Windsor Castle, the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world, is one of the official residences of Her Majesty The Queen. The Castle’s dramatic site encapsulates 900 years of British history. It covers an area of 26 acres and contains, as well as a royal palace, a magnificent chapel and the homes and workplaces of a large number of people.
What there is to see:
The magnificent State Apartments are furnished with some of the finest works of art from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Canaletto, Gainsborough and the famous triple portrait of Charles I by Sir Anthony van Dyck. In 1992 fire destroyed or damaged more than 100 rooms at the Castle. By good fortune the rooms worst affected were empty at the time, and as a result, few of the Castle’s artistic treasures were destroyed. The highly acclaimed restoration work, completed in 1997, is a testament to the extraordinary skills of some of the finest craftsmen in Europe. From October to March visitors can also enjoy George IV’s private apartments (the Semi-State Rooms), among the most richly decorated interiors in the Castle.
St George’s Chapel is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in England. It is the spiritual home of the Order of the Garter, the senior order of British Chivalry established in 1348 by Edward III. Within the chapel are the tombs of ten sovereigns, including Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour, and Charles I. Among the highlights of a visit to Windsor is Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, the most famous dolls’ house in the world. The Drawings Gallery shows changing exhibitions of material from the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. The special display below is shown alongside a selection of treasures from the Royal Library.
The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace is a permanent space dedicated to changing exhibitions of items from the Royal Collection, the wide-ranging collection of art and treasures held in trust by The Queen for the Nation.
Tower Bridge Exhibition
Over 100 years ago, the Victorians built a bridge that has become one of London’s most famous landmarks. High level walkways were built to allow people to cross the Thames whilst the Bridge was lifted to let tall ships sail past – Tower Bridge
Today these Walkways act as viewing galleries, giving visitors the most spectacular views across an ever changing London skyline.
Walkways & Exhibition:
Visitors enter Tower Bridge Exhibition via the North Tower. They are then transported by lift to the top of the Tower (47 metres above the Thames) where they have a unique opportunity to see the Bridge’s steel skeleton from within. A short film explains the history and provenance of the Bridge and then there is the chance to admire the spectacular views – from both covered Walkways.
Together with far-reaching views of East London, the walkway will be bolstered with a further 20 revered bridges in the extended popular display, ‘Great Bridges of the World’.
On the east Walkway there are fantastic views of the Docklands and from the west Walkway you can see the new GLA building, the Tower of London, St Paul’s, the city, the Pool of London and Big Ben and the London Eye in the distance.
Interactive computerised kiosks and graphic panels explain the significance of the views to visitors, as well as providing more information on the history and building of the Bridge. The interactive material and graphic panels are written in seven languages and an audio loop for the hard of hearing is also in place for the video show. There is another film to view in the South Tower before descending for the short walk to the historical Engine Rooms, included in your ticket price.
Victorian Engine Rooms:
These provide a fascinating insight into late 19th century engineering. Installed for the completion of Tower Bridge in 1894, these huge, and beautifully maintained, coal-driven engines were used to power the thousands of bascule Bridge lifts performed until 1976. Although lifts are now operated by electricity, the original steam engines are still in place. The Engine Rooms give visitors a chance to experiment with models demonstrating the technology behind the Bridge. There are also some amazing photographs of Tower BridgeTthroughout its lifetime – including a revealing picture of the heavy steel structure of the Bridge as the stone cladding was installed over it.