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Windsor Castle is a royal residence at Windsor in the English county of Berkshire. The castle is notable for its long association with the British royal family and for its architecture. The original castle was built in the 11th century after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. HP Pavilion dv7-1128ca CPU Fan

Since the time of Henry I, it has been used by succeeding monarchs and it is the longest-occupied palace in Europe. The castle's lavish, early 19th-century State Apartments are architecturally significant, described by art historian Hugh Roberts as "a superb and unrivalled sequence of rooms widely regarded as the finest and most complete expression of later Georgian taste".[1] HP Pavilion dv6-3216us CPU Fan

The castle includes the 15th-century St George's Chapel, considered by historian John Robinson to be "one of the supreme achievements of English Perpendicular Gothic" design.[2] More than five hundred people live and work in Windsor Castle.

Originally designed to protect Norman dominance around the outskirts of London, HP Pavilion dv6565el CPU Fan

and to oversee a strategically important part of the River Thames, Windsor Castle was built as a motte and bailey, with three wards surrounding a central mound. Gradually replaced with stone fortifications, the castle withstood a prolonged siege during theFirst Barons' War at the start of the 13th century. DELL Latitude E6410 CPU Fan

Henry III built a luxurious royal palace within the castle during the middle of the century, and Edward III went further, rebuilding the palace to produce an even grander set of buildings in what would become "the most expensive secular building project of the entire Middle Ages in England".[3] HP Pavilion dv6-2066dx CPU Fan

 Edward's core design lasted through the Tudor period, during which Henry VIII and Elizabeth I made increasing use of the castle as a royal court and centre for diplomatic entertainment.

Windsor Castle survived the tumultuous period of the English Civil War, when it was used as a military headquarters for Parliamentary forces and a prison for Charles I. HP 610777-001 CPU Fan

During the Restoration, Charles II rebuilt much of Windsor Castle with the help of architect Hugh May, creating a set of extravagant, Baroque interiors that are still admired. After a period of neglect during the 18th century, George III and George IV renovated and rebuilt Charles II's palace at colossal expense, Samsung MCF-913PAM05-40 CPU Fan

producing the current design of the State Apartments, full of Rococo,Gothic and Baroque furnishings. Victoria made minor changes to the castle, which became the centre for royal entertainment for much of her reign. Windsor Castle was used as a refuge for the royal family during the bombing campaigns of the Second World War and survived a fire in 1992. HP Pavilion dv7-2140eo CPU Fan

It is a popular tourist attraction, a venue for hosting state visits, and Elizabeth II's preferred weekend home.

Windsor Castle occupies a large site of more than thirteen acres (five hectares), and combines the features of a fortification, a palace, and a small town.[4] HP Envy 15-1060ea CPU Fan

The present-day castle was created during a sequence of phased building projects, culminating in the reconstruction work after a fire in 1992.[5] It is in essence a Georgian and Victorian design based on a medieval structure, with Gothic features reinvented in a modern style. HP Pavilion dv4-2140us CPU Fan

Since the 14th century, architecture at the castle has attempted to produce a contemporary reinterpretation of older fashions and traditions, repeatedly imitating outmoded or even antiquated styles.[6] As a result, architect Sir William Whitfield has pointed to Windsor Castle's architecture as having "a certain fictive quality", COMPAQ Presario F500 CPU Fan

the Picturesque and Gothic design generating "a sense that a theatrical performance is being put on here", despite late 20th century efforts to expose more of the older structures to increase the sense of authenticity.[7] Although there has been some criticism, the castle's architecture and history lends it a "place amongst the greatest European palaces".HP Pavilion dv2310ca CPU Fan

At the heart of Windsor Castle is the Middle Ward, a bailey formed around the motte or artificial hill in the centre of the ward. The motte is 50 ft (15 m) high and is made from chalk originally excavated from the surrounding ditch. The keep, called the Round Tower, on the top of the motte is based on an original 12th-century building, Compaq Presario C554US CPU Fan

extended upwards in the early 19th century under architect Jeffry Wyattville by 30 ft (9 m) to produce a more imposing height and silhouette.[9] The interior of the Round Tower was further redesigned in 1991–3 to provide additional space for the Royal Archives, an additional room being built in the space left by Wyattville's originally hollow extension.[9] HP Pavilion dv9660ef CPU Fan

