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How The Earl Of Surrey And The Fair Geraldine Plighted Their Troth In The Cloisters Of Saint George's Chapel

How The Earl Of Surrey And The Fair Geraldine Met In King James's Bower In The Moat

Of The Combat Between Will Sommers And Patch

How King Henry The Eighth Held A Chapter Of The Garter

What Passed Between Anne Boleyn And The Duke Of Suffolk And How Herne The Hunter Appeared To Her In The Oratory

How Mabel Lyndwood Was Taken To The Castle By Nicholas Clamp

Showing How Morgan Fenwolf Escaped From The Garter Tower

Of The Meeting Of King Henry The Eighth And Anne Boleyn At The Lower Gate

In What Manner Herne Declared His Passion For Mabel

How The Fair Geraldine Bestowed A Relic Upon Her Lover



Least Viewed

How Tristram Lyndwood Was Interrogated By The King

The Last Great Epoch In The History Of The Castle

Of The Mysterious Noise Heard In The Curfew Tower

Of The Interview Between Henry And Catherine Of Arragon In The Urswick Chapel

How Sir Thomas Wyat Found Mabel In The Sandstone Cave And What Happened To Him There

Comprising The Fourth Epoch In The History Of The Castle

How Herne Appeared To Henry In The Home Park

Of Henry's Attachment To Jane Seymour

How Anne Boleyn Received Proof Of Henry's Passion For Jane Seymour

Of The Visit Of The Two Guildford Merchants To The Forester's Hut






Containing The History Of The Castle From The Reign Of Charles The Second To That Of George The Third








ON the Restoration the castle resumed its splendour, and presented a
striking contrast to the previous gloomy period. The terrace, with its
festive groups, resembled a picture by Watteau, the courts resounded
with laughter, and the velvet sod of the home park was as often pressed
by the foot of frolic beauty as by that of the tripping deer.

Seventeen state apartments were erected by Sir Christopher Wren, under
the direction of Sir John Denham. The ceilings were painted by Verrio,
and the walls decorated with exquisite carvings by Grinling Gibbons. A
grand staircase was added at the same time. Most of the chambers were
hung with tapestry, and all adorned with pictures and costly furniture.
The addition made to the castle by Charles was the part of the north
front, then called the "Star Building," from the star of the Order of
the Garter worked in colours in the front of it, but now denominated the
"Stuart Building," extending eastward along the terrace from Henry the
Seventh's building one hundred and seventy feet. In 1676 the ditch was
filled up, and the terrace carried along the south and east fronts of
the castle.

Meanwhile the original character of the castle was completely destroyed
and Italianised. The beautiful and picturesque irregularities of the
walls were removed, the towers shaved off, the windows transformed into
commonplace circular-headed apertures. And so the castle remained for
more than a century.

Edward the Third's Tower, indifferently called the Earl Marshal's
Tower and the Devil Tower, and used as a place of confinement for state
prisoners, was now allotted to the maids of honour. It was intended by
Charles to erect a monument in honour of his martyred father on the site
of the tomb-house, which he proposed to remove, and 70,000 pounds were
voted by Parliament for this purpose. The design, however, was abandoned
under the plea that the body could not be found, though it was perfectly
well known where it lay. The real motive, probably, was that Charles had
already spent the money.

In 1680 an equestrian statue of Charles the Second, executed by Strada,
at the expense of Tobias Rustat, formerly housekeeper at Hampton Court,
was placed in the centre of the upper ward. It now stands at the lower
end of the same court. The sculptures on the pedestal were designed by
Grinling Gibbons; and Horace Walpole pleasantly declared that the statue
had no other merit than to attract attention to them.

In old times a road, forming a narrow irregular avenue, ran through the
woods from the foot of the castle to Snow Hill but this road having been
neglected during a long series of years, the branches of the trees
and underwood had so much encroached upon it as to render it wholly
impassable. A grand avenue, two hundred and forty feet wide, was planned
by Charles in its place, and the magnificent approach called the Long
Walk laid out and planted.

The only material incident connected with the castle during the reign of
James the Second has been already related.

Windsor was not so much favoured as Hampton Court by William the Third,
though he contemplated alterations within it during the latter part of
his life which it may be matter of rejoicing were never accomplished.

Queen Anne's operations were chiefly directed towards the parks,
in improving which nearly 40,000 pounds were expended. In 1707 the
extensive avenue running almost parallel with the Long Walk, and called
the "Queen's Walk," was planted by her; and three years afterwards
a carriage road was formed through the Long Walk. A garden was also
planned on the north side of the castle. In this reign Sir James
Thornhill commenced painting Charles the Second's staircase with designs
from Ovid's Metamorphoses, but did not complete his task till after the
accession of George the First. This staircase was removed in 1800, to
make way for the present Gothic entrance erected by the elder Wyatt.

