery Charles had the castle completely surveyed by a team including Inigo Jones in 1629, but little of the recommended work was carried out.[130] Nonetheless, Charles employed Nicholas Stoneto improve the chapel gallery in the Mannerist style and to construct a gateway in the North Terrace. Sony VPCY11M1E Battery Christian van Vianen, a noted Dutch goldsmith, was employed to produce a baroque gold service for the St George's Chapel altar. In the final years of peace, Charles demolished the fountain in the Upper Ward, intending to replace it with a classical statue.[137] In 1642 the English Civil War broke out, dividing the country into the Royalist supporters of Charles, and the Parliamentarians. Sony VPCY11S1E Battery In the aftermath of the battle of Edgehill in October, Parliament became concerned that Charles might advance on London.[138] John Venn took control of Windsor Castle with twelve companies of foot soldiers to protect the route along the Thames river, becoming the governor of the castle for the duration of the war.[138] Sony VPCY11V9E Battery

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