Point of Interest

Curfew Tower

England / Europe

The Curfew Tower, stands within Windsor Castle at its most westerly point, and is not open to the public. Originally called Clewer Tower and later the Bell Tower, it was built between 1227 and 1230 to buttress the castle’s defences following a siege during the reign of King John. It is one of the oldest surviving parts of the Lower Ward, with walls 13 feet thick and 100 feet high. The Curfew Tower contains a dungeon where prisoners were held and executed. The bodies of traitors were hung from the battlement as a warning to miscreant townsfolk. In more recent times the former dungeon was used as ‘the Dungeon Club’ during the Windsor Festival, as a site for exhibitions and parties and also for meetings. It still contains a set of stocks. In one corner is evidence of excavation when prisoners attempted to escape only to emerge in the guard room. The remains of a sally port also survive. The Curfew Tower houses the castle bells (the belfry of St George), with a gigantic timber frame inside supporting the bell cage. This medieval timber frame has remained intact since 1447, when the bells were first moved there.

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