The field adjacent to Maidenhead Road, Clewer and Windsor Racecourse is known as Balloon Meadow due to its links with the earliest days of flight when only ballooning was successful.
According to a report in the Windsor Express of the day, at 9.00pm, on Saturday, 23rd July, 1881, the MP for Malmesbury, Walter Powell, descended in his balloon onto Balloon Meadow, then owned by a Mr Paget. He had been on his way with his servant back to Malmesbury having left Crystal Palace earlier in the afternoon, hoping to reach his destination by nightfall. He was unable to to get further than Clewer and so he stayed the night in Windsor and continued the flight on Sunday morning when a large crowd gathered to watch the preparations for the take-off. When the ascent was accomplished a great cheer went up!
Balloon Meadow used to be the football ground of Windsor and Eton FC before the club moved to Stag Meadow.
Sadly Walter Powell died little more than four months later when his balloon ‘Saladin’ crashed into the sea off the Dorset coast.