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10 fascinating facts about Windsor

Just a meander upriver from The Runnymede on Thames, Windsor is full of history, royalty and quirky stories. Here are some of our favourite facts about Windsor.

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Old and New Windsor

The village of Old Windsor is the original location of the village of Windsor – three miles away from the modern-day Windsor. Old Windsor is where Edward the Confessor’s Palace was located in the 10th century. As the modern-day Windsor became built up, they were called New Windsor and Old Windsor to distinguish between the two.

A lost masterpiece

In 2016, an altarpiece designed by Thomas Hardy was discovered in All Saints Church in Windsor. Although Hardy is most famous for his novels such as Tess of the d’Urbervilles, he originally trained as an architect and designed a number of churches.

London Underground

Windsor’s train station – Windsor and Eton Central – used to mark the end of the District line of the London Underground. Operational between 1883 and 1885, it was possible to travel all the way to central London from here.

Britain’s shortest street

Queen Charlotte Street in Windsor has received the official accolade of being the shortest street in Britain. It’s recorded as being 51 feet and 10 inches long – just 15.8 metres.

Castle credentials

Windsor Castle – one of the residences of the royal family – is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. Occupied since the times of Henry I in the 10th century – that means it has been home to Britain’s kings and queens for almost 1,000 years. Forty monarchs have called the castle ‘home’ to date. It’s a big home at that – the castle’s grounds cover the equivalent area of 269 tennis courts!

Famous faces

As well as royalty, Windsor has been a popular place for the rich and famous to live. Former Windsor residents include actor Michael Caine, explorer Ranulph Fiennes, musician Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin, comedian Billy Connolly and singer Natalie Imbruglia.

Blue letterbox

Red letterboxes are a common sight in England, but Windsor is said to be home to the only blue letterbox in the country. Blue letterboxes were originally created especially for air mail, but they were quickly phased out since airmail could be just as easily sorted from red letterboxes!

Cheesy facts

Berkshire’s only native cheese is named after Windsor, and it’s an alcoholic affair too. ‘Red Windsor’ is a type of cheddar cheese and has either elderberry wine or port added to it.

Popular park

Windsor Great Park is a popular place for a walk in open greenery nowadays. You wouldn’t know it today, but in the past, the park has been used to supply Windsor Castle with boar and as a location for medieval jousts. A more recent claim to fame is that a photo of Windsor Great Park was used on the cover of Elton John’s album, A Single Man.

Castle times

Windsor Castle has an astounding 450 clocks. When the clocks have to be changed before and after British Summer Time twice a year, it takes the Queen’s clockmaker between 16 and 18 hours to adjust the time on all the castle’s clocks!

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