WINDSORCategory: Land + People
Windsor and the surrounding district is a delightful residential locality. Apart from the existence of the Castle itself and the pomp and ceremonial with which it is at times concerned, its attractions are many. An excellent service of trains enables London to be reached in about forty-five minutes; the Great Park and Forest stretching for miles are free to those who care to walk or ride; the Thames provides boating for the Summer months; opportunities for the education of the younger generations of both sexes abound; a large portion of the Home Park is set aside for the public recreation; several first-class golf courses are close at hand.
There are two Windsors — Old Windsor and New Windsor. The former is a village about two miles away from the town, and undoubtedly had an existence long before William the-Conqueror built his stronghold on the present site of the Castle. It had been pretty well established that the Saxon Kings had a Palace at Old Windsor, which then bore the name of Wyndleshore. A township of some extent existed there prior to the Conquest, and in the Conqueror’s reign it contained a hundred houses.
New Windsor grew up with the Castle. The first Charter of Incorporation was granted to the Royal Borough by Edward I, in 1276. When first incorporated it was the County Town of Birkshire, but as its situation at an extreme end of the County was found to be inconvenient, the distinction was transferred to Reading in 1314.
From the days of Edward I until Parliamentary Representation Act of 1918 Windsor was also a Parliamentary Borough. Its right to send two representatives to the House of Commons was exercised until the Reform Act of 1867 deprived it of one of its members, and, in .order that its population might be sufficiently large to allow of its retaining one representative, portions of the Village of Clewer and the Town of Eton wTere added to its Parliamentary area. The Act of 1918 referred to deprived Windsor of its remaining Member of Parliament, but its name is given to the Eastern Division of Birkshire.
The Town is well paved, excellently lighted and drained, and has also a capital water supply, the Waterworks being the property of the Corporation. Some of the oldest streets are rather narrow, but the main thoroughfares are for the most part fairly wide and are all well kept, while many of the buildings are of historical and architectural interest. The business portion is that nearest the Castle, while the principal residential parts are those bordering the Great Park and stretching out towards Glewer and Winkfield.
The Town Hall in the High Street was designed by Sir Thomas Fitz and was commenced in 1686. Sir Thomas died before the work was finished, and it was completed under the famous Sir Christopher Wren.