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St. George's Chapel, Windsor
Top Royal Church stands in Berkshire
 
St. George's Chapel & the Albert Memorial Chapel, Windsor Castle -  Nash Ford Publishing
  • St. George's Chapel is the Queen's private chapel at Windsor Castle. It is the size of a cathedral. There are no other churches this big in Berkshire.

  • The first small chapel at the castle was built in the 1240s. King Edward III rebuilt it for the Order of the Garter and set up a college of canons (like a monastery for vicars) which is still there today.

  • In the 1470s,  after he had won the War of the Roses, King Edward IV had a new and much bigger chapel built for the Garter Knights. This is the building that stands today. He had all the best craftsmen work on it so that it was the best church in the country. The vaulting of the roof inside is amazing!

  • The old stall plates (showing coats of arms of the Garter Knights) were moved to the new choir stalls (seats). New ones have been added ever since. The stalls have very ornate carvings and funny misericords (bum rests).

  • Edward IV was buried in St. George's Chapel behind magnificent metal gates that you can still see. After that, most of the English kings and queens and other royalty decided to be buried there too.

    • King Henry VII had his uncle, Henry VI, buried there. People thought he was a holy man or saint. Lots of pilgrims visited his tomb.

    • King Henry VIII wanted to be buried beneath a huge monument; but it was never finished and has disappeared.

    • King Charles I was quietly buried there after he had his head chopped off.

  • The chapel was an important place of pilgrimage. It had lots of relics:

    • The body of King Henry VI.

    • The body of John Schorne (who people said had trapped the devil in a boot!).

    • The arm and heart of St. George.

    • The 'Cross of Gneth' (a large piece of the cross that Jesus died on).

  • The college at the chapel survived the Reformation because the canons were not monks and they worked for the King. However, it was ransacked by the Parliamentary soldiers during the Civil War. It lost many treasures, including its Chapter House.

  • Queen Victoria had the Albert Memorial Chapel built in 1863 as a memorial to her husband.

  • The Knights of the Garter still meet at St. George's Chapel on Garter Day in June every year.

 

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