The Round Tower is in reality far from cylindrical, due to the shape and structure of the motte beneath it. The current height of the tower has been criticised as being disproportionate to its width; archaeologist Tim Tatton-Brown, for example, has described it as a mutilation of the earlier medieval structure.[10] SONY UDQF2PH05-AS CPU Fan

The western entrance to the Middle Ward is now open, and a gateway leads north from the ward onto the North Terrace.[11] The eastern exit from the ward is guarded by the Norman Gatehouse.[11] This gatehouse, which in fact dates from the 14th century, is heavily vaulted and decorated with carvings, SONY Vaio VGN-A17CP CPU Fan

including surviving medieval lion masks, traditional symbols of majesty, to form an impressive entrance to the Upper Ward.[12] Wyattville redesigned the exterior of the gatehouse, and the interior was later heavily converted in the 19th century for residential use. Toshiba G20 CPU Fan

The Upper Ward of Windsor Castle comprises a number of major buildings enclosed by the upper bailey wall, forming a central quadrangle. The State Apartments run along the north of the ward, with a range of buildings along the east wall, and the private royal apartments and the King George IV Gate to the south, DELL Vostro 1510 CPU Fan

with the Edward III Tower in the south-west corner. The motte and the Round Tower form the west edge of the ward. A bronze statue of Charles II on horseback sits beneath the Round Tower.[14] Inspired by Hubert Le Sueur's statue of Charles I in London, the statue was cast by Josias Ibach in 1679, ACER Aspire One A150-1249 CPU Fan

with the marble plinth featuring carvings by Grinling Gibbons.[14] The Upper Ward adjoins the North Terrace, which overlooks the River Thames, and the East Terrace, which overlooks the gardens; both of the current terraces were constructed by Hugh May in the 17th century.[15] HP Pavilion dv9766ez CPU Fan

Traditionally the Upper Ward was judged to be "to all intents and purposes a nineteenth-century creation ... the image of what the early nineteenth-century thought a castle should be", as a result of the extensive redesign of the castle by Wyattville under George IV.[16] Dell Vostro 3400 CPU Fan

The walls of the Upper Ward are built of Bagshot Heath stone faced on the inside with regular bricks, the gothic details in yellow Bath stone.[17] The buildings in the Upper Ward are characterised by the use of small bits of flint in the mortar for galletting, originally started at the castle in the 17th century to give stonework from disparate periods a similar appearance.SONY Vaio VGN-SZ4MRN/B CPU Fan

The skyline of the Upper Ward is designed to be dramatic when seen from a distance or silhouetted against the horizon, an image of tall towers and battlements influenced by the picturesque movement of the late 18th century.[17] DELL Inspiron 1720 CPU Fan

Archaeological and restoration work following the 1992 fire has shown the extent to which the current structure represents a survival of elements from the original 12th-century stone walls onwards, presented within the context of Wyattville's final remodelling.

The State Apartments form the major part of the Upper Ward and lie along the north side of the quadrangle. ASUS BFB0705HA CPU Fan

The modern building follows the medieval foundations laid down by Edward III, with the ground floor comprising service chambers and cellars, and the much grander first floor forming the main part of the palace. On the first floor, the layout of the western end of the State Apartments is primarily the work of architect Hugh May, HP G56-106EA CPU Fan

whereas the structure on the eastern side represents Jeffry Wyattville's plans.[nb 1]

The interior of the State Apartments was mostly designed by Wyattville in the early 19th century. Wyattville intended each room to illustrate a particular architectural style and to display the matching furnishings and fine arts of the period.[19] DELL DC280005FF0 CPU Fan

With some alterations over the years, this concept continues to dominate the apartments. Different rooms follow the Classical, Gothic and Rococo styles, together with an element of Jacobethan in places.[20] Many of the rooms on the eastern end of the castle had to be restored following the 1992 fire, HP KSB0605HB CPU Fan

using "equivalent restoration" methods – the rooms were restored so as to appear similar to their original appearance, but using modern materials and concealing modern structural improvements.[21][nb 2] These rooms were also partially redesigned at the same time to more closely match modern tastes. HP 580696-001 CPU Fan

Art historian Hugh Roberts has praised the State Apartments as "a superb and unrivalled sequence of rooms widely regarded as the finest and most complete expression of later Georgian taste."[1] Others, such as architect Robin Nicolson and critic Hugh Pearman, have described them as "bland" and "distinctly dull".HP Pavilion dv7-4014eo CPU Fan

