Posted by: nancycurteman | June 7, 2013

Windsor Castle: Scary?

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275px-Windsor_Noman_gate_01Over 900 years ago William the Conqueror chose a site, high above the river Thames on the edge of a Saxon hunting ground to build the great Windsor Castle. It became the home of generations of Royals and is still the weekend retreat of Queen Elizabeth II. In fact, Windsor is the largest occupied castle in the world—and it’s a good thing because word has it that this huge castle houses ghosts of past kings and queens. Yes, Windsor Castle is a bit scary.

The first famous Windsor ghost was King Henry VIII. Buried at Windsor Castle, King Henry has been heard moaning over his ulcerated leg as he limps through the Cloisters. One of his wives, Anne Boleyn, has actually been seen peering through the Cloister window.

If this sounds like a ghostly Tudor family affair, it is. King Henry’s daughter, Queen th-1Elizabeth I, hangs out at Windsor as well. She favors the Royal Library.

King Richard II had a favorite huntsman who actually saved him from being trampled by a stag. Herne the Hunter is often seen following his pack of hounds in the Castle’s Great Park. They say he has giant stag antlers protruding from his head.

Herne’s antlers is a good segue to another scary Windsor resident—the demonic horned being whose appearance brings misfortune to anyone who has the bad luck of coming upon him. He seems to prefer the garden to the castle.

Scary or not, Windsor Castle is an official residence of Queen Elizabeth. As a child, Elizabeth with her sister Margaret Rose lived safely at Windsor during World War II. These days Elizabeth stays at her Berkshire castle often.

windsorcastlecrimsonroomWindsor may be scary, but it is still worth a visit. You can tour the State Apartments (each reflects the tastes of the 39 monarchs who occupied them), the Great Kitchen, the lavishly decorated Semi-State Rooms and the beautiful gardens. A special highlight of your visit is Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, the largest and most famous dolls’ house in the world. Don’t miss St. George’s Gothic Chapel. It is the spiritual home of the Order of the Garter, the highest order of British Chivalry.

Be brave, Windsor may or may not be scary. Go and find out.

More Travel Tips

5 Memorable London Experiences
Blarney Stone, a Gift to Writers
Hampton Court Castle: A History of Mystery, Drama and Intrigue

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Responses

  1. I would definitely like a tour of Windsor Castle.

    On a sunny day.
    To keep the ghosts at bay. ;)

    • You mean you wouldn’t want to wander the castle late at night and say “Hi” to Henry and Elizabeth?

  2. Oh, why not. And, for good measure, let’s make it a “dark and stormy night” with NO electricity. Just flickering candlelight.

    BOO! :shock:

    • By golly, I think you have the beginning of a great thriller. In the flickering candlelight the butler’s sunken cheeks and disheveled hair gave him a macabre look.

  3. Windsor Castle’s position on top of steep ground has meant that the castle’s gardens are limited in scale.

  4. I enjoy these tails of history of our distant past.

    • I agree. My major in college was history.

  5. Nancy, like usual, I enjoyed this very much. I can’t help but wonder on Elizabeth’s reaction should she run into a visitor. I can feel the chills now. Even so I love the royals.

    • From what I’ve seen of Elizabeth II, she’d probably be very calm. Maybe even invite some of her royal ancestor for cup of tea.


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