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Heath's Picturesque Annual for 1840

Windsor Castle and its Environs

by Leitch Ritchie, Esq.

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Please scroll down for over 140 stories and articles about Windsor's past

Additional comment together with pictures of Windsor in the past are included on the RWWS Discussion Area HERE

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School Memories School sign

A series of articles prepared from the Royal Windsor Website Forum posts featuring memories of our readers' days at Windsor schools. These have been edited together to provide a fascinating insight into life at the school from as early as the 1930s.

School Memories

A Coach Trip from London to Windsor in 1874   A colourful description of a horse-drawn coach journey from London to Windsor in the spring of 1874.
The Blythes of Windsor in Victorian Times   A descendant of the family who lived in Thames Street, in the houses demolished in the 1850s, recounts some family history
A History of Windsor's Water Supply   An article by Gordon Cullingham, the last Borough Engineer of Windsor.
Peascod Street and its Courts and Alleys in the Victorian Censuses Peascod St thumbnail

A comprehensive list of residents in Peascod Street as researched by Jane Lindsay from the 1851 - 1901 Censuses.

The Royal Windsor Forum Index to the Peascod Street Census Research Results

Bier Lane Occupations in
Victorian Times
 Bier Lane thumbnail

Occupations in Victorian times in the slum area known as Bier Lane and subsequently demolished to make way for River Street Car Park. Jane Lindsay's detailed research of the censuses from 1851-1901.

See also

The Royal Windsor Forum thread about River Street, Bier Lane and nearby

Windsor 'Salute The Soldier' May 1944  

During WWII many events took place around the country to raise money for the 'war effort'. Windsor was no exception. In 1944 the borough organised 'Salute The Soldier Week'.

Windsor 'Salute The Soldier' May 1944

The Labour Party Publications of
1945 and 1946

'Your Windsor' 1945


Your Windsor Takes Shape 1946

It is 1945, just after the end of the war, The Labour Party have defeated Churchill in the national elections, and the local Windsor Labour Party have their eyes set on winning the local elections too! What plans do they have for the town? With the benefit of hindsight what came true and what are we still waiting for?
See 'Your Windsor' 1945 and 'Your Windsor Takes Shape' 1946
Clewer War Dead

Stephen Goddard
A listing of Clewer's War Dead from both World Wars. An ongoing project for which contributions, corrections and updates are always welcome.
Wartime Windsor
ARP Activity
ARP Contemporary notes of incidents as the ARP rescue parties were sent out to see what they could do.
A History of Windsor Pubs   This history is a major task for Windsor once had more pubs than any other town in the UK. We are grateful to the author for making available the results of his very hard work. There remains many pictures to add, and no doubt much additional material, but here is a great start with, as far as we can tell, every pub and its location noted. A History of Windsor Pubs
Samuel Wilkinson's Diary - Coronation Day 1902   A delightful description by local resident Samuel Wilkinson of the festivities in Windsor as the Coronation of Edward VII took place in London. Article here
The Brown Bus Service

Imperial Bus
The Brown Bus Service was operated by A. Moore Ltd and was also known as the Imperial Bus Service in the 1950s and 1960s. Pictures here
1911 - The First Aircraft to Land at Windsor Castle. Picture and story here On February 1st 1911, Tommy Sopwith landed the first aircraft ever to fly over Windsor Castle on the lawns by the East Terrace. He was welcomed by King George V. Picture and story here
Windsor in the Last Century by A T Barber   A transcription of a small book published in 1897 with stories of Windsor from a century before. Barber's Windsor Stories
The War Memorial Swimming Baths
The Opening in 1963

swimming pool
For many years Alderman Francis Burton had campaigned for a swimming pool in Windsor as the river was considered a health hazard. He eventually laid the Foundation Stone of the War Memorial Baths when Mayor in 1962 and was present at the opening ceremony in 1963. Pictures of the Opening Ceremony and background
A Youngster's Tales of the Thames   Chris Evans remembers his days working on the excursion boats from Windsor promenade in the early 1960s including The 'Empress of India' and 'Windsor Castle'. Chris Evans Story
Windsorian Coaches

School day memories of days out, school trips and holidays on these old Windsorian Coaches.
The Opening of The Royal Albert Institute, 1880. Story and pictures

Now lost to Windsor, The Royal Albert Institute was built in memory of the late Prince Consort, Prince Albert, and opened in January 1880.