Wyattville's most famous work are those rooms designed in a Rococo style. These rooms take the fluid, playful aspects of this mid-18th-century artistic movement, including many original pieces of Louis XV decoration, but project them on a "vastly inflated" scale.[23] DELL Studio 1555 CPU Fan

Investigations after the 1992 fire have shown though that many Rococo features of the modern castle, originally thought to have been 18th-century fittings transferred from Carlton House or France, are in fact 19th-century imitations in plasterwork and wood, designed to blend with original elements.[24] HP G62-339WM CPU Fan

The Grand Reception Room is the most prominent of these Rococo designs, 100 ft (30 m) long and 40 ft (12 m) tall and occupying the site of Edward III's great hall.[25] This room, restored after the fire, includes a huge French Rococo ceiling, characterised by Ian Constantinides, HP Pavilion dv5-1145ev CPU Fan

the lead restorer, as possessing a "coarseness of form and crudeness of hand ... completely overshadowed by the sheer spectacular effect when you are at a distance".[26] The room is set off by a set of restored Gobelins French tapestries.[26] Although decorated with less gold leaf than in the 1820s, HP F787 CPU Fan

the result remains "one of the greatest set-pieces of Regency decoration".[27] The White, Green and Crimson Drawing Rooms include a total of sixty-two trophies: carved, gilded wooden panels illustrating weapons and the spoils of war, many with Masonic meanings.[28] HP Pavilion dv7-3155eb CPU Fan

Restored or replaced after the fire, these trophies are famous for their "vitality, precision and three-dimensional quality", and were originally brought from Carlton House in 1826, some being originally imported from France and others carved by Edward Wyatt.[28] The soft furnishings of these rooms, although luxurious, are more modest than the 1820s originals, both on the grounds of modern taste and cost.[29] DELL Studio 1458 CPU Fan

Wyattville's design retains three rooms originally built by Hugh May in the 17th century in partnership with the painter Antonio Verrio and carver Grinling Gibbons. The Queen's Presence Chamber, the Queen's Audience Chamber and the King's Dining Room are designed in a Baroque, Franco-Italian style, Toshiba Satellite A505-S6970 CPU Fan

characterised by "gilded interiors enriched with florid murals", first introduced to England between 1648–50 at Wilton House.[30] Verrio's paintings are "drenched in medievalist allusion" and classical images.[31]These rooms were intended to show an innovative English "baroque fusion" of the hitherto separate arts of architecture, painting and carving. HP Pavilion dv6-3090si CPU Fan

A handful of rooms in the modern State Apartments reflect either 18th-century or Victorian Gothic design. The State Dining Room, for example, whose current design originates from the 1850s but which was badly damaged during the 1992 fire, is restored to its appearance in the 1920s, before the removal of some of the gilded features on the pilasters.[33] HP G60-215EM CPU Fan

Anthony Salvin's Grand Staircase is also of mid-Victorian design in the Gothic style, rising to a double-height hall lit by an older 18th-century Gothic vaulted lantern tower called the Grand Vestibule, designed by James Wyatt and executed by Francis Bernasconi.[34] The staircase has been criticised by historian John Robinson as being a distinctly inferior design to the earlier staircases built on the same site by both Wyatt and May.[35] Toshiba Satellite A100-011 CPU Fan

Some parts of the State Apartments were completely destroyed in the 1992 fire and this area was rebuilt in a style called "Downesian Gothic", named after the architect, Giles Downes.[36][nb 3] The style comprises "the rather stripped, cool and systematic coherence of modernism sewn into a reinterpretation of the Gothic tradition".[37] DELL XPS M1210 CPU Fan

Downes argues that the style avoids "florid decoration", emphasising an organic, flowing Gothic structure.[38] Three new rooms were built or remodelled by Downes at Windsor. Downes' new roof of St George's Hall is the largest green-oak structure built since the Middle Ages,  HP G62-120SL CPU Fan

and is decorated with brightly coloured shields celebrating the heraldic element of the Order of the Garter; the design attempts to create an illusion of additional height through the gothic woodwork along the ceiling.[39] The Lantern Lobby features flowing oak columns forming a vaulted ceiling, imitating an arum lily.[40] HP Pavilion dv6-2117eo CPU Fan

