The Garden Guide

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


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D. WINDSOR AND ETON. WINDSOR, properly New Windsor (20,115 inhabitants), famous for its castle which has been the chief residence of the sovereigns of England for 850 years, is situated on the right (Berkshire) bank of the Thames and is connected by bridges with Eton and Datchet on the left (Buckinghamshire) bank. Windsor and Kensington are the only 'royal boroughs' in England. Railway Stations. Great Western, Thames St., west of the castle; South Western (Southern Railway), Datchet Rd., north of the castle. Hotels. CASTLE, High St., Room & Breakfast 10/, Luncheon 4/, Dinner 6/; WHITE HART, High St., near the Great Western station, Room 7/6, Breakfast 2/, Dinner 7/6, pension �5 5/ weekly; THE OLD HOUSE & RIVERHOLME, the former built and occupied by Wren, Thames St., Room & Breakfast 8/, Dinner 5/, pension 15/; STAR & GARTER, commercial, 133 Peascod St., Room & Breakfast 7/6, Luncheon 2/,-3/, Dinner 3/-5/. Restaurants at the hotels; also Layton, Tull, 1 & 18 Thames St. Post Office, High St. Cabs. For the first mile 2/, each extra mile or less 10d. Motor Omnibuses to Eton, Slough (3d.), and Hounslow (1/8); Staines (1/); Ascot (11d.) and Reading (1/11); Maidenhead (1/); Uxbridge (1/3). History. Windsor, once called Windlesore or Wyndsore, from the winding river, offers, despite its antiquity, little of interest beyond the castle. Edward the Confessor, who had a residence at the village of Old Windsor, 3 miles down the river, presented the surrounding land to the Abbey of Westminster. William the Conqueror acquired the land from the monks and built a Norman castle on the commanding height over the river. Later monarchs, notably Henry III. (1207-72), extended William's castle, and Edward III., who was born here in 1312, rebuilt the whole on a more massive scale (circa 1344), with the famous William of Wykeham as his architect. Here King David of Scotland, King John of France, and James I. of Scotland were held in captivity, and here the last espied Joan Beaufort, his future wife, walking in the garden below the Round Tower. The third great era of the building of Windsor Castle dates from the time of George IV., when Sir Jeffrey Wyatville began (1824) the extensive series of restorations and additions which were not finished till the reign of Queen Victoria, and left the majestic building as we now see it. Windsor Castle has seen little of the vicissitudes of war, though it was twice besieged during the reign of King John, who was living here when he made his fateful visit to Runnymede (1215), while Prince Rupert made a futile attack on it in 1642. Edward, the Black Prince, was married here in 1361, and Henry VI. (of Windsor) was born here in 1421. Of the 'Merry Wives of Windsor' (said to have been first performed in a gallery now forming part of the Royal Library) there are no relics, except Herne's Oak. It is supposed that the Garter Inn stood where the White Hart is now; and that Mr. Page's house lay between the foot of the Hundred Steps and the river.