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The architectural style of the building is in perfect keeping with that of the Castle.
The stabling and coach-houses are situated in three large quadrangles; one of which (the centre) is occupied by the horses of the Prince Consort. There is ample accommodation for upwards of one hundred horses (exclusive of thirteen loose boxes) and nearly forty carriages.
The new Riding House (which is 170 feet long, 52 wide, and nearly 40 in height) divides the upper quadrangle from the centre one. Her Majesty's gallery at the east end, which is tastefully furnished in the gothic style, commands a full view of the whole of the interior of the building,
Over the Riding House are thirty apartments, furnished, for the single men connected with the Mews. Convenient apartments are provided for the married men at the Lower Lodge.
It is usual to present a small gratuity to the person who conducts the visitors over the stables, &c.
HERNE'S OAK, with its barkless trunk, “leafless and dead,” stood in the Home-park. Various conflicting opinions have been hazarded as to whether this is the real Shakesperian oak or not: some alleging that the original tree was cut down by command of George III, while others maintain that this is the veritable interesting relic, under whose branches Falstaff was tricked by the Merry Wives of Windsor.
" It may be stated, however,” says Mr. Jesse (in his ‘Summer's-day at Windsor,') “that many old inhabitants of Windsor look upon it as the real Herne's Oak, and bear their testimony to their fathers and grandfathers having done so before them.”
THE QUEEN'S PRIVATE KENNEL, is also in the Home-park: the animalsembrace almost every variety of dogs, both foreign and native.
THE ROYAL AVIARY. Her Majesty's extremely rare and curious collection of the winged and feathered tribe cannot fail to interest visitors, especially naturalists and ornithologists.
THE ROYAL GARDENS AF FROGMORE. These gardens cover a space of thirty acres, and are laid out with extreme taste; but, like the Private Kennel and the Royal Aviary, since the enlargement of the Home Park, they are no longer open to the
public: but, by Her Majesty's gracious permission, Paul Fisher, Esq., for many years an exhibitor in the Royal Academy, was permitted to make eight very large Oil Paintings, which embrace the PRIVATE PLEASURE GROUNDS, known as the SLOPES.
A short description of them may not be uninteresting. (These paintings having been done by the gracious permission of Her Majesty the Queen, are to be neither published or sold but are on view at MR. W. F. TAYLOR's Library, Windsor, and
can be seen at any time.) 1, THE TROUT STREAM, as seen from the North Terrace as it winds its way through the Slopes, and the Rosary, with its fountain.
2, THE CONTINUATION OF THE TROUT STREAM, showing the Bridge, as seen from the road in the Home Park going to Datchet.
3, THE ROYAL PROMENADE, THE DELL, & SKATING POND.
4, HER MAJESTY'S FAVOURITE FLORAL BALCONY.The Royal Children out for a ride, the continuation of the Trout Stream, Eton College, and Upton Park, as seen in the distance.
5, THE GROTTO AND SUMMER HOUSE, with the Gold and Silver Fin Ponds. This is one of the most romantic spots in the Slopes, the scenery gives one more the idea of the Highlands in Scotland than any grounds in the vicinity of the Castle.
6, THE CAILDREN'S PLAY Rooms, known as the Royal Adelaide Lodge, showing the fountain.
7, THE ROYAL AVIARY—The perspective in this picture is perfection, and is worked up in all its details as fine as a miniature painting.
8, THE ROYAL GARDENS.—The perspective also in this painting reflects the highest credit on the artist. The Lodge in the distance is the same as seen from the road that crosses the long walk, on the way to Old Windsor.
MAUSOLEUM OF THE LATE DUCHESS OF KENT
The Mausoleum stands on a mound, almost covered with shrubs and trees of large growth; it is nearly 35 feet high, surrounded on three sides by an ornamental piece of water. It was at the express wish of Her late Royal Highness this structure should be erected on this particular spot.
It comprises an upper and lower chamber; the entrance is surrounded with 16 Ionic columns of polished grey Penryn granite, 10 feet 4 inches high; the capitals and bases are of bronze; the dome (surmounted with a stone balustrade) is covered with copper; the frieze below the dome is of polished red granite, with bronze festoons; the door and frame are of bronze; while the remainder of the building is of Portland stone.
It is lighted from the top, and has an internal dome of metal and painted glass, beneath which is a statue of the late Duchess, by Mr. Tweed; the walls are decorated and coloured.
The lower chamber, or sepulchral vault, (wherein are deposited the remains of H.R.Highness in a sarcophagus of polished blue granite) is of white Suffolk brick-work. In style, the sarcophagus is simple. On one end there is a monogram in gilt letters of Alpha and Omega, encircled by a serpent; and on the bevil of the top on one side, an inscription in English setting forth H. R. Highness's age, titles, &c.; while on the other side there is an inscription in German.
The Mausoleum, like the Royal Dairy and Frogmore House, are not open to the public; but, by Her Majesty's gracious permission, Mr. W. F. Taylor, of Windsor, Photographer, has been allowed to publish Stereoscopic Photographs, which give an excellent idea of these places.
THE ROYAL DAIRY
A remarkably beautiful model, possessing a superb interior, neatly coloured and enameīled. The walls 37 feet long by 23 wide: the roof is supported by six octagonal columns, the capitals of which are richly carved. White marble shafts inlaid with Belgian and English specimens. Beneath the tables are reservoirs of a bluish encaustic tile; these reservoirs contain a flowing stream of cold water. The walls of the Dairy are lined with tiles of the most delicate tint and pattern, surrounded with a green border. The windows are of stained glass, appropriately bordered with May-blossom, daisies, butter-cups, primroses, &c. Several delicate bas-reliefs, of agricultural subjects. Rich medallions, containing portraits of Her Majesty the Queen, H. R. H. the Prince Consort, and the whole of the Royal family—shields and monograms are among the chief adornments. The ceiling is painted with a delicately-pencilled pattern, enamelled to correspond with the whole.
THE ROYAL MAUSOLEUM AT FROGMORE. Early in January in 1862, Professor L. Gruner and Mr A. J. Humbert were honoured with the Queen's commands to prepare designs for a Royal Mausoleum to be erected at Frogmore. One condition was especially imposed by Her Majesty, viz., that the central portion of the structure should be roofed in and substantially completed in the course of the year. Towards the end of January designs were submitted and approved. On the 15th March the foundationstone was laid by the Queen, and the dome over the central octagon was turned about the middle of October. The building was consecrated by the Bishop of Oxford in the presence of Her Majesty and all the Members of the Royal Family on the 17th December; and on the following day the mortal remains of his Royal Highness the Prince Consort were removed from Windsor, and placed in a temporary stone sarcophagus in the new edifice. The Mausoleum is in the form of a cross ;
the arms (or limbs) of which are of equal length ; with the addition of a porch on the eastern side.
Externally, the breadth is 70 feet, and the length 80 feet. The extreme height from the general level of the ground to the top of the cross is 83 feet; and the height from the floor of the structure to the top of the roof, exclusive of the cross, is 70 feet. Internally, there is a central octagon chamber, 30 feet in diameter, and 65 feet high, roofed with an octagonal dome ; each arm of the cross is 16 feet square.
There are connecting corridors or passages at the back of the four main supports of the dome, giving access to each of the arms of the cross, independently of the central portion of the structure.
The floor of the building is raised considerably