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Windsor Then and Now

A Pictorial Series of Windsor Views from the past and present

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Windsor Castle and River Thames in the 1830s

Windsor from the river 1830s

This engraving was probably created in the 1830s. The original was drawn by G F Sargent and engraved by J C Varrell for inclusion in an edition of Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor. The view is from the west, north of the river, approximately at the point where the Relief Road, the Windsor bypass, crosses the river at Elizabeth Bridge. The river bank below and on the right side of the castle seems to break by four trees which could be the backwater now known as Baths Island. The railway line which now crosses the river on its way to Windsor Central Station was not to be built until 1849.
  The major features of the view are: The boats, foreground right, are probably eeling boats, with a light hanging to attract the fish at night. The castle itself is romantically drawn, with its elevation exaggerated. The Round Tower as illustrated, and which remains the same to this day, was raised in height in 1828 during the extensions and renovations undertaken by Sir Jeffry Wyatville, architect, at that time. On the far right of the castle is a tower, rebuilt in the 1850s, and now known as the
Curfew Tower, with its famous Pepper Pot roof line. In this engraving, the earlier tower is evident.


Windsor Castle from the west in the 1830s

Windsor from the west

This view is particularly interesting as it does NOT feature the river in the foreground! Nearly every artist or engraver who pictured Windsor in past times could not resist including the river, yet here the artist is concentrating on the rural nature of the scene to the west of the town. The lane illustrated runs westward from Windsor and at the time of the engraving was known as Clewer Lane, following the line of what is now known as Oxford Road although much of this road has since disappeared, covered by the 1960s construction of Ward Royal. A short length remains at the junction with Peascod Street, (Oxford Road East).
  To the west of Ward Royal, the original road remains from Alma Road to Vansittart Road. Old maps show that this road, originally Clewer Lane, dog-legged right and immediately left again, past
Clewer St Stephens, to follow the route now known as Maidenhead Road which continued to the west past Clewer village. This section was known as Clewer Road in the late 1800s.

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