Tudor Rose Ensemble, Tyler, TX
Capital City of England & the United Kingdom
Within a few years of invading Britain in 43AD the Romans had built forts and
towns across the land. They linked these outposts with a number of well
constructed roads, some of which had to cross a wide tidal river (Thames).
The Roman engineers eventually picked a crossing point from generally marshy
ground on the South bank (with islands of firm ground) to an area on the North
Bank situated on two low hills, these hills formed the highest and driest site
on the tidal river. At this point the Romans built their bridge and before
long a settlement grew up on the hills and then a City took shape, the Romans
called it Londinium. The landscape that greeted the Romans now lies deep
beneath the modern city, upto 8 metres deep, the reason, every new building over
the past 2,000 years was built on top of the rubble of the old.
Houses of Parliament
The present building
occupies the site of the old Royal Palace. The oldest surviving part of
this palace is Westminster Hall (some of the walls dating back to 1097/99).
In 1840 Sir Charles Barry with the help of his eccentric assistant, Pugin began
building the neo Gothic new house which still graces Parliament Square.
Although it was badly bombed in 1941 the Commons Chamber was completely
destroyed, the new one was opened in 1950. As you look at the palace from
the square the commons are on the left and the lords on the right.
Standing a little to the left of the building is Westminster Hall. This
ancient hall is 290ft long, 68ft wide and 92ft high, it was built in 1097 by
William II and modernised by Richard II in 1399. It was here that Charles
I was condemned to death in 1649, Edward II abdicated in 1327, Oliver Cromwell
was installed as protector and the Guy Fawkes conspirators sentenced to death.
It was the centre of London life, a very public place in which to have sentence
passed. it remains lofty, beautiful, impressive and empty, the oldest part of
the palace and the most lovely.
One of the longest
rivers in England at 215 miles in length, it flows from its source near
Cheltenham to the sea through some of the most beautiful countryside before
becoming the main artery that the wealth of Britain has been bourn. No
river can have influenced a nations destiny more, from Roman times to the
Legend has it that the
first Church built on Thorney Island in the Thames was built by King Segbert in
the 7th Century, there is also mention of a Charter from King Offa of
Mercia to the people of Westminster granting land. We also have a Charter from
King Edgar in the 10th Century for the restoring of the Benedictine
Abbey. It is also written that a substantial foundation existed in Westminster
when King Edward the Confessor became King in 1042. We do know that Edward
started to build a Church here close to the previous building and it was
consecrated on 28th December 1065. Eight days later Edward died and
he was buried in front of the high altar.
Cabinet War Rooms
In 1940 as the bombs rained
down on London, Winston Churchill, his Cabinet, his Chiefs of Staff and
intelligence chiefs were meeting below ground in a fortified basement in
Whitehall, later to be known as the Cabinet War Rooms. They offered
shelter in which to work, sleep and live for as long as necessary. When
the war ended the lights were switched off and the rooms left silent and
untouched for many years. The rooms were in operational use from 27th
August 1939 to the Japanese surrender in 1945 the war cabinet held more than 100
meetings in these somewhat cramped rooms. Without doubt some of the most
important decisions of the Second World War were taken here.
in 1622 and designed by Indigo Jones, it was the first building in London to
embody the classical Palladium style together with the use of Portland stone in
the construction. Built originally as a part of Whitehall Palace it was
the only building to escape the great fire which destroyed the Palace in 1698.
The main hall is 115ft long and 60ft wide but it is the ceiling which catches
the eye. Painted by Rubens for Charles 1st in 1629-34 it
depicts the Apotheoses of the Stuart Dynasty in nine panels, which should be
viewed from the far end of the room. In 1649 Charles 1st
stepped out of one of the windows of the hall on his way to the scaffold erected
outside in the yard, to his execution. Ironically Charles II celebrated
his restoration to the throne here 20 years later. Still used for state
banquets and official functions by the Government and the Queen.
10 Downing Street
Has been the official
residence of the Prime Minister since Sir Robert Walpole, the first Prime
Minister lived here in 1732. The street was named after its builder, Sir
George Downing. The iron gates were erected for security reasons in 1989.
Horse Guards Parade
The former tiltyard or
jousting field of Whitehall Palace, used for the ceremony of Trooping the Colour
each June to celebrate the Queens official birthday. The Horse Guards
building by which one enters the parade ground from the direction of Whitehall
was reconstructed in 1750 prior to which it was the gatehouse of the Palace of
Westminster. The horse mounted guards who stand duty under two archways
either side of the clock tower stand guard for just one hour at a time not all
day. The soldiers belong either to the Life Guards (red tunics & white
plumes) who formed the bodyguard for Charles I or the Royal Horse
Guards (blue with red plumes) who grew out of a regiment formed by Cromwell.
Both regiments now belong to the Household Cavalry which provides the Queens
Bodyguard on all state occasions.
Until the 18th Century the
original site was occupied by Buckingham House which was bought by George III in
1762. When George IV acceded the throne in 1820 he commissioned John Nash
to build a palace fit for a King on the same site. Much of the original
structure and decoration survives to this day.
