Point of Interest

Edward VII Gateway

England / Europe

King Edward VII Gateway is next to the pub, The King and the Castle. The gateway leads in turn to an alleyway with steps down to the former slum area which used to be called the Goswells and presently to Alexandra Gardens and the Thames. In 1921 Sir Jesse Boot (of the pharmaceutical company, Boots the Chemist) donated a bust of King Edward VII, which was placed above the archway and subsequently unveiled by Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone (a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and thus Edward VII’s niece) in January 1921. The head and shoulders of the King are now protected by a mesh to prevent the unwelcome attentions of birds. Just inside the Gateway, at the top of the narrow alleyway is a handsome reproduction in ceramic tiles showing Windsor Castle as it used to be – the Prospect of Windsor Castle, based on the engraving by Wencelsaus Holler AD 1663. The image does not fail to advertise Boots, noting in archaic language: ‘On this place now standeth Boots Cash Chemists 1917.’

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