Story and pictures

Windsor was once an 'Underground' station!!!

Windsor Central

Windsor was once an 'Underground' station on the line from Ealing Broadway via Slough


Trinity Church - The Laying of the Foundation Stone


A contemporary report of the laying of the foundation stone for Trinity Church by Prince Albert. April 4th 1842.

Foundation Stone

Ships named Windsor Castle

HMS Windsor Castle
A ongoing series featuring ships named Windsor Castle. Including HMS Windsor Castle (1852) which when launched was the largest ship afloat. She was renamed HMS Duke of Wellington in his honour upon his death. Also, RMS Windsor Castle (1922 Union Castle Line) and the wrecking of The Windsor Castle paddle steamer in 1844. Ships named Windsor Castle
Great Western Railway's Plans for a Windsor to Ascot extension 1872 GWR land to west

The area to the west of Windsor could have looked very different if GWR plans to link Windsor and Ascot by rail had gone ahead. In this story we feature GWR's map of the land purchased for the line's construction.

Windsor to Ascot railway

The Two Railways of Windsor  GWR Train on trestle viaduct A preliminary article featuring both old and new illustrations and photographs of Windsor's two railways. A fuller history of the two lines will be featured here when researched.
Windsor Views from Carry on Cabby 1963 Carry On Cabby Arthur Road

Continuing the theme of 'Windsor in Old Films' here is another selection. These images come from Carry on Cabby filmed in 1963. Location pictures

The first in the series, 'On the Beat' is here

The Oldest Photograph of Windsor? Oldest photo?

There is no doubt that this is an old photo as it features the earlier roofline of the Curfew Tower.

Pictures and quotes

Gustav Hamel Loops the Loop Loop the loop small At George V's request, Gustav Hamel visited Windsor and 'looped the loop' fourteen times for the king. Pictures and quotes
Charles Street, market place, car park and now busy road Charles Street Charles Street, market place, car park and now busy road. Ashley Booth has kindly provided pictures of Charles Street under construction. We would like to hear from anyone who has the precise date of this redevelopment.
    In May 2007, we have added a photograph of the market 'in action' from 1973. Charles Street
Gazeteer Entry for Windsor in 1791 The General Gazeteer or 'Compendious Geographical Dictionary in the Known World'. Windsor's entry from 1791.
Roman Remains found in Old Windsor, 1865   A report from the Illustrated London News dated January 6th 1866 following the discovery of two small tombs. Story and Picture
1. St. Stephens Primary School Vansittart Road - Rosie's article 2. St. Stephens Primary School Vansittart Road - Carole's article This feature now comprises two articles. The first was provided by Rosie Burnett, nee Kyte, who now lives in Australia. Rosie left Windsor in 1973. The second was provided by Carole Freeman, nee Miles, who now lives in Canada. (Also featured in Reminiscences of Windsor People section)
Windsor Safari Park
+ link to a third party website
An introduction to a website about Windsor Safari Park with notes about its owners, Billy Smart's Circus. (Not administered by Thamesweb)
The Curfew Tower Belfry Old Curfew Tower In 1863 the old belfry on top of the Curfew Tower was covered by the roof line we know today. Featuring three very early, exceedingly rare, photographs of the earlier belfry as well as Victorian images of 'work in progress'. Story and pictures of Curfew Tower.
Annual Report, Windsor Fire Brigade, 1929   Many famous Windsorians feature in this report, either as fireman or as donors to their funds. Story
"On The Beat" Norman Wisdom film from 1962. Location pictures On The Beat Windsor has often been used as a location for filming, most famously perhaps in a Norman Wisdom film 'On The Beat' from 1962 where Norman is pursued by a vast army of policemen. Those areas that appear in the film are photographed again in May 2003. Location pictures. See also Carry on Cabby 1963
The First Aerial Post 1911  Airmail 1911 The first flights to and from Windsor and Hendon carrying mail in September 1911. Story from the local paper
Ward Royal and Oxford Road Oxford St

Beauty or Beast? Opinions differ about the major 1969 housing development opened by the Queen near the centre of Windsor on June 23rd 1969. Also includes pictures and details of the shops in the lost section of Oxford Road.

