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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

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

The Last Great Epoch In The History Of The Castle

Of The Mysterious Noise Heard In The Curfew Tower

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

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

How Herne Appeared To Henry In The Home Park

Comprising The Fourth Epoch In The History Of The Castle

Of Henry's Attachment To Jane Seymour

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






The Last Great Epoch In The History Of The Castle








A prince of consummate taste and fine conceptions, George the Fourth
meditated, and, what is better, accomplished the restoration of the
castle to more than its original grandeur. He was singularly fortunate
in his architect. Sir Jeffry Wyatville was to him what William
of Wykeham had been to Edward the Third. All the incongruities of
successive reigns were removed: all, or nearly all, the injuries
inflicted by time repaired; and when the work so well commenced was
finished, the structure took its place as the noblest and most majestic
palatial residence in existence.

To enter into a full detail of Wyatville's achievements is beyond the
scope of the present work; but a brief survey may be taken of them.
Never was lofty design more fully realised. View the castle on the
north, with its grand terrace of nearly a thousand feet in length,
and high embattled walls; its superb facade, comprehending the stately
Brunswick Tower; the Cornwall Tower, with its gorgeous window; George
the Fourth's Tower, including the great oriel window of the state
drawing-room; the restored Stuart buildings, and those of Henry the
Seventh and of Elizabeth; the renovated Norman Tower; the Powder Tower,
with the line of walls as far as the Winchester Tower;--view this, and
then turn to the east, and behold another front of marvellous beauty
extending more than four hundred feet from north to south, and
displaying the Prince of Wales's Tower, the Chester, Clarence, and
Victoria Towers--all of which have been raised above their former level,
and enriched by great projecting windows;--behold also the beautiful
sunken garden, with its fountain and orangery, its flights of steps, and
charming pentagonal terrace;--proceed to the south front, of which the
Victoria Tower, with its machicolated battlements and oriel window,
forms so superb a feature at the eastern corner, the magnificent gateway
receiving its name from George the Fourth, flanked by the York and
Lancaster Towers, and opening in a continued line from the Long Walk;
look at Saint George's Gate, Edward the Third's renovated tower, and the
octagon tower beyond it; look at all these, and if they fail to excite a
due appreciation of the genius that conceived them, gaze at the triumph
of the whole, and which lords over all the rest--the Round Tower--gaze
at it, and not here alone, but from the heights of the great park,
from the vistas of the home park, from the bowers of Eton, the meads
of Clewer and Datchet, from the Brocas, the gardens of the naval
knights--from a hundred points; view it at sunrise when the royal
standard is hoisted, or at sunset when it is lowered, near or at
a distance, and it will be admitted to be the work of a prodigious
architect!

But Wyatville's alterations have not yet been fully considered. Pass
through Saint George's Gateway, and enter the grand quadrangle to which
it leads. Let your eye wander round it, beginning with the inner
sides of Edward the Third's Tower and George the Fourth's Gateway,
and proceeding to the beautiful private entrance to the sovereign's
apartments, the grand range of windows of the eastern corridor, the
proud towers of the gateway to the household, the tall pointed windows
of Saint George's Hall, the state entrance tower, with its noble
windows, until it finally rests upon the Stuart buildings and King
John's Tower, at the angle of the pile.

Internally the alterations made by the architects have been of
corresponding splendour and importance. Around the south and east sides
of the court at which you are gazing, a spacious corridor has been
constructed, five hundred and fifty feet in length, and connected with
the different suites of apartments on these sides of the quadrangle;
extensive alterations have been made in the domestic offices; the state
apartments have been repaired and rearranged; Saint George's Hall
has been enlarged by the addition of the private chapel (the only
questionable change), and restored to the Gothic style; and the Waterloo
Chamber built to contain George the Fourth's munificent gift to the
nation of the splendid collection of portraits now occupying it.

"The first and most remarkable characteristic of operations of Sir
Jeffry Wyatville on the exterior," observes Mr. Poynter, "is the
judgment with which he has preserved the castle of Edward the Third.
Some additions have been made to it, and with striking effect--as the
Brunswick Tower, and the western tower of George the Fourth's Gate-way
which so nobly terminates the approach from the great park. The more
modern buildings on the north side have also been assimilated to the
rest; but the architect has yielded to no temptation to substitute his
own design for that of William of Wykeham, and no small difficulties
have been combated and overcome for the sake of preserving the outline
of the edifice, and maintaining the towers in their original position."

The Winchester Tower, originally inhabited by William of Wykeham, was
bestowed upon Sir Jeffry Wyatville as a residence by George the Fourth;
and, on the resignation of the distinguished architect, was continued to
him for life by the present queen.

The works within the castle were continued during the reign of William
the Fourth, and at its close the actual cost of the buildings had
reached the sum of 771,000, pounds and it has been asserted that the
general expenditure up to the present time has exceeded a million and a
half of money.

The view from the summit of the Round Tower is beyond description
magnificent, and commands twelve counties--namely, Middlesex, Essex,
Hertford, Berks, Bucks, Oxford, Wilts, Hants, Surrey, Sussex, Kent,
and Bedford; while on a clear day the dome of Saint Paul's may be
distinguished from it. This tower was raised thirty-three feet by Sir
Jeffry Wyatville, crowned with a machicolated battlement, and surmounted
with a flag-tower.

The circumference of the castle is 4180 feet; the length from east to
west, 1480 feet; and the area, exclusive of the terraces, about twelve
acres.

For the present the works are suspended. But it is to be hoped that the
design of Sir Jeffry Wyatville will be fully carried out in the lower
ward, by the removal of such houses on the north as would lay Saint
George's Chapel open to view from this side; by the demolition of the
old incongruous buildings lying westward of the bastion near the Hundred
Steps, by the opening out of the pointed roof of the library; the repair
and reconstruction in their original style of the Curfew, the Garter,
and the Salisbury Towers; and the erection of a lower terrace extending
outside the castle, from the bastion above mentioned to the point of
termination of the improvements, and accessible from the town; the
construction of which terrace would necessitate the removal of the
disfiguring and encroaching houses on the east side of Thames Street.
This accomplished, Crane's ugly buildings removed, and the three western
towers laid open to the court, the Horse-shoe Cloisters consistently
repaired, Windsor Castle would indeed be complete. And fervently do
we hope that this desirable event may be identified with the reign of
VICTORIA.





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

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



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