The new Private Chapel is relatively small, only able to fit thirty worshippers, but combines architectural elements of the St George's Hall roof with the Lantern Lobby and the stepped arch structure of the Henry VIII chapel vaulting at Hampton Court.[41] The result is an "extraordinary, continuous and closely moulded net of tracery", Toshiba Satellite L305D-S5950 CPU Fan

complementing the new stained glass windows commemorating the fire, designed by Joseph Nuttgen.[42] The Great Kitchen, with its newly exposed 14th-century roof lantern sitting alongside Wyattville's fireplaces, chimneys and Gothic tables, is also a product of the reconstruction after the fire.[43] SONY Vaio VGN-BZ11MN CPU Fan

The ground floor of the State Apartments retains various famous medieval features. The 14th-century Great Undercroft still survives, some 193 ft (60 m) long by 31 ft (9 m) wide, divided into thirteen bays.[44] At the time of the 1992 fire, the Undercroft had been divided into smaller rooms; SONY Vaio VGN-TX91S CPU Fan

the area is now opened up to form a single space in an effort to echo the undercrofts at Fountains and Rievaulx Abbeys, although the floor remains artificially raised for convenience of use.[45] The "beautifully vaulted" 14th-century Larderie passage runs alongside the Kitchen Courtyard and is decorated with carved royal roses, marking its construction by Edward III. Toshiba Satellite A100-849 CPU Fan

The Lower Ward lies below and to the west of the Round Tower, reached through the Norman Gate. Originally largely of medieval design, most of the Lower Ward was renovated or reconstructed during the mid-Victorian period by Anthony Salvin and Edward Blore, to form a "consistently Gothic composition".[47] Gateway MT6400 CPU Fan

The Lower Ward holds St George's Chapel and most of the buildings associated with the Order of the Garter.

On the north side of the Lower Ward is St George's Chapel. This huge building is the spiritual home of theOrder of the Knights of the Garter and dates from the late 15th and early 16th century, designed in thePerpendicular Gothic style.[48Toshiba Satellite A100-849 CPU Fan

] The ornate wooden choir stalls are of 15th-century design, having been restored and extended by Henry Emlyn at the end of the 18th century, and are decorated with a unique set of brass plates showing the arms of the Knights of the Garter over the last six centuries.[49] Dell Vostro 3350 CPU Fan

On the west side, the chapel has a grand Victorian door and staircase, used on ceremonial occasions.[50] The east stained glass window is Victorian, and the oriel window to the north side of it was built by Henry VIIIfor Catherine of Aragon.[51] The vault in front of the altar houses the remains of Henry VIII, Jane Seymourand Charles I, ACER Aspire 4733 CPU Fan

with Edward IV buried nearby.[52] The chapel is considered by historian John Robinson to be "one of the supreme achievements of English Perpendicular Gothic" design.

At the east end of St George's Chapel is the Lady Chapel, originally built byHenry III in the 13th century and converted into the Albert Memorial Chapel between 1863–73 by George Gilbert Scott.[50] ACER Aspire 3003LCi CPU Fan

Built to commemorate the life of Prince Albert, the ornate chapel features lavish decoration and works in marble, glass mosaic and bronze by Henri de Triqueti, Susan Durant, Alfred Gilbert and Antonio Salviati.[50] The east door of the chapel, covered in ornamental ironwork, is the original door from 1246.[53] HP Pavilion dv7-6187cl CPU Fan

At the west end of the Lower Ward is the Horseshoe Cloister, originally built in 1480, near to the chapel to house its clergy. It houses the vicars-choral, or lay clerks of the chapel.[54] This curved brick and timber building is said to have been designed to resemble the shape of a fetlock, one of the badges used by Edward IV. APPLE MG62090V1-Q020-S99 CPU Fan

George Gilbert Scott heavily restored the building in 1871 and little of the original structure remains.[54] Other ranges originally built by Edward III sit alongside the Horseshoe, featuring stone perpendicular tracery.[55] As of 2011, they are used as offices, a library and as the houses for the Dean and Canons.[55] APPLE 15" Macbook Pro Unibody CPU Fan

Behind the Horseshoe Cloister is the Curfew Tower, one of the oldest surviving parts of the Lower Ward and dating from the 13th century.[50] The interior of the tower contains a former dungeon, and the remnants of a sally port, a secret exit for the occupants in a time of siege.[56] Gateway 6020GZ CPU Fan

The upper storey contains the castle bells placed there in 1478, and the castle clock of 1689. The French-style conical roof is a 19th-century attempt by Anthony Salvin to remodel the tower in the fashion of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc's recreation of Carcassonne.[57] Toshiba Satellite Pro M30-891 CPU Fan

On the opposite side of the chapel is a range of buildings including the lodgings of the Military Knights, and the residence of the Governor of the Military Knights.[58] These buildings originate from the 16th century and are still used by the Knights, who represent the Order of the Garter each Sunday.[59] Toshiba Satellite Pro M30-782 CPU Fan

On the south side of the Ward is King Henry VIII's gateway, which bears the coat of arms of Catherine of Aragon and forms the secondary entrance to the castle.

Windsor Castle's position on top of steep ground has meant that the castle's gardens are limited in scale.[60] HP Pavilion dv5-1050eo CPU Fan

The castle gardens stretch east from the Upper Ward across a 20th-century terrace.[61] Windsor Castle is surrounded by extensive parkland. The immediate area stretching to the east of the castle is a 19th-century creation known as the Home Park.[62] SONY VGN-SZ220 CPU Fan

The Home Park includes parkland and two working farms, along with many estate cottages mainly occupied by employees and the Frogmore estate. The Long Walk, a double lined avenue of trees, runs for 3 miles (5 km) south of the castle, and is 240 ft (75 m) wide.[63] The original 17th-century elms were replaced with alternating chestnut and plane trees. Dell Studio XPS 1645 CPU Fan

The impact of Dutch elm disease led to large-scale replanting after 1945.[64]

The Home Park adjoins the northern edge of the more extensive Windsor Great Park, occupying some 4,800 acres (1,900 ha) and including some of the oldestbroadleaved woodlands in Europe.[65] ACER eMachines 7230 CPU Fan

In the Home Park, to the north of the castle, stands a private school, St George's, which provides choristers to the chapel.Eton College is located within about half a mile of the castle, across the River Thames.

Windsor Castle was originally built by William the Conqueror in the decade after the Norman conquest of 1066.[66] DELL Latitude E4300 CPU Fan

William established a defensive ring of motte and bailey castles around London; each was a day's march – about 20 miles (32 km) – from the city and from the next castle, allowing for easy reinforcements in a crisis.[66] Windsor Castle, one of this ring of fortifications, was strategically important because of its proximity to both the River Thames, SONY Vaio VGN-A29LP CPU Fan

a key medieval route into London, and Windsor Forest, a royal hunting preserve previously used by the Saxon kings.[67] The nearby settlement of Clivore, or Clewer, was an old Saxonresidence. The initial wooden castle consisted of a keep on the top of a man-made motte, or mound, HP Pavilion dv7t-6100 CTO CPU Fan

protected by a small bailey wall, occupying a chalk inlier, or bluff, rising 100 ft (30 m) above the river.[68] A second wooden bailey was constructed to the east of the keep, forming the later Upper Ward.[69] By the end of the century, another bailey had been constructed to the west, creating the basic shape of the modern castle.[ HP Pavilion dv7-3163cl CPU Fan

In design, Windsor most closely resembled Arundel Castle, another powerful early Norman fortification, but the double bailey design was also found at Rockingham and Alnwick Castle.[71]

Windsor was not initially used as a royal residence; HP Pavilion dv7-4140ed CPU Fan

the early Norman kings preferred to use the former palace of Edward the Confessor in the village of Old Windsor.[72] The first king to use Windsor Castle as a residence was Henry I, who celebratedWhitsuntide at the castle in 1110 during a period of heightened insecurity.[73] Compaq Presario CQ60-155ep CPU Fan

Henry's marriage to Adela, the daughter of Godfrey of Louvain, took place in the castle in 1121. During this period the keep suffered a substantial collapse – archaeological evidence shows that the southern side of the motte subsided by over 6 ft (2 m).[74] HP Mini 110-3000sd CPU Fan

Timber piles were driven in to support the motte and the old wooden keep was replaced with a new stone shell keep, with a probable gateway to the north-east and a new stone well.[75] Achemise, or low protective wall, was subsequently added to the keep.[75] Compaq Presario CQ60-155ep CPU Fan

Henry II came to the throne in 1154 and built extensively at Windsor between 1165 and 1179.[69] Henry replaced the wooden palisade surrounding the upper ward with a stone wall interspersed with square towers and built the first King's Gate.[69] The first stone keep was suffering from subsidence, SONY Vaio VPC-EA46FM/B CPU Fan

and cracks were beginning to appear in the stonework of the south side.[75] Henry replaced the keep with another stone shell keep and chemise wall, but moved the walls in from the edge of the motte to relieve the pressure on the mound, and added massive foundations along the south side to provide additional support.[75] Toshiba Satellite L500-1XL CPU Fan

Inside the castle Henry remodelled the royal accommodation.[69] Bagshot Heath stone was used for most of the work, and stone from Bedfordshire for the internal buildings.