The first two monarchs of the house of Hanover rarely used Windsor as a
residence, preferring Hampton Court and Kensington; and even George the
Third did not actually live in the castle, but in the Queen's Lodge--a
large detached building, with no pretension to architectural beauty,
which he himself erected opposite the south terrace, at a cost of nearly
44,000 pounds. With most praiseworthy zeal, and almost entirely at his
own expense, this monarch undertook the restoration of Saint George's
Chapel. The work was commenced in 1787, occupied three years, and
was executed by Mr. Emlyn, a local architect. The whole building was
repaved, a new altar-screen and organ added, and the carving restored.

In 1796 Mr. James Wyatt was appointed surveyor-general of the royal
buildings, and effected many internal arrangements. Externally he
restored Wren's round-headed windows to their original form, and at the
same time gothicized a large portion of the north and south sides of the
upper ward.

Before proceeding further, a word must be said about the parks. The home
park, which lies on the east and north sides of the castle, is about
four miles in circumference, and was enlarged and enclosed with a brick
wall by William the Third. On the east, and nearly on the site of the
present sunk garden, a bowling-green was laid out by Charles the Second.
Below, on the north, were Queen Anne's gardens, since whose time the
declivity of the hill has been planted with forest trees. At the
east angle of the north terrace are the beautiful slopes, with a path
skirting the north side of the home park and leading through charming
plantations in the direction of the royal farm and dairy, the ranger's
lodge, and the kennel for the queen's harriers. This park contains many
noble trees; and the grove of elms in the south-east, near the spot
where the scathed oak assigned to Herne stands, is traditionally
asserted to have been a favourite walk of Queen Elizabeth. It still
retains her name.

The great park is approached by the magnificent avenue called the Long
Walk, laid out, as has been stated, by Charles the Second, and extending
to the foot of Snow Hill, the summit of which is crowned by the colossal
equestrian statue of George the Third, by Westmacott. Not far from this
point stands Cumberland Lodge, which derives its name from William, Duke
of Cumberland, to whom it was granted in 1744. According to Norden's
survey, in 1607, this park contained 3050 acres; but when surveyed by
George the Third it was found to consist of 3800 acres, of which 200
were covered with water. At that time the park was over grown with fern
and rushes, and abounded in bogs and swamps, which in many places were
dangerous and almost impassable. It contained about three thousand head
of deer in bad condition. The park has since been thoroughly drained,
smoothed, and new planted in parts; and two farms have been introduced
upon it, under the direction of Mr. Kent, at which the Flemish and
Norfolk modes of husbandry have been successfully practised.

Boasting every variety of forest scenery, and commanding from its knolls
and acclivities magnificent views of the castle, the great park is
traversed, in all directions, by green drives threading its long
vistas, or crossing its open glades, laid out by George the Fourth.
Amid the groves at the back of Spring Hill, in a charmingly sequestered
situation, stands a small private chapel, built in the Gothic style, and
which was used as a place of devotion by George the Fourth during the
progress of the improvements at the castle, and is sometimes attended by
the present queen.

Not the least of the attractions of the park is Virginia Water, with
its bright and beautiful expanse, its cincture of green banks, soft and
smooth as velvet, its screen of noble woods, its Chinese fishing-temple,
its frigates, its ruins, its cascade, cave, and Druidical temple, its
obelisk and bridges, with numberless beauties besides, which it would be
superfluous to describe here. This artificial mere covers pretty nearly
the same surface of ground as that occupied by the great lake of olden
times.

Windsor forest once comprehended a circumference of a hundred and twenty
miles, and comprised part of Buckinghamshire, a considerable portion
of Surrey, and the whole south-east side of Berkshire, as far as
Hungerford. On the Surrey side it included Chobham and Chertsey, and
extended along the side of the Wey, which marked its limits as far as
Guildford. In the reign of James the First, when it was surveyed by
Norden, its circuit was estimated at seventy-seven miles and a half,
exclusive of the liberties extending into Buckinghamshire. There were
fifteen walks within it, each under the charge of a head keeper, and the
whole contained upwards of three thousand head of deer. It is now almost
wholly enclosed.





Next: The Last Great Epoch In The History Of The Castle

Previous: Comprising The Fourth Epoch In The History Of The Castle



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