The east prospect of Windsor Castle taken from Datchet Common
Artist: Lens, Bernard
Medium: Ink wash on paper
Below this east terrace of the castle was the public road which ran from Dachet to Windsor. After visiting Windsor in the early 18th century, Daniel Defoe, claimed that it was "the most beautiful, and most pleasantly situated castle, and royal palace, in the whole isle of Britain".
Parts of Windsor Castle date back to the reign of Henry II in the 12th century, when the first stone structure was established. This building was the subject of substantial rebuilding in the reigns of Henry III, who built new domestic buildings; Edward IV, who built St George's chapel; and Charles II, who started a 10-year rebuilding programme and added the Italianate Star Building. During the 18th century, the castle was generally well maintained, although it was not a popular residence for the Hanoverian royals. It was not until 1800 that architect James Wyatt was employed to start rebuilding the castle in Gothic style.