12:30PM, Friday 18 October 2019
Photo: Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019
A 19th century hall inside Windsor Castle has been restored and opened to the public for the first time in 150 years.
Created for George IV in the 1820s, the Inner Hall was used by Royalty to welcome heads of state and official guests.
But, in 1866, Queen Victoria instructed her architect Anthony Slavin to close it off and build a smaller entrance hall.
She requested alterations were made to the Inner Hall but in a diary entry the following year she indicated she was unhappy with the work.
She wrote: “Went … to look at the alterations being made in the Grand Staircase and State Entrance which I think dreadful! They will have to be altered again.”
For many years, the Inner Hall was used as a storeroom and, in 1965, it was made into a temporary display area.
To restore the architectural details of the Inner Hall, layers of paint were removed to reveal the intricate design of the ceiling decoration.
A new display of architectural fragments have also been unveiled alongside stone, believed to be remnants of buildings constructed by King Henry I in 1110.
The opening of the Inner Hall is part of the Future Programme, a series of projects funded by the Royal Collection Trust to enhance the visitor experience at Windsor Castle.
Next year a dedicated learning centre and a café in the medieval undercroft will open.
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