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Windsor Castle, favourite residence of the Royal Family stands on a natural and elevated chalk plateau, 100 ft. above the level of the Thames, which was probably chosen at a very early date as affording both a strong and commanding position for a fortified castle.
It is supposed that a wooden structure existed on the present site as early as the time of Edward the Confessor, and that the first stone buildings were erected by William the Conqueror. But however that may be, it appears certain that the palace of the earlier Saxon monarchs was at Old Windsor, some two miles distant, and that the authentic history of the existing edifice at New Windsor only commences in the reign of Henry III.
The work begun by that monarch was carried on by Edward III. under the supervision of the Earl of Wykeham, and different portions were successively added under Henry VIII., Elizabeth, Cromwell, George IV., and Queen Victoria. The Castle as it now stands occupies twelve acres, and is divided into three parts, known as the upper, middle, and lower wards.