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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Seear

Preserving History: The Timeless Legacy of Windsor Carriages

Nestled in the royal heart of England, amidst the grandeur of Windsor Castle, the world's largest inhabited castle, and the picturesque charm of The Long Walk, a tradition steeped in history continues to thrive. Welcome to Windsor Carriages, where the rhythmic clip-clop of horse hooves on town streets resonates with echoes of centuries past. Join us as we embark on a captivating journey through time, delving into the enduring legacy of hackney carriages and the steadfast dedication of those who uphold this cherished tradition.


A Glimpse into History:

The narrative of horse-drawn carriages in England traces its origins back to 1649 when they were first licensed as hackney carriages. Throughout the centuries, these iconic vehicles have played a pivotal role in the nation's transportation history, gracefully ferrying passengers through bustling streets and idyllic countryside alike.


In the mid-1800s, a significant turning point occurred when the famed Long Walk ceased to serve as a thoroughfare for public and trade vehicles. Despite this transformation, a unique exception was granted during Queen Victoria's reign, allowing hackney carriages special access to the state entrance for taxi services. This tradition endures to this day, with Windsor Carriages proudly operating under the same hackney carriage license granted over 175 years ago.


Progressing as Destination Specialists:

While Windsor Carriages originated as conveyors of passengers, their evolution into destination specialists marks a significant curve of progress. Far beyond mere transportation, they now curate tailored experiences infused with local expertise, ensuring each guest's visit to Windsor is nothing short of exceptional.


Honouring a Legacy:

At the heart of their narrative lies the legacy of Windsor Coachman John Seear, a figure synonymous with dedication and tradition. For over five decades, John graced The Long Walk with the timeless elegance of his horse-drawn carriages, steadfastly resisting the allure of modernization, to transfer his license to a car. His unwavering dedication ensured the preservation of Windsor Carriages' Victorian-era hackney carriage license, a legacy passed down through generations.


His daughter, Rebecca, affectionately known as "The Coachman's Daughter," grew up beside her father and grandfather on the carriages, often collected from school by carriage. "Listening to my father's stories on his drives, I realised the experience was much more than a mere carriage ride; it was an opportunity to share our expertise and traditions, forge connections with visitors, and create memories to last a lifetime."


Over the past decade, Rebecca has continued her father's legacy, supplementing his tales with anecdotes from current guides, all local individuals impassioned about Windsor and working horses, embodying a profound love of storytelling. With each passing year, Windsor Carriages has expanded, adding more carriages and coachmen with their own beloved horses, thereby fulfilling Rebecca's vision of not only preserving but also expanding this remarkable tradition and offering a cherished service to visitors seeking a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


Crafting Bespoke Experiences:

As their business has flourished, so too has their understanding of their customers and their needs when visiting Windsor. As destination specialists, Windsor Carriages meticulously curates full itineraries, arranging carriages between iconic venues, coordinating lunch reservations, and more, ensuring that every moment of their guests' journey is nothing short of exceptional.


Experience the Heritage:

Windsor's carriage rides, continue to be available on a limited basis alongside their bespoke experiences. These rides follow the same 1-mile route along the iconic Long Walk as they have for over a century. Their schools program is equally engaging, inviting children to embark on an immersive classroom experience as they progress from one horse to a team of four, all while conjuring up an imaginary carriage. Read more about our schools programme here.


Contact Us:

For expert guidance to enhance a Windsor visit, contact Windsor Carriages today through the form below to schedule a call with one of the team members. Read more and to make an enquiry click here.

 

What to know more? Visit our exhibition at Windsor & Royal Borough Museum in The Windsor Guildhall located opposite The Castle Hotel.

 

In Loving Memory of John Seear, Windsor Coachman


John Seear

 

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