The Berkshire-based Windsor Caste is known for its long association with the Royal Family and embodies almost 1,000 years of architectural history. Currently, the property is used as the Queen’s weekend home and is owned by the monarch in right of the Crown.
The castle is the longest-occupied palace in Europe and is also the largest inhabited castle in the world.
The original Windsor Castle was built in the 11th century by William the Conquerer after the Norman invasion.
Since the time of Henry I, who was King of England from 1100 until his death in 1925, it has been used by the reigning monarch.
Windsor Castle was built as a motte-and-bailey, with three wards surrounding a central mound.
A motte-and-bailey castle is a fortification with a wooden or stone keep situated on a raised area of ground called a motte, accompanied by a walled courtyard, or bailey, surrounded by a protective ditch and palisade.
However, the castle was gradually replaced with stone fortifications.
During the middle of the century, Henry III build a royal palace within the castle.
Edward III went even further and rebuilt the palace to make a grander set of buildings.
This has become known as “the most expensive secular building project of the entire Middle Ages in England”.
The design lasted through the Tudor period.
Windsor Castle has survived many tumultuous periods since it was first built.
During the English Civil War, which lasted from 1642 to 1651, was used as a military headquarters by Parliamentary forces.
It was also used as a prison for Charles I, who was King of England, Scotland, and Ireland from March 1625 until his execution in 1649.
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At the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Charles II rebuilt much of Windsor Castle.
Helped by architect Hugh May he created a set of Baroque interiors still present at the castle today.
However, after a neglect of Windsor Castle during the 18th century, George III and George IV renovated the palace and produced the current design of the State Apartments.
The furnishing was full of Rococo, Gothic and Baroque design.
During the Second World War’s Luftwaffe bombing campaigns, the castle was used as a refuge by the Royal Family.
Windsor Castle also survived a fire in 1992, but suffered extensive damage.
It was fully repaired within the next few years at a cost of £36.5 million.
Today, Windsor Castle is the preferred weekend home of the Queen.
It’s used as a venue for hosting state visits and a popular tourist destination.