Sir William Borlase's Grammar School

Year 7 Trip to Windsor Castle

Year 7 inaugural trip to Windsor Castle 

On a cold but bright morning in January, 150 year seven students and staff embarked on our SWBGS inaugural trip to Windsor Castle. The visit was an opportunity to enrich the student’s study of ‘The development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509’ and, in particular, castles. Windsor Castle, an official residence of the monarch, is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world.  Since the building of a wooden fortress at the time of William the Conqueror, the Castle has been transformed over the centuries into a splendid palace, while still retaining much evidence of its turbulent past. 
The Borlase History Department has a unique connection with Windsor Castle. For the past five years, we have had the privilege of being able to display some of our best Year 7 castles from an annual competition at their new Education Centre.  In this Education Centre the students were given a lesson on the history of the castle, the feudal system and how William took control of the country after 1066. 

St Georges chapel gave the students an amazing understanding of the hundreds of years of monarchy, right up to the present day. This chapel was designed for the Most Noble Order of the Garter and was begun by Edward IV. It is now the final resting place of the late Queen Elizabeth II.  Above the choir stalls hang the insignia of the Knights of the Garter, their swords, helmets, and banners; to the backs of the stalls are affixed their heraldic stall plates.  We were fortunate to have a talk from Andrew Stafford, Old Borlasian Head of English (1981-2001) who now works in the Chapel.

The state rooms gave us the opportunity to understand how Windsor Castle was transformed “from a military fortification into a gothic palace,” under King Edward III and subsequent Monarchs.  The castle’s staterooms are some of the most impressive and awe-inspiring rooms in the world, and they were definitely worth visiting. 

The students were a credit to themselves and the school.  Many visitors, from all around the world, kindly complemented the staff on their excellent standard of behaviour and respect.  Well done year 7.

Ms K Hocking
Teacher of History