A Proper Sense of Arrival: The Windsor Castle Restoration

 In Historic Buildings

The Royal Collection’s Trust has been overseeing the Future Programme, the restoration and refurbishment of Windsor Castle. The Queen’s favourite residence, the castle in Windsor, Berkshire, is going to host the wedding in May of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The work around the Royal Mews, the entrance for the royal family, should be ready for the wedding, which will be held in St. George’s Chapel.

The work on the castle will include several exciting changes for visitors, including the conversion of George IV’s Inner Hall to its previous glory as an entrance hall; in addition, visitors will be allowed to enter via the State Entrance, where Heads of State and Dignitaries traditionally come to be greeted by the Queen. With the new path for visitors through the State Entrance, visitors will be able to see the Long Walk, the two and a half mile, tree-lined walk first built by Charles II in 1680.

The fourteenth century undercroft is being rebuilt into a public café, where visitors can get tea and other refreshments. In addition, an education centre is being built for public use.

A previous restoration of St George’s Hall, which will host the wedding reception in May, occurred after the fire in 1992. At that time, a gothic ceiling replaced a previous renovation destroyed by the fire. The gothic style ceiling, a hammer-beam roof made of green oak, is the largest green oak structure built in England since the Middle Ages.

Several famous tables have been designed for Windsor. In 1343, Edward III began work on an enormous round table, believed to be 200 feet in diameter. It was to be set in the court of the upper Bailey, the only place large enough to hold such a table. There is no evidence regarding if the round table was ever finished. The current table for State Dinners is Mahogany, built in 1846, and is formed with 68 leaves. The table seats 160 people.

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