With Her Majesty residing at Windsor Castle for her birthday celebrations, I thought I’d present to you facts that you may not know about the near-thousand year old fortress.
- The first parts of the castle were built around 1070 by William the Conqueror, after winning the tremendous victory in the 1066 Battle of Hastings. The original castle was made of wood and built in the motte-and-bailey style. The location of the castle meant that it could watch over the River Thames and Windsor Forest (a royal hunting ground).
- Henry I was the first monarch to use Windsor Castle as a home and it is during his reign, that the wooden keep and walls were replaced with stone which added more protection to the castle.
- Edward III was born in Windsor Castle in 1312 and as a result of his love for the castle, he spent a vast amount of money adding to it and improving it during his reign.
- Windsor Castle is the headquarters of the Order of the Garter (a fellowship of knights founded by Henry III in 1348).
- The Tudor monarchs used Windsor Castle. Henry VIII regularly stayed at the castle and he was buried in the Windsor Castle’s Lady Chapel.
- Elizabeth I stayed at Windsor a lot, she loved the fact that it could resist siege and was a very safe place
- Queen Victoria and Prince Albert made Windsor Castle their main place of residence. Following Albert’s death, Queen Victoria was sometimes referred to as the ‘Widow of Windsor’.
- In 1992 a massive fire took place in Windsor Castle. Over 100 rooms were damaged by either fire or the water used to extinguish the fire. The cost of Windsor Castle’s restoration was around £36 million
With Her Majesty staying at Windsor and always returning back every few weeks and particularly at weekend’s, Windsor Castle is more of a home to the Queen than a castle, but still it’s history has been mind boggling and Her Majesty is one lucky person to live there.