The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 57 From London To Windsor

Round Tower of Windsor Castle

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Between the Upper and Lower Wards, on a mound surrounded on three sides by a moat, rises the Round Tower or Keep, at one time the residence of the Constable or Governor. The bulk of the existing tower dates from Edward III.'s time, but its walls were heightened and the flag-turret added by Wyatville. We enter on the north side of the tower by the so-called Norman Gateway, which has been wholly rebuilt since Norman times. The interior contains nothing of interest except a huge bell (weighing 17+ cwt.) brought from Sebastopol in 1855. The View from the battlements (220 steps) is said to extend into twelve counties. A curious effect is produced by the fact that Wyatville did not heighten the interior building when he raised the outer walls. The passage between the Round Tower and the Upper Ward leads through St. George's Gateway to Castle Hill, near the entrance to the Royal Stables or Mews (open on weekdays, 1 to 3, by ticket obtained at the entrance). In the UPPER WARD, to which the public is not admitted, is a bronze statue of Charles II., by Strado, with pedestal reliefs by Gibbons. On the east side are the King's Private Apartments, with the Victoria, Clarence, Chester, and Prince of Wales Towers. On the south side are the Visitors' Apartments; and in the middle of it, between the York and Lancaster Towers, is George IV.'s Gateway, the principal entrance to the palace, opening on the Long Walk. The Private Apartments of the King, to which visitors are admitted by special permission only, contain an extraordinarily rich collection of paintings, china, furniture, gold and silver plate, miniatures, etc. In the LIBRARY (overlooking the Home Park) is a magnificent collection of Drawings by the Old Masters, including numerous examples of Leonardo da Vinci, Michael Angelo, Raphael, Correggio, Parmlgiano, Signorelli, Fra Bartolomeo, Andrea del Sarto, Filippo Lippi, Guido Reni, Giulio Romano, Caravaggio, the Carracci, Guercino, Domenichino, Durer, Poussin, and Claude. But the chief treasure of the collection is the series of 78 portraits by Holbein. The collection of English Historical Prints also is very important. Among the numerous personal relics are an unpublished manuscript by Dickens and an autographed Shakespeare that belonged to Charles I.