King John undertook some building works at Windsor, but primarily to the accommodation rather than the defences.[77] HP Mini 110-3000sd CPU Fan

The castle played a role during the revolt of the English barons: the castle was besieged in 1214, and John used the castle as his base during the negotiations before the signing of the Magna Carta at nearby Runnymede in 1215.[77] In 1216 the castle was besieged again by baronial and French troops under the command of the Count of Nevers, but John's constable, Engelard de Cigogné, successfully defended it.[77] HP Pavilion dv7-3162nr CPU Fan

The damage done to the castle during the second siege was immediately repaired in 1216 and 1221 by Cigogne on behalf of John's successor Henry III, who further strengthened the defences.[78] The walls of the Lower Ward were rebuilt in stone, complete with a gatehouse in the location of the future Henry VIII Gate, between 1224 and 1230.[69] HP 480481-001 CPU Fan

Three new towers, the Curfew, Garter and the Salisbury towers, were constructed.[77] The Middle Ward was heavily reinforced with a southern stone wall, protected by the new Edward III and Henry III towers at each end.[69]

Windsor Castle was one of Henry's three favourite residences and he invested heavily in the royal accommodation, HP 622029-001 CPU Fan

spending more money at Windsor than in any other of his properties.[79][nb 6] Following his marriage to Eleanor of Provence, Henry built a luxurious palace in 1240–63, based around a court along the north side of the Upper Ward.[80] This was intended primarily for the queen and Henry's children.[69] Toshiba Satellite L555-12P CPU Fan

In the Lower Ward, the king ordered the construction of a range of buildings for his own use along the south wall, including a 70 ft (21 m) long chapel, later called the Lady Chapel.[81] This was the grandest of the numerous chapels built for his own use, and comparable to the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris in size and quality.[82] HP GB0507PGV1-A CPU Fan

Henry repaired the Great Hall that lay along the north side of the Lower Ward, and enlarged it with a new kitchen and built a covered walkway between the Hall and the kitchen.[81] Henry's work was characterised by the religious overtones of the rich decorations, which formed "one of the high-water marks of English medieval art".[83] HP Pavilion dv7-1135nr CPU Fan

The conversion cost more than £10,000.[78] The result was to create a division in the castle between a more private Upper Ward and a Lower Ward devoted to the public face of the monarchy.[53] Little further building was carried out at the castle during the 13th century; the Great Hall in the Lower Ward was destroyed by fire in 1296, but it was not rebuilt. Dell Latitude E6510 CPU Fan

Edward III was born at Windsor Castle and used it extensively throughout his reign.[84] In 1344 the king announced the foundation of the new Order of the Round Table at the castle.[3] Edward began to construct a new building in the castle to host this order, but it was never finished.[3] HP Pavilion dv5-2132dx CPU Fan

Chroniclers described it as a round building, 200 ft (61 m) across, and it was probably in the centre of the Upper Ward.[85] Shortly afterwards, Edward abandoned the new order for reasons that remain unclear, and instead established the Order of the Garter, again with Windsor Castle as its headquarters, Compaq Presario CQ60-307ea CPU Fan

complete with the attendant Poor Knights of Windsor.[3] As part of this process Edward decided to rebuild Windsor Castle, in particular Henry III's palace, in an attempt to construct a castle that would be symbolic of royal power and chivalry.[86] Edward was influenced both by the military successes of his grandfather, HP Pavilion dv6-2010sa CPU Fan

Edward I, and by the decline of royal authority under his father, Edward II, and aimed to produce an innovative, "self-consciously aesthetic, muscled, martial architecture".[87]

Edward placed William of Wykeham in overall charge of the rebuilding and design of the new castle and whilst work was ongoing Edward stayed in temporary accommodation in the Round Tower.[ Toshiba Satellite A40-702 CPU Fan