Opened in January 2000 as a part of the Millennium celebrations it is 135mtrs
high and is the worlds highest observation wheel. The fourth tallest
structure in London. It is 35mtrs taller than Big Ben, 30 mtrs taller than St
Pauls, three times as high as Tower Bridge and a third taller than the Statue of
Liberty. The 360` rotation will take approx 30/35 minutes. The wheel
has 32 fully enclosed capsules holding up to 25 people each. From its highest
point passengers can see 25 miles in each direction on a clear day.
Tower of London
Built by William the
Conqueror because he did not trust his new people. Over the years it has
been a garrison, armoury, prison, royal mint and royal palace. Among well known
heads that have rolled or languished in the tower were Kings of Scotland, France
and England. Lady Jane Grey, Duke of Monmouth, Queen Elizabeth for six
months, Sir Walter Raleigh and many more. There is even a gate directly
off the river called traitors gate.
St. Paul's Cathedral, London
The original Cathedral was
built on Ludgate Hill by the Anglo Saxons in 604A.D. built of wood it burnt down
and was rebuilt on a number of occasions. The present Cathedral was
started by Sir Christopher Wren in 1675 and it took 35 years to build. The
Cathedral was damaged during the Second World War with bombs falling through the
roof and destroying the alter and one damaging the North transept. A
famous picture taken at the time shows the cathedral surrounded by fire and
smoke and through the gloom appearing unscathed the dome of St Pauls rising
dominantly and defiantly from the inferno below, a source of inspiration to the
whole country in its hour of need. In the crypt lie buried, Wren, Nelson,
many other famous British people. The peel of 12 bells is outstanding and
the choir of 38 boys and 18 men maintain a very proud tradition.
1753, it is the oldest museum in the world. The original collection was
started by the physician Sir Hans Sloane but over the years it as been added to
many times over. The immense hoard of artefacts spans nearly 2 million
years of world history. It is stored in 94 galleries covering over 2 miles
of displays. Some of the treasures include Egyptian mummies, the
Mildenhall Saxon silver tableware found after being ploughed up in a Suffolk
field in 1942, Lindow man preserved in a bog since the first century AD, pottery
from Greece and Rome, Lindisfarne Gospels from the 7th Century, an
original copy of Magna Carta from 1215. Together with specimens from all over
the world which bring the very history of our civilisation alive.
Imperial War Museum
Established in 1920, it has
a huge pair of navel guns in front of the porch. the building once formed part
of the Bethlehem Hospital for the insane known as Bedlam. You can still
see some of the upstairs windows barred. The building was Severely damaged
during the Second World War. The museum displays model ships and other
instruments of war, the museum also holds a library of war documents, books and
photographs for reference.
Royal residence since 1689 when William III and Mary II commissioned Sir
Christopher Wren to convert Nottingham House into a Royal Palace. Since
that time the palace has seen many royal and momentous events, including the
birth of Queen Victoria at 4.15pm on the 24th May 1819, her first meeting with
the privy council in 1837. Part of the palace remains a private royal
residence but access to many of the state apartments is allowed.
The Royal Botanical
Gardens at Kew are the worlds most famous gardens, set up as a scientific
institution for the accurate identification and classification of plants and
plant materials and for the distribution of botanical information to all parts
of the world. Kew is also a quarantine station for plants being sent from
one country to another. It trains botanists and gardeners for
establishments all over the world, in the course of its work over many years,
over 25,000 specimen plants have been assembled. The first garden on this
site belonged to Augusta, mother of George III, she lived in Kew house and in
1759 had a garden of 9 acres planted here The garden was acquired for the
state in 1841 Queen Victoria also gave property to the garden in 1898. In
1904, the whole 300 acres of the site became the property of the state, to
fulfil its scientific and popular functions. The park now houses a
tranquil temperature house with a rich collection of plants from all over the
world, a rhododendron dell, landscaped by Capability Brown, the restored
Japanese gateway and more than 9,000 trees throughout the gardens.
St. Martins in the Field
The present church designed by James Gibbs was completed in 1726. However
St Martin in the Fields has been a place of worship since 1220. The parish
boundary passes through Buckingham Palace. Queen Elizabeth the Queen
Mother was a parishioner and the Prince of Wales although baptised in the palace
his record is kept in the baptism book held in the church. The church is
renown for its choral music the organ being one of the finest in Europe.
The church plays host and is famous for its lunchtime concerts given free on
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 1.05pm
Dominated both in
spirit and in fact, by its magnificent castle, yet the town itself is very
attractive with Georgian and Victorian buildings, Church Street being one of its
prettiest areas. The parish Church of St John stands in the High Street
with railings designed by Grindling Gibbons. Nearby is the Guildhall
designed at the end of the 17th Century by Sir Thomas Fitch and finished by Sir
Christopher Wren. However it is the castle that made the town and still
attracts thousands and thousands of visitors every year.
The castle is the
largest inhabited castle in the world and covers over 13 acres. Its story
starts with William the Conqueror who quickly grasped its strategic position and
the advantage of a forest for hunting close by. Since then practically
every sovereign has had a hand in the building, