Events: Windsor 2004 - Windsor Walk

From Marilyn on 1st December 2006:




This report, written soon after the event, has been edited and now includes a few details of Prince Charles' marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles which took place the following year.

In the Crooked Tea Rooms

For the first time ever, Hazle booked a Blue Badge Guided Tour in Central Windsor to coincide with a Signing at stockist Talents. As a new model of the Crooked Tea Rooms was being launched where else could we gather for coffee! A real buzz of chattering, voices went through the Tea Rooms as the Collectors’ Club took over the epremises, where we all enjoyed a freshly brewed pot of coffee or tea and biscuits. Have the Tea Rooms ever been this full - or noisy?!

Outside the Crooked Tea Rooms

Outside the Tea Rooms, to the right is The Guildhall, by Sir Christopher Wren in 1689. His father was Dean of St George’s Chapel with a "grace and favour" home at Windsor Castle. After the council complained Wren indignantly added four more columns to support the large first floor chamber - two inches short! It wasn’t noticed for years and still proves his design was sound. On the left is Queen Charlotte Street, the shortest in England at 52 feet.

On 9th April 2005, HRH The Prince of Wales married Camilla Parker Bowles at Windsor Guildhall above in a civil ceremony - an historic first for a member of the Royal Family. To avoid members of the public gate-crashing this private event, the marriage took place in the small Ascot Room, to the side of the Crooked Tea Rooms. The union was later blessed in St George's Chapel - scene of many Royal Weddings.

Start of the Guided Tour

Our guide with black hair and beard is by the Market Cross. In front is the Crooked Tea Rooms, built as a butcher's in 1718, which leans due to structural changes later. Behind, Caley's Department Store on the High Street was founded in the 1860s by Mrs Caley, a milliner. Close to Ascot Racecourse, Caley's Ascot Hats, an Open Numbered Painting, depicts the store's former speciality. Now owned by the John Lewis Partnership, it still has By Appointment warrants for current members of the Royal Family.

Lower Ward

Part of Lower Ward on the 13 acre site of Windsor Castle, reputedly one of Her Majesty's favourite residences. The tourist bus is coming up Thames Street which runs along part of the Castle boundary. Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee statue stands at the bottom of Castle Hill. This picture was taken from a High Street shop where the writer H G Wells was an apprentice draper for just three months. The brief, unhappy period features in several of his novels including Kipps and The History of Mr Polly.


The Raffles building in Curfew Yard is the only old one left. Dated 1625, recently it won a Civic Award for restoration. There was once a secret passage to Windsor Castle. As he didn't want to enter the castle, Oliver Cromwell is said to have signed the Execution Warrant here for King Charles 1, beheaded in 1649. A copy of the warrant, with many signatures and seals, is on a wall in Church Street.

Behind Raffles

The rear of Raffles, with collectors walking back up to Thames Street. You can just see the top of the Castle’s Curfew Tower. In medieval times a bell was rung from this to warn people to extinguish their fires. With most houses made of wood, failure to do so could be disastrous. From the C13 Old French cuevrefeu which means cover the fire, the word curfew today has broader connotations.

Fudge Kitchen and Coffea

The double leaning buildings of 20 & 21 Thames Street were used the centrepiece of Hazle’s Jubilee Parade. Now painted as the standard Dairy/Barber and specials. The Fudge Kitchen & Coffea here feature in a Talents Open Numbered Painting.

By the Blue Post Box

Hazle hugs a blue post box! This one in Park Street commemorates the first ever airmail, between Hendon and Windsor in 1911, to celebrate King George V’s Coronation. Hazle said she and Stephen met in Windsor. So had Chris and I. Gosh!

By the George IV Gate

A glimpse of the Castle's Upper Ward. The George IV gate, behind the lamp posts, is at the head of the Long Walk. For the wedding of Charles and Camilla, the car carrying the bride and groom and the two coaches with family members made their way to and from the Guildhall via this gate.

Nell Gwynn's House

Nell Gwynne’s House in Church Street was Hazle’s first Windsor model. It includes the mauvey bit on the far left and half of the brick building and was mainly painted as The Christmas Shop and The Tea Merchant. The other half is currently a Chinese Restaurant. Our guide remarked upon its garish sign.

Church Street

In Church Street for the last part of our guide's tour. In the distance is Henry VIII's gate to Windsor Castle. Behind this is St George's Chapel where Charles and Camilla's marriage was blessed.

Talents of Windsor

Journey’s End and High Noon! We reach Talents opposite Nell Gwynne's House. Hazle talks before we all crowd into the store. Talents now has its own Open Numbered Painting, based on Sally Lunn.

The event continues under Signing Specials on a separate page.

Last modified on 18 January, 2022
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