Windsor Castle’s Inner Hall opened to visitors for first time in 150 years

The vaulted Inner Hall of Windsor Castle has been opened to visitors for the first time in more than 150 years.

Created by George IV in the 1820s, the magnificent entrance with its intricate Regency ceiling bosses was used in the early 19th century to welcome heads of state and official guests to the historic royal residence.

The Inner Hall
George IV’s newly opened Inner Hall (Steve Parsons/PA)

But it was closed off by Queen Victoria in 1866, who built a smaller State Entrance hall, leaving George VI’s space to be used as a store room for decades.

Now restored to its original purpose, the hall is one of two new locations at Windsor open to the public.

Windsor Castle
The Queen’s favourite residence, Windsor Castle in Berkshire (Steve Parsons/PA)

Visitors will also, for the first time, be able to take a new route through the State Entrance to see where the current Queen greets her visitors.

From there, tourists will be able to enjoy the spectacular view of the two-and-a-half mile Long Walk, created by Charles II in the 1680s.

The State Entrance
Visitors look at the State Entrance, created by Queen Victoria and still used by Queen Elizabeth II to welcome official guests (Steve Parsons/PA)

The changes to the visitor experience are part of the Future Programme of projects funded by the Royal Collection Trust.

Layers of paint were removed in the Inner Hall to reveal the ceiling bosses which were the work of Francis Bernasconi, the most fashionable stuccoist of the Regency period, who worked at Windsor during the reigns of both George III and George IV.

The Long Walk
The Long Walk leading to the castle (Steve Parsons/PA)

The Gothic castle has been the family home of kings and queens for almost 1,000 years.

The Queen, 93, now spends much of her time at Windsor and it is said to be her favourite residence.

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