Between 1350 and 1377 Edward spent £51,000 on renovating Windsor Castle; this was the largest amount spent by any English medieval monarch on a single building operation, and over one and a half times Edward's typical annual income of £30,000.[SONY Vaio VGN-AR21B CPU Fan

Some of the costs of the castle were paid from the results of ransoms following Edward's victories at the battles of Crécy, Calais and Poitiers.[84] Windsor Castle was already a substantial building before Edward began expanding it, making the investment all the more impressive, and much of the expenditure was lavished on rich furnishings.[89] SONY Vaio VPC-EB3E1E/PI CPU Fan

The castle was "the most expensive secular building project of the entire Middle Ages in England".[3]

Edward's new palace consisted of three courts along the north side of the Upper Ward, called Little Cloister, King's Cloister and the Kitchen Court.[90] SONY Vaio VPC-EB3E1E/WI CPU Fan

At the front of the palace lay the St George's Hall range, which combined a new hall and a new chapel. This range had two symmetrical gatehouses, the Spicerie Gatehouse and the Kitchen Gatehouse. The Spicerie Gatehouse was the main entrance into the palace, whilst the Kitchen Gatehouse simply led into the kitchen courtyard.[91] SONY Vaio VGN-FS660/W CPU Fan

The great hall had numerous large windows looking out across the ward.[92] The range had an unusual, unified roof-line and, with a taller roof than the rest of the palace, would have been highly distinctive.[93] The Rose Tower, designed for the king's private use, set off the west corner of the range.[90] HP Pavilion G61-631NR CPU Fan

The result was a "great and apparently architecturally unified palace ... uniform in all sorts of ways, as to roof line, window heights, cornice line, floor and ceiling heights".[94] With the exception of the Hall, Chapel and the Great Chamber, the new interiors all shared a similar height and width.[ HP Pavilion dv6560el CPU Fan

The defensive features, however, were primarily for show, possibly to provide a backdrop for jousting between the two halves of the Order of the Garter.

Edward built further luxurious, self-contained lodgings for his court around the east and south edges of the Upper Ward, creating the modern shape of the quadrangle.[6] HP Pavilion dv6-2128ca CPU Fan

The Norman gate was built to secure the west entrance to the Ward.[84] In the Lower Ward, the chapel was enlarged and remodelled with grand buildings for the canons built alongside.[84] The earliest weight-driven mechanical clock in England was installed by Edward III in the Round Tower in 1354.[96] HP Pavilion dv7-3004el CPU Fan

William of Wykeham went on to build New College, Oxford and Winchester College, where the influence of Windsor Castle can easily be seen.[84]

The new castle was used to hold French prisoners taken in at Poitiers in 1357, including John II, who was held for a considerable ransom.[97] HP Pavilion dv7-4050ev CPU Fan

 Later in the century, the castle also found favour with Richard II. Richard conducted restoration work on St George's Chapel, the work being carried out by Geoffrey Chaucer, who served as a diplomat and Clerk of The King's Works.

Windsor Castle continued to be favoured by monarchs in the 15th century, despite England beginning to slip into increasing political violence.[98] HP G42-367TU CPU Fan

Henry IV seized the castle during his coup in 1399, although failing to catch Richard II, who had escaped to London.[98] Under Henry V, the castle hosted a visit from the Holy Roman Emperor in 1417, a massive diplomatic event that stretched the accommodation of the castle to its limits.[99] HP Pavilion dv5-1172el CPU Fan

By the middle of the 15th century England was increasingly divided between the rival royal factions of the Lancastrians and the Yorkists. Castles such as Windsor did not play a decisive role during the resulting Wars of the Roses (1455–85), which were fought primarily in the form of pitched battles between the rival factions.[ Toshiba Satellite A105-S4084 CPU Fan

Henry VI, born at Windsor Castle and known as Henry of Windsor, became king at the young age of nine months.[101] His long period of minority, coupled with the increasing tensions between Henry's Lancastrian supporters and the Yorkists, distracted attention from Windsor.[102] HP Pavilion dv4-1038tx CPU Fan

The Garter Feasts and other ceremonial activities at the castle became more infrequent and less well attended.Edward IV seized power in 1461. When Edward captured Henry's wife, Margaret of Anjou, she was brought back to be detained at the castle.[103] Edward began to revive the Order of the Garter, and held a particularly lavish feast in 1472.[104] HP Pavilion dv7-3060sb CPU Fan

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