Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and has a history dating back almost 1,000 years. It is an official residence of Queen Elizabeth II and has all the splendour and riches that is in keeping with, and expected of, a castle that is still regularly used by the Royal Family.
Windsor Castle was originally built to enforce Norman supremacy in the region to the west of London, and to protect a strategically significant part of the River Thames. It was first constructed as a motte and bailey with three sectors enclosing a central mound. Over time, these were replaced with stone fortifications. At the beginning of the 13th century, Windsor castle withstood a lengthy siege during the First Barons’ War. Both King Henry III and Edward III undertook extensive building projects to create one of the most magnificent English castles at a cost to match.
Edward’s central design survived through the Tudor period, during which both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I used of the castle as a royal court and centre for political entertainment.
Windsor Castle is noted for the ghostly visitations of many previous English Kings and Queens. The castle sits on an estate covering 13 acres. It is open to visitors throughout most of the year. However, because it is a residency of the Royal Family restrictions can apply and closures can happen without prior notice.
In 1992 Windsor Castle was badly damaged by fire and it was as a result of this that Buckingham Palace, the Monarch’s official residence in London, started opening to the public to help meet the £36 million repair bill.
Throughout the year a number of collections and exhibits are shown at specific times and visitors are advised to see the website before planning a trip.
Windsor Castle is one of the UK’s top tourist attractions and receives millions of visitors every year. As well as being open to visitors the castle offers ‘exclusive’ evenings, where guests can see ‘behind the scenes’ viewing state rooms and apartments introduced by expert tour guides. All tours are bookable through the Windsor Castle website.
Whilst, it is the official residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the castle is also reputed to be the residence of some ‘unofficial’ occupants.
With a history spanning a millennium, the walls of the castle lay witness to some events that are not all recorded in the history books and the troubled souls of many of those once imprisoned or living at the castle are still seen and heard in the corridors and rooms.
Some of the paranormal activity is from those who once served and worked in the castle throughout the centuries and therefore, they would be souls without names or identities. But as you would expect of such a regal and royal residence, some very famous people, it would seem, have refused to leave a place that in life had meaning to them.
Henry VIII is said to haunt the castle. In life it was the location where some of the most monumental events and decisions were played out during his reign. His body was laid to rest in St George’s Chapel with the request that his favourite wife Jane Seymour be reburied alongside him. Henry, it is said, wonders the halls and corridors angry and shouting.
Anne Boleyn is believed to haunt the Dean’s Cloister at Windsor Castle. As she was in life, unhappy and persecuted, so she is said to be in death. Her spirit is said to have been seen looking out of a window distressed and weeping.
The ghosts of Elizabeth I and King George III have also been reported as being seen at the castle.
Elizabeth’s haunting is said to be frequent during times of war. It is said that our present Queen’s father, King George VI, observed her ghost on eight consecutive nights during the early part of the Second World War.
King George III (1738-1820) is another sad resident. In later life he suffered from mental illness. During the time of King George III’s illness he was removed from public view and taken to Windsor Castle where he would remain ‘out of sight’ for many months at a time. Since Victorian times his spirit has been seen peering through windows and doors looking troubled and mournful.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Bridge Road, Chertsey
Surrey, England, KT16 8JX
+44 (0)1932 562 405
- Address: Thames Street, Windsor, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom, SL4 1NJ
- GPS: 51.4847858,-0.608024300000011
- Phone: 0044 (0)2077 667 304
- Part of UK: England
- Sat Nav Postcode: SL4 1NJ
- Entrance Fees: Charges Apply
- Disabled Access: Good
- Visibility from Road: Excellent
- Image Credits: Kanuman