Windsor (England)

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Windsor (wĬn´zər), town (1991 pop. 31,544), Windsor and Maidenhead, S central England, on the Thames River. There is some light industry and printing. The town is a popular tourist destination; the Danish toymaker Lego opened a Legoland amusement park there in 1996. In Elizabethan times about 70 inns enlivened Windsor. Christopher Wren designed the town hall, and Grinling Gibbons did much of the wood carving in the Church of St. John the Baptist.

The town's importance derives from Windsor Castle, the chief residence of English rulers since William I. The castle was improved and rebuilt by successive sovereigns. Henry II erected the Round Tower, and Edward IV began the construction of St. George's Chapel, one of the most splendid churches in England, where the Knights of the Garter are installed with medieval ceremony. In the chapel are buried several of England's kings. Some vaults are used to store art treasures, national archives, and museum collections.

The modern castle, which contains about 1,000 rooms and occupies 13 acres (5 hectares), consists of three "wards" —the upper, middle, and lower. In 1992 a fire in the upper ward destroyed or damaged more than 100 rooms; restoration was completed in 1997. The castle proper lies in the Home Park, and beyond it, separated by the tree-lined Long Walk, is the Great Park. In Frogmore, the royal mausoleum, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are buried. On the castle grounds is a large lake named Virginia Water.

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Windsor name (from the royal residence of Windsor Castle) of the British royal house from 1917, changed as a result of anti-German feeling; the previous name was Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. The title conferred on Edward VIII on his abdication in 1936 was Duke of Windsor.
Windsor Castle a royal residence at Windsor, founded by William the Conqueror on the site of an earlier fortress and extended by his successors, particularly Edward III. The castle was severely damaged by fire in 1992.

See also the Widow at Windsor at widow.

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Windsor town in Berkshire, place of residence of British Royal Family (W. Castle), designation of the family (House of W.); used attrib. in W. chair (XVIII), soap, uniform (XIX) (worn by the Royal Family).