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where extensive and comfortable barracks were erected for seven hundred and fifty infantry; and a large building has since been formed for four hundred cavalry.
Windsor is chiefly built of brick, and contains from five hundred to six hundred houses; the inhabitants being computed at about six thousand. It consists of six principal streets, from which branch several ones of inferior space. They are mostly well paved and lighted; to defray the expence of which, a small rate is levied on the inhabitants, by act of parliament passed in 1769. The parish of New Windsor, contains two thousand six hundred and eighteen acres, which, exclusive of the space occupied by the buildings, are principally disposed into parks, gardens, and pleasure grounds * But the principal boast of this place is
WINDSOR CASTLE. This magnificent residence of the British monarchs, is situated on the summit of an artificial hill, the base of which is skirted on the north side by the Thames. This castle owes its origin to William the Conquesor, soon after his being settled on the throne, on account of its healthful and pleasant situation, and probably no less as a place of security and strength in the beginning of his reignt. His son Henry I. greatly improved it, added many buildings, and surrounded the whole, for its greater strength and beauty, with a strong wall. Succeeding monarchs also, for the same reason, constantly resided here till the reign of Edward III. who was born here. This prince caused the an,
* Beauties of England and Wales. Vol. I.
+ Previously to this the castle belonged to the abbot of Westminster, by gift of Edward the Confessor, with whom king William exchanged it for other possessions, as appears by the following extract from the charter: “ Cum consenser et favore venerabilis Abbatis Westmonasterii conventionem feci de regia possessione Windlesora quod locus ille utilis et cominodus visus est propter contiguam aquam et silvam venantibus aptam, Et alia plura quæ in ibi sunt regibus commoda, uno regia prebendationem aptus existit, pro qua Wakendune et Firinges concessi,” &c.
tient building to be entirely taken down, inclosed the whole with a strong wall or rampart of stone, and erected the present stately castle, and chapel of St. George; here also he instituted and established the most Noble Order of the Garter. John, king of France, and David, king of Scotland, were prisoners of war in this castle during Ed. ward's reign.
Great additions were made to the buildings within the castle by Henry II. Edward IV. Henry VII. and VIII. queen Elizabeth, and Charles II. who, soon after the Restoration, thoroughly repaired the castle.
Windsor Castle owes much to this prince, who, mostly, kept his court here during the summer season, and spared no expence to render this castle worthy the royal resim dence.
The castle is divided into two courts or wards, with a large keep or round tower between, called the Middle Ward, formerly separated from the lower ward by a strong wall and drawbridge. The whole is of a large extent, and contains upwards of twelve acres of land. court or ward is a spacious quadrangle, and contains on the north side the royal apartments and the chapel and hall of St. George; on the east and south sides the several apartments of the royal family, and the great officers of the
In the area or middle of this court is erected a noble equestrian statue in copper of Charles II. in a Roman habit, on a statuary marble pedestal, carved in bassorelievo *.
The Keep or Round Tower, forms the west side of the upper court, and is the lodging of the constable or governor ;
it is built in the form of an amphitheatre; the ascent into these lodgings is by a flight of large stone steps; the apartments are fine and noble, and here is a guard room. This officer has the entire government of the castle, and is an officer of great antiquity, honour, and power,
* The duke of St. Alban's lodge is said to have been built by Mrs, Eleanor Gwynn,
This mount is neatly laid out in sloping walks round the hill, covered with verdure, and planted with shrubs and flowers.
The curtain contains seventeen portholes, in each of which is placed a piece of cannon, and on the leads of the tower is placed the royal standard, which is fourteen yards long, and eight broad; and is hoisted on all state bolidays. The union, which is vine yards by six, is always boisted when the governor is present. Against the wall is this inscription:
« A list of the counties to be seen on the top of this round tower. Middlesex, Essex, Hertford, Bucks, Berks, Oxford, Wilts, Hants, Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Bedford.”
The lower court is larger than the upper. On the south and west sides of the outer part of this court, are the houses of the alms or poor knights of Windsor. On the north are the houses and apartments of the dean and canons of St. George's chapel, the minor canons, clerks, and other subordinate officers. In this ward are also several towers belonging to the officers of the crown when the court is at Windsor; also' to the officers of the Order of the Garter, viz. the bishop of Winchester, prelate; the bishop of Salibury, chancellor; and Garter king at arms.
