The Tudor Roses

The Tudor Roses

The Rose Blog

Lady Rachel & her Mum's 3rd day of Tudor sight-seeing - Windsor Castle

Day 3 - 13/11/2012:


This morning Mute and I woke up feeling a little bit sore, and dishelved. The last two days of carrying heavy luggage had caught up with us, and we were feeling it in the legs, shoulders, and back! Despite the pain, we walked to the castle from the hotel with relative ease, and with me constantly asking Mute whether my calf muscles were more toned. She wasn't that impressed with my legs - wonder why? After a good ten minutes we reached our destination, Windsor Castle.


We were here to see one man and one woman in particular; perhaps you can guess who that might be...


Windsor Castle - One of Henry VIII's favourite residences


It was a good day to visit, because it was the birthday of Edward III, such a magnificent monarch, who created the Order of the Garter. After making our way slowly through security, and with the bottle of mead confiscated yet again (honestly, I'm beginning to think people don't like it!), we managed to catch on to the tail end of a tour being given by one of the guardsmen. Having been to Windsor Castle last year, we were quite familiar with where everything was located, but he revealed to us, secrets about Windsor we would not have known, or probably noticed. For instance if you look closely at the stonework, the slag holding it together has bits of flint within it, and historians and academics alike have all argued on why the castle was built that way. Also, the majority of the castle is built using local stone from Oxfordshire, which is able to self clean itself whenever it rains. Meaning the stone will always manage to look like the castle has recently been built.


Our tour was only of the outside of the castle unfortunately, but before the tour ended he showed us, as to where the Queens private apartments were, and the state entrance. Behind us lay something which held my interest a lot more, Queen Elizabeth I's addition to the castle. Whilst her additional building work is small, and thought to be a large set of bedrooms, the detail is exquisite. Below is a picture featuring her addition. Like her father before her, Windsor was a favourite residence of Elizabeth.


Elizabeth I's Addition - The difference in architecture and building work is clear.


After we had thanked the guide, we made our way to the state apartments - my second favourite place to visit within Windsor. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photos within the apartments, but a visit is well worth it. As you enter into the apartments, there is a staircase, and on either side of the staircase sits a horse, and knight, whose armour and saddles are quite breathtaking. Moving idly through the rooms with such a vast array of history from the reigns of many of England’s monarchs, we came into one of my favourite rooms: St Georges Hall.


In the picture above you can see the shields upon the ceiling.


Upon the roof of the hall lie 1001 shields, all of which have the arms of members from the Order of the Garter on. Some shields, however are white because they either have not been filled yet, or the arms have been removed due to them bringing shame to the Order. Along the walls lie lists of all the men who were installed into the Order within every monarchs reign. I was looking for one man in particular, one whom I am a great fan of. His poetry evokes much emotion. I am of course talking about Henry Howard, the Earl of Surrey. Henry was installed into the Order in 1541, but was later degraded in 1547 after his later failure in Boulougne, and once he was found to be planning the kidnap/control of Prince Edward (later Edward VI). 

Below is one of the works of Henry Howard, capturing some of his time at Windsor, when we was the companion of Henry Fitzroy, the bastard son of Henry VIII from his affair with mistress Bessie Blount.


WHEN Windsor walls sustain'd my wearied arm ;
My hand my chin, to ease my restless head ;
The pleasant plot revested green with warm ;
The blossom'd boughs, with lusty Ver1 y-spread ;
The flower'd meads, the wedded birds so late
Mine eyes discover ; and to my mind resort
The jolly woes, the hateless, short debate,
The rakehell 2 life, that 'longs to love's disport.
Wherewith, alas! the heavy charge of care
Heap'd in my breast breaks forth, against my will
In smoky sighs, that overcast the air.
My vapour'd eyes such dreary tears distil,
The tender spring which quicken where they fall ;
And I half bend to throw me down withal.


Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey


After our tour of the state apartments, Mute and I made our way to St Georges Chapel, the resting place of Henry VIII and Queen Jane Seymour. Stepping into the chapel the magnificence overwhelms you. The different colours of light from the stained windows dance throughout. On making our way through the chapel to see Henry and Jane, we stopped a minute to appreciate the beautiful boxed window, which belonged to Katherine of Aragon, so that she could see the services. I have included a picture below:


The box on the right was built by Henry VIII for his first wife Katherine of Aragon.


You can still see Katherine’s emblem within the carvings, I speak of course of the pomegranate. To the left of this photo, and down the centre of the aisle lies a marble slab atop of a vault, of which lies Henry VIII and Queen Jane Seymour. We paid our respects to them both.


'Of all losses, time is the most irrecouperable'

We lost more time through wandering within the chapel; we are most content when visiting such establishments. Once our visit to the chapel was complete, we headed out of the doors and out of the castle onto the street. We were now on the next part of our journey; we were now travelling to... Hever Castle.


I shall include details of our time and travels at Hever on Day 4- 14/11/2012.


Lady Rachel


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