Windsor Castle Restored

In 1992, a disastrous fire broke out at Windsor Castle, causing tens of millions in damage.

A lot of people said it could not be rebuilt.

But…it was. Under-budget and ahead of schedule. And with nary a cent of taxpayer monies.

While people, understandably, focus on the royal family, what amazes me…and thrills me…is the realization that craftspeople still exist who can accomplish such work.

The attached video is very well done, and by the end (as images of ruination are contrasted with rebirth), I am in tears. It seems a miracle.

The Queen gives a very moving speech, and her emotions are obvious (something rarely seen).

When you have an hour, I hope you enjoy this video. In a world where so much seems dark, the accomplishments exhibited in the video give me hope for humanity. So many people coming together to create…beauty.

 

 

 

13 Comments

  1. Dodi on April 19, 2021 at 8:15 am

    Ross, you might not be aware of English Heritage Foundation. Over the years since it’s inception, they have bought abandoned and severely damaged properties throughout England and fostered the ancient crafts that are needed to rebuild and maintain those homes. English Heritage is a “private” charity, and what they do is refurbish the property, modify a room or two, and rent said rooms for holiday excursions. In the manor houses, they maintain tours, hire actors to play staff, and make a stuffy tour into an interactive experience teaching history and heritage. I daresay that these excellent people had a large hand in the restoration of Windsor Castle.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/EnglishHeritageFilm

    • Ross on April 19, 2021 at 9:01 am

      Morning, Dodi!

      Yes, English Heritage does excellent work.

      You can also stay in some of their properties.

      • john feuchtenberger on April 21, 2021 at 8:48 pm

        And let us also remember the older, purely private nonprofit, https://www.landmarktrust.org.uk/
        English Heritage began as a spinoff of the British government, and is now a private entity operating the state-owned properties it manages.

        One cannot have too many organizations dedicated to the protection of the built environment, what?

        • Ross on April 21, 2021 at 8:52 pm

          John, I did a post on Landmark, too!

  2. Mike on April 19, 2021 at 10:51 am

    I have an abundance of admiration and respect for the British for their aggressive stance on historic preservation and restoration. Not just the famous castles and estates, but also the working class homes, churches, and public buildings that make up the architectural heritage of this ancient land. It is a shame that more Americans do not share the British’ regard for their historic buildings and sites…we have lost so many irreplaceable structures in the past 100 years in the name of progress and renewal, or just as often, neglect. While those of us who treasure them do our best to protect and restore what we can, I wonder what our country will look like in another 100 years, or 500. I doubt that very many buildings that are today considered historic will be here then.

  3. Laurie L Weber on April 19, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    I agree with Mike. We always seem to tear down old beautiful and interesting buildings to erect ugly square, glass, cement monstrosities because they’re cheaper, not caring that in 10 – 15 years they are falling apart! (I don’t know if this is true, but MANY years ago I had heard that Europe uses specific paving material for their roads which last so much long than ours. We take the cheapest bid and have to keep redoing it!) What is wrong with us? It always does my heart good when I hear of craftsmen that appreciate what quality workmanship is. They are so necessary. Cross House is an example of that. May Ross and all who work on it and other projects be blessed. 🙂

  4. Amanda B. on April 20, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    Thank you for sharing this video. I was so moved. It is also a great analogy to life. When the fires of circumstance burn us to our very core, rebirth is possible. It truly is possible.

  5. Connie on April 21, 2021 at 5:50 pm

    Thank you for sharing this incredible documentary. Magnificent work by so many gifted artisans. Bravo!

  6. john feuchtenberger on April 21, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    There is a superb book: “Restoration: The Rebuilding of Windsor Castle by Adam Nicolson”. Nicolson is a cultured Englishman whose accomplishments make me feel like I live in a mud hut and wear uncured hides. He’s the grandson of Sir Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West, and wrote an outstanding book about their acquisition and restoration of Sissinghurst Castle, and their creation there of one of the great gardens of the world: ” Sissinghurst An Unfinished History”
    These are doubtless in the MacTaggart Library of Decorative and Architectural Arts

    • Ross on April 21, 2021 at 8:48 pm

      Thanks, John!

      I did a blog post on the book. And another fabulous book!

  7. john feuchtenberger on April 21, 2021 at 10:04 pm

    Ross, you frequently remind me of a quote from Goethe, when he has crafty Mephistopheles say: “Allwissend bin ich nicht; doch viel ist mir bewußt!”

    Colloquially: “I don’t know everything, but I don’t miss much!”

  8. Linda A. on April 23, 2021 at 8:49 am

    Well!!!! THAT was just AMAZING to see! Thanks Ross for posting. The talent and imagination and great work by the architects and royal family….but above all the craftsmen. Just mind blowing! And a delight to see!

  9. Nathan Davis on April 24, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    Of note – they not only restored it, but I placed that were completely destroyed by fire, and where the old interior was considered to be of inferior quality, they IMPROVED it. The best example is st George’s hall, which during the castles last 19th century renovation cut corners as money had run out. They redesigned it with a medieval inspired hammer beam roof made from green oak, a dying medieval craft. The result is spectacular.

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