A company of foot guards constantly do duty here under the command of an officer, but at all times subject to the constable or governor of the castle, to whom alone pertains the sole command of the garrison; as also of the magazine of arms, stores, and houses,
The governor also, by virtue of his office, keeps a court of record in the castle, and is judge of the pleas between parties within the precinct of Windsor Forest. The deputy governor has neat and commodious lodgings or apartments at the entrance of the round tower.
Charles II. left little to be done to this castle except the painting of the apartments, which was carried on by his successors James II. and William III. in whose reign the whole was completed. James II. during his residence at this palace, gave an uncommon spectacle to his subjects on VOL. V. No. 118.
July 3, 1687, by the public entry of a nuncio from the pope. But that prince had the mortification to see that, notwithstanding the ceremony was conducted with much state and outward show, the whole proceffion gave offence to a people too sensible to be deluded by the idle parade of popish pageantry; and, at court, the duke of Somerset, lord of the bedchamber in waiting, refused to introduce the nuncio to audience, chusing rather to incur his sovereign's displeasure than to perform a task unsuitable to his high rank, and contrary to the laws of the kingdom. Queen Anne made several additions to Windsor Castle, particularly the flight of steps on the east side of the Terrace; and, though the court seldom resided at Windsor in the reigns of their late majesties George I. and II, the necessary repair of this castle and the royal apartments were always continued. His present majesty George III. has made Windsor his summer residence, and, by new-erected buildings and alterations, added greatly to the splendour and magnificence of this royal castle.
The several foundations within this structure are, the royal college of St. George, consisting of a dean, twelve canons or prebendaries, seven minor canons, eleven vicars choral, one organist, one verger, and two sacrists. The most noble Order of the Garter, consisting of the sovereign and twenty-five knights companions. The alms knights, eighteen in number, viz. thirteen of the royal foundation, and five of the foundation of Sir Peter le Maire, in the reign of king James I.*
* It is proper to notice, that William of Wickham, afterwards bishop of Winchester, was principally employed by Edward III. in building this castle, which when he had finished, in one of the towers he caused to be cut this doubtful sentence, “ This made Wickham,” which was re ported to the king, as if that bishop assumed to himself the honour of building this royal castle. And had not the prelate, by a ready address, assured his royal master, that he intended no meaning derogatory to his sovereign, but only an acknowledgment that this building had made him great in the favour of his prince, and was the cause of his present high station, the prelate had probably fallen under the displeasure of that monarch by this inscription, which possibly in time might bare occasioned a double interpretation.
The castle is surrounded by a most noble terrace, faced on all sides with a noble and solid rampart of free-stone, with beautiful and easy slopes to the lower part of the park underneath. This Terrace may, with justice, be said to be the noblest walk in Europe, both with regard to the strength and grandeur of the building, and the fine and extensive prospect over the river Thames, and the adjacent country on every side, where nature and art vie with each other in beauty,
The royal apartments in the castle are on the north side, and commonly go under the name of the Star BUILDING, from the garter and star largely displayed in gold in the middle of the building, on the outside next to the Terrace. The usual entrance into the apartments is from the upper court or ward, through a handsome vestibule supported by pillars of the Ionic order, with some antique brass bustos in the several niches; the principal of which are, a Roman vestal, and a slave in the action of picking a thorn out of his foot. The great staircare is finely painted with several fabulous stories from Ovid's Metamorphoses, particularly the story of Phaeton, who is represented on the dome petitioning Apollo for leave to drive the chariot of the Sun; and on the staircase, in large compartments, are the transformation of Phaeton's sisters into poplars, their tears distilling amber from the trees; also the story of Cycnus king of Liguria, who, being inconsolable for Phaeton's death, was transformed into a swan. Over these, and on the several parts of the ceiling, supported by the Winds, are represented the signs of the Zodiac, with baskets of flowers, beautifully disposed; and at each corner are the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, expressed by Cornucopiæ, Birds, Zephyrs, Flaming Censers, Water Nymphs with fishes, and a variety of other representations expressing each element; also Aurora, with her Nymphs in waiting, giving water to her horses. In proper attitudes, in several parts of this staircase, are also represented Comedy, Tra. gedy, Music, Painting, and the other sciences; and the whole
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