Windsor

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Windsor Short Walk - Castle to Theatre
Click here for a Dynamic Map of the Walk
Queen Victoria link
1 Stand next to Queen Victoria's Statue on Castle Hill and look with the Monarch down Peascod Street. To your right is the entrance to Windsor Central Station.
Windsor Central Station limk
2 Walk onto the pavement under the Castle walls opposite Windsor Central Station and look into the concourse. You are on Thames Street. The railway arrived here from Slough in 1849. The station was built later. The line crosses Brunel's Bowstring Bridge and passes in sight of Eton College. The engine used to pull the Royal Train is preserved at the station. The working line is now relegated to a corner of the original concourse.
Curfew Tower Windsor Castle link
3 Behind you and to the right is the Curfew Tower. Housed the dungeons and displayed a gibbet. Now has the pepper pot roof and clock. However the Round Tower most often symbolises Windsor. It's the tower that flies the Royal standard when the Queen is here. The castle is the worlds oldest continually occupied royal residence.
Carriage Wheel Stop Windsor
4 As you move down Thames Street you may notice iron bars set into the curb. These inserts were used as wheel stops preventing carriages rolling backwards down the hill that skirts the Castle.
Teatre Royal Windsor link
5 Further down Thames Street opposite you is the Theatre Royal. This building dates from 1910. It replaced the original which burnt down in 1908. Windsor has had its own theatre company at least from the time of George III around 1760. However at that time it struggled to survive despite his patronage. The modern theatre is popular with the Royal Family and the Queen Mother took a particular interest in productions.
Prince Christian Windsor link
6 Staying under the castle wall continue to Prince Christian Victor's Memorial at the foot of Thames Street. The inscription below the statue shows 15 medals awarded the Prince. These are described here.
wrens house windsor link
7 Follow Thames Street over River Street at the pedestrian crossing towards the river. Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723) built the house to your left which is now a Grade2 listed building. It was constructed in 1676 as a family home. Wren was the son of the Dean of Windsor and served as Member of Parliament for Old Windsor - 1685 to 1688 and 1702 to 1705. He was knighted in 1673.
Windsor Town Bridge link
8 A short distance further is Windsor Town Bridge.  Two plaques are installed on the bridge. These show the town's coat of arms and commemorate the history of the bridge. The first bridge here was made in the C13th. At the other side of the bridge is the Millennium Lens.
eton boat house link
9 From the bridge you can see the boat houses used by Eton College to store and maintain their sculls. The College has also an olympic size lake based rowing course.
Return the way you came re-crossing River Street, but now following the pavement opposite the Castle along Thames Street.
boots passage windsor
10 Opposite the Curfew Tower is Boots Passage. This is recognisable by the bust of King Edward VII over the entrance. Named after Jesse Boot or rather Boots the Chemist which owned a shop at 5-16 Thames Street advertising Boots as the largest retail chemist in the world
curfew yard 11 Further up Thames Street is the Curfew Yard. Dating from 1620 this building now a shop is said to have been used to by Oliver Cromwell in 1648 to sign the death warrant of Charles I.  A tunnel once led from the basement of this shop to the Curfew Tower.
peascod street
12 Pass across the top of Peascod Street. A main shopping street in Windsor with a name derived from 'pea field'. Peas were a staple food in medieval times.
HG Wells windsor
13 This plaque is shown within the entrance of the building, formerly a drapers shop where Wells served for several years. The apprenticeship of Kipps in Well's novel of the same name was based on his experiences here.
market cross house windsor
14 Market Cross House stands adjacent to Queen Charlotte Street the shortest in England at 52 feet. The house dates probably from 1687 and the town market was once held in the surrounding streets. Queen Charlotte's statue stands  in the adjacent wall of the Guildhall.
windsor guildhall
15 The Guildhall was the scene recently of the civil marriage of Charles and Cammilla. It was built from 1687-89 when it was completed by Sir Christopher Wren. The covered area was the Corn Exchange. Wren was instructed to add the 4 internal pillars by a Council doubtful of his calculations about the weight of the building. Wren proved his point by stopping the columns  short of the roof. Here are 2 further images showing the Guildhall at night and the aspect facing Windsor Castle.
Nell Gwynne's House Windsor
16 Pass down the side of the Guildhall to Church St and Nell Gwynne's House built 1640. This is another house which had a cellar tunnel to the Castle. This tunnel features in the stories of the love tryst between Charles II and Nell Gwynne when the King used it to visit his mistress.
Kings Head Inn Windsor
17 Next to Nell Gwynne's House is the former Old Kings Head dating from 1525. A plaque above the door states William Shakespeare lived & wrote The Merrie Wives of Windsor there. A copy of the warrant for the execution of Charles I is shown also outside the inn.
henry viii gate
18 Continue along Church St to the Henry VIII Gate on Castle Hill. This is the main entrance to the Castle.
Windsor Parish Church link
19 Look back down Church Street and see the tower of Windsor's Parish Church. The Highlander formerly a coach house  can be seen and next to it the station for the fire pump. This is now a restaurant
Windsor Castle George 4 link
20 George IV Gate is situated opposite the Long Walk which reaches the Copper Horse statue. This is visible from the Castle. Proceed along St Albans Street from Henry VIII Gate and then along Park Street to the Long Walk.

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©Copyright 2006 Antony McCallum