Ward Royal and Oxford Road

Businesses in Oxford Road 1950 - 1965

 Oxford St
A 'side-by-side' list of shops in a popular part of Windsor after the war. Most were lost when Ward Ropyal was built in 1968-1969. Businesses in Oxford Road 1950 - 1965
The Royal Windsor Tapestry Manufactoy Tapestry For just 14 years a Tapestry Manufactory existed in Old Windsor from 1876 - 1890. Here you will find a brief history... The Royal Windsor Tapestry Manufactoy
Raising the Flag The Union Flag The Windsor Castle flag staff mystery plus information about the Union flag and flying the flag at 'half mast'.
Windsor's Saluting Cannons  Cannon The Royal Borough has fired Salutes in Windsor since 1754! History plus pictures of Salute for Queen Elizabeth's 76th Birthday in 2002.
Christmas Trees at Windsor   A brief history of the earliest known Christmas trees at Windsor, in 1800, Prince Albert's influence and the Christmas Tree on Castle Hill with the annual Carol Concert.
Coat of Arms of The Royal Borough of New Windsor, 1566   A description of The Coat of Arms of The Royal Borough of New Windsor, dating from 1566.
Shopping in Windsor 1969   The cost of living in Windsor compared to Stonehouse, Gloucestershire. Two bills from Christmas 1969 featuring fruit and vegetables.
A Peep Behind the Ivy   The Old Burial Ground at Bachelors Acre and pictures of Charles Knight Gateway.
The Windsor Martyrs Extract Engraving  Robert Testwood, Henry Filmer, Anthony Pierson, John Marbeck and Robert Bennett. Indicted for heresy in Henry VIII's reign.
The Fascination of Directories   A short essay about the Directories of Windsor in Victorian Times and before and where to find them.
Vansittart Road Recreation Ground, 1989   The Borough Council tried to sell off Vansittart Rec in 1989. Read why the protesters were so up in arms, and how the battle was won.
The Civic Trust Scheme, May 1961   The story of the major repainting of Windsor High Street in May 1961 plus down comes the Castle wall!
Bachelor's Acre 'Female' Tank 1920-1940   For around twenty years from 1920 to 1940 a World War I tank was on display at Bachelor's Acre. Photos and story.
The Butlers Store Fire of 1964   Part of a series covering Fires and Floods in Windsor past

Severe Weather

The Floods of 1947   The worst floods of the century in Windsor, caused by a long cold winter and sudden thaw - what was it like?
The Floods of Victorian Times   Flooding in Victorian times was a common event. In this story we feature a coloured view of Windsor during the floods of November 1875 from The Illustrated London News, plus other flood reports from 1869, 1873, 1877, 1891 and 1894.
The Great Freeze of 1963   An extended period of cold weather froze the river Thames - boys played hockey and rode their bikes on the ice, Windsorians strolled across the Thames and BBC TV showed a car on the frozen river at Oxford! Do you have pictures we could use please??

Historical Reference, Places, Descriptions and Events

A Brief History of Windsor   This article provides an overview of Windsor's earlier history.
Oakley Court   Oakley Court was originally built in 1859 for Sir Richard Hall-Say and subsequently became famous as St Trinians, also featuring in the 'Hammer' horror films.
The Imperial Service College An illustrated history of this important Windsor School from the 1840 to 1940s.
The demolition of St Marks and Imperial Service College buildings, Alma Road   The original St Marks School buildings from the 1870s, and the Goodhart Gates of 1926 in Alma Road were demolished to make way for the new police station, court house and other buildings in the 1970s. Pictures.
Kipling Memorial Building in pictures   This article features various views before demolition in 1981, Kipling Memorial Building
A Description of Windsor Castle in 1870 Castle logo 1870 A fascinating description of Windsor Castle and the surrounding area from 'Picturesque Europe' 1870. Includes history, wood cut engravings and a view from the top of the Round Tower!
911, the Terrorist Attacks in the USA   Midday, Friday, 14th September 2001. Flags at half mast in Windsor and the town stops for a three minute silence, three days after the attack on the World Trade Centre, New York, September 11th 2001. Pictures and descriptions
Series - Windsor Then and Now Index A growing series of photographs, postcard views and other illustrations of Windsor in the past, often with modern views alongside where possible to illustrate the changes that have taken place in the town. Index here
The Home Park The ghostly image of The Maestricht Garden, c.1712. becomes visible during the dry weather of August 1964, plus the new road and railway of Victorian times. Site of the Horse Show and flooding in Jan 2003
Alexandra Gardens - The Early Days   Photographs of The Goswells and Alexandra Gardens, some over 100 years old, including the area before the garden's creation and the gun on display there in the 1930s.
The Promenade at Barry Avenue
Early 1900s Promenade Panorama
  The famous Windsor Riverside was originally created in the late 1890s. Barry Avenue running alongside was named after Windsor's local MP. Story and pictures from 1890s to 2002, See also Early 1900s Panorama, a large format image of the first promenade.
Taking Liberties with Post Cards       The camera never lies, except when an artist decides a postcard would look better with bull rushes! Compare postcards!
Sir Christopher Wren's House, Windsor Bridge winbge_riverholme The famous landmark by Windsor Bridge with an illustrious history.
Windsor Town Hall (The Guildhall)   Windsor's Town Hall (The Guildhall).
An illustrated history.

The Windsor Guide

1 The Town of Windsor

2 The Castle - Building
and Improvements

3 The Castle - Upper Ward

4 The Castle - RoundTower

5 The Castle - Lower Ward and Apartments

6 St George's Chapel
Part 1    Part 2    Part 3

7 The College of St George

8 The Lodges, Parks and Forest

The Most Noble Order of The Garter and the Associated Ceremony

  A fascinating history of Windsor taken from Charles Knight's Guide to Windsor, published in the early 1800s.
  Here we have prepared in a modern format texts originally researched, written and printed almost 200 years ago.
  Much has happened to Windsor Castle in the intervening period, not least the major changes undertaken in the 19th century, and even more recently, following the Great Fire of 1992. This series of articles covers the period prior to these changes.
  As time permits, this substantial base of information will be expanded, illustrated and augmented. We would welcome your comments and contributions towards this major project.
  We hope that our efforts are enjoyed. Do please write to us if you have any ideas on how we can improve this reference area,

A History of Windsor Town Bridge   Built 1824 and still going strong... albeit only for pedestrians and bikes and now restored for the Queen's Jubilee
A History of The Bridges Downstream  

A flurry of bridge construction in Victorian times followed by rebuilds - and a second flurry in the 1960s.

Includes information about the GWR and Southern Railway Bridges

Frogmore House and Mausoleum   The last resting place of Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert. Pictures and description.

Royalty, Royal Events and Memorials

State Visits to Windsor   Windsor and London alternate in hosting State Visits where an honoured guest from overseas processes to the castle upon their arrival in the company of the monarch.
Golden Jubilee Events 2002

Ox Roast

Presentation of the Queen's new Bentley Limousine

Street Parties

High Street Parade

Beacon on Snow Hill

Rolls Royces and Bentleys in Long Walk

Horse Show - 'All The Queen's

Many events took place in Windsor throughout 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee. Find out more here. Main stories are lnked direct.
The Kings and Queens of England   Forgotten the dates of English Kings and Queens? Try here! Also a summary of what additions and changes each made at Windsor Castle.
The George V Memorial, Thames Street  George V Memorial The unveiling in April 1937 by King George VI, at junction of Thames St and Datchet Road and related photographs and background.
The Royal Pageant of the Horse, 1997   The celebration of the Queen's 50th Wedding Anniversary that the rain put paid to!
Queen Victoria's Statue, 1897 Queen Victoria Statue In 1897 Queen Victoria's Statue on Castle Hill was given a canopy for the duration of the celebrations of Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.

Royal Funerals and Proclamations

The Funeral of Queen Victoria   Photographs of the processions and letter describing how the Royal Navy came to haul the gun carriage on foot.
Frogmore House and Mausoleum   The last resting place of Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert. Pictures and description.
The Funeral of Edward VII   Funeral procession 1910.
Accession of George V   Photo 11th May 1910. Mayor, Cllr. C F Dyson and Aldermen proclaim the accession of George V plus two views of the State Entry into Windsor on July 1st 1911.
The Funeral of King George V   George V, 1936, Photographs at St George's Chapel
The Funeral of King George VI   George VI, 1952, The Order of Service complete plus local photographs
Proclamation of Queen Elizabeth II   Mayor, Cllr. Tozer and Aldermen proclaim the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on Castle Hill. Includes photos and Proclamation text. February 1952.
Princess Margaret Rose, Countess of Snowdon 1930 - 2002   Princess Margaret Rose spent much of her childhood here at Windsor with her older sister, Elizabeth, and their parents, George VI and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother 1900-2002 Articles following the death of The Queen Mother

Reminiscences of Windsor People

'Guests From The West' A trip to pre-wall communist USSR Also see
School Memories
A student, D J Stone, later to become a Windsor Grammar School Master, makes a trip to Moscow in a 1939 bus. Guests From The West
 Hogg's General Stores 1930s  hogg stores  A local corner shop in the 1930s at the junction of Oxford Road and Alma Road with the shopkeeper standing in the doorway. Story and picture.
1. St. Stephens Primary School Vansittart Road - Rosie's article 2. St. Stephens Primary School Vansittart Road - Carole's article This feature now comprises two articles. The first was provided by Rosie Burnett, nee Kyte, who now lives in Australia. Rosie left Windsor in 1973. The second was provided by Carole Freeman, nee Miles, who now lives in Canada.
Windsor People   Dedicated area about Windsorians, famous and not so famous! This will take some time to grow so we need your help!!
See also Register of Voters 1881
The Home Guard In Windsor in World War II   Recollections of local historian, teacher and councillor, Ray South of Windsor's "Dad's Army"
Billy Wilkins - Flag pole bees waxer!   The man who waxed the castle flagpole!
The Windsor Martyrs   Robert Testwood, Henry Filmer, Anthony Pierson, John Marbeck and Robert Bennett. Indicted for heresy in Henry VIII's reign.
William de Braose and St Leonard's Hermitage   William de Braose, a character from the Middle Ages.
Excerpts - 'Passages of a Working Life'   By Charles Knight (Founder, Windsor Express). This excerpt describes a visit by George III to Windsor theatre.
Sir Walter Parratt Sir Walter Parratt, 1841-1924. Organist at St George's Chapel. Brief story and picture

Miscellany - Just for the fun of it!

Royal Windsor Hair Restorer - Advertising cards   Advertising cards featuring two very young French girls promoting the celebrated Royal Windsor Hair Restorer from around 1900. Story and pictures
Claude Grahame-White, aviator, fined for speeding A brief item from 1910 newspaper. Read story
Red Squirrels at Fulmer Plant Park The Squirrel breeding programme at the former Fulmer Plant Park which closed in 2003. Story

For more stories or information, try our SEARCH page

The Harcourts of
St Leonard's Hill
A Y Nutt,
Windsor Castle

The Convent of St John the Baptist

The Convent of St John the Baptist has now moved from Windsor but three books about the Convent remain available, written by Valerie Bonham
A Place in Life  A Joyous Service Sisters of the Raj

The Royal Windsor Home Page

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