The Round Tower in Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle, in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, is the largest inhabited castle in the world and, dating back to the time of William the Conqueror, is the oldest in continuous occupation. The castle’s floor area is about 45,000 square metres (480,000 sq ft).
Together with Buckingham Palace in London and Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, it is one of the three principal official residences of the British monarch. Queen Elizabeth II spends many weekends in the year at the castle, using it for both state and private entertaining.
Most of the Kings and Queens of England, later Kings and Queens of the United Kingdom, have had a direct influence on the construction and evolution of the castle, which has been their garrison fortress, home, official palace, and sometimes their prison.
The highly visible landmark of the castle, the Round Tower, is in reality far from cylindrical, its shape being dictated by the irregular, but seemingly round, artificial hill on which it sits. The castle’s layout dates back to the medieval fortifications. The Round Tower divides the castle into two distinct sections known as wards.
The Lower Ward is home to St George’s Chapel , while the upper ward contains the private Royal Apartments and the more formal state rooms, which include St George’s Hall, a vast room which has a ceiling decorated with the coats of arms of past and present members of the Order of the Garter.