Windsor Castle. An Historical Romance for the May 1843 issue of Ainsworth's Magazine. Book the Third: "The History of the Castle," Chapter V, "The Last Great Epoch in the History of Windsor Castle," facing p. 164: height 9.8 cm, width 17.9 cm (exclusive of key), vignetted. Running head: "The Castle of the Nineteenth cEntury." [Click on the image to enlarge it.], an aerial perspective of Windsor Castle as it would have looked to a reader visiting the castle during the novel's serial publication, bySandhurst Military Academy drawing-master W. Alfred Delamotte for the tenth instalment of
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But Wyatville’s alterations have not yet been fully considered. Pass through Saint George's Gateway, and enter the grand quadrangle to which it leads. Let your eye wander round it, beginning with the inner sides of Edward the Third's Tower and George the Fourth's Gateway, and proceeding to the beautiful private entrance to the sovereign's apartments, the grand range of windows of the eastern corridor, the proud towers of the gateway to the household, the tall pointed windows of Saint George's Hall, the state entrance tower, with its noble windows, until it finally rests upon the Stuart buildings and King John's Tower, at the angle of the pile.
Internally the alterations made by the architects have been of corresponding splendour and importance. Around the south and east sides of the court at which you are gazing, a spacious corridor has been constructed, five hundred and fifty feet in length, and connected with the different suites of apartments on these sides of the quadrangle; extensive alterations have been made in the domestic offices; the state apartments have been repaired and rearranged; Saint George's Hall has been enlarged by the addition of the private chapel (the only questionable change), and restored to the Gothic style; and the Waterloo Chamber built to contain George the Fourth's munificent gift to the nation of the splendid collection of portraits now occupying it.
"The first and most remarkable characteristic of operations of Sir Jeffry Wyatville on the exterior," observes Mr. Poynter, "is the judgment with which he has preserved the castle of Edward the Third. Some additions have been made to it, and with striking effect — as the Brunswick Tower, and the western tower of George the Fourth's Gate-way which so nobly terminates the approach from the great park. The more modern buildings on the north side have also been assimilated to the rest; but the architect has yielded to no temptation to substitute his own design for that of William of Wykeham, and no small difficulties have been combated and overcome for the sake of preserving the outline of the edifice, and maintaining the towers in their original position."
The Winchester Tower, originally inhabited by William of Wykeham, was bestowed upon Sir Jeffry Wyatville as a residence by George the Fourth; and, on the resignation of the distinguished architect, was continued to him for life by the present queen.
The works within the castle were continued during the reign of William the Fourth, and at its close the actual cost of the buildings had reached the sum of 771,000, pounds and it has been asserted that the general expenditure up to the present time has exceeded a million and a half of money.
The view from the summit of the Round Tower is beyond description magnificent, and commands twelve counties — namely, Middlesex, Essex, Hertford, Berks, Bucks, Oxford, Wilts, Hants, Surrey, Sussex, Kent, and Bedford; while on a clear day the dome of Saint Paul's may be distinguished from it. This tower was raised thirty-three feet by Sir Jeffry Wyatville, crowned with a machicolated battlement, and surmounted with a flag-tower.
The circumference of the castle is 4180 feet; the length from east to west, 1480 feet; and the area, exclusive of the terraces, about twelve acres. [Book the Third, "The History of the Castle," Chapter IV, "Containing the History of the Castle from the Reign of Charles the Second to that of George the Third — With a few Particulars concerning the Parks and the Forest," pp. 166-168]
Delamotte's Complementary Wood-engravings of the Area right of Centre
Left: The view of the modern additions of George IV, George the Fourth's Gateway, and York and Lancaster Towers, with Victoria Tower on the right (Book III, headpiece for Ch. V). Right: The Upper Quadrangle (Book III, Ch. IV). [Click on the images to enlarge them.]
Other Views and Related Material on Windsor Castle
- Windsor Castle from the Long Walk, Victorian additions and alterations by Sir Jeffry Wyattville
- Early twentieth-century view of the castle from the river
- The Frogmore Mausoleum, adjacent to the Long Walk
- Statue of Queen Victoria at the foot of Castle Hill, Windsor
Ainsworth, William Harrison. Windsor Castle. An Historical Romance. Illustrated by George Cruikshank and Tony Johannot. With designs on wood by W. Alfred Delamotte. London: Routledge, 1880. Based on the Henry Colburn edition of 1844.
Patten, Robert L. Chapter 30, "The 'Hoc' Goes Down." George Cruikshank's Life, Times, and Art, vol. 2: 1835-1878. Rutgers, NJ: Rutgers U. P., 1991; London: The Lutterworth Press, 1996. Pp. 153-186.
Worth, George J. William Harrison Ainsworth. New York: Twayne, 1972.
Last modified 5 January 2018