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Information about Windsor Castle
Queen Victoria statue

Windsor Castle history

The original construction, a motte and bailey (an artificial hill with with a fenced area at the top), was built for William the Conqueror around the year 1080. Originally part of a ring of defences around London, Windsor Castle gradually became a popular Royal residence because of the good hunting in the nearby forest. The Round Tower, along with the original outer wall, was erected for King Henry II.

Further improvements and enlargements took place over the centuries until the magnificent castle we see today finally emerged in 1830. A favourite of Queen Victoria, the castle survived for most of the last century with few changes.

The fire

20 November 1992 was a black day for Windsor Castle. A fire, started it is thought by a workman's spotlight, caught hold in the Private Chapel. Quickly spreading above the wooden ceiling panelling, the fire raged out of control for hours and gutted many rooms. The smoke and flames were visible for miles around. Flames could be seen shooting out from the roof of one of the towers, almost making it look like a huge firework.

Windsor castle is now fully reopened to the visitor after the painstaking restoration at a cost of almost £40 million. The damaged rooms were restored to their original state. The gutted areas were rebuilt to new designs in keeping with the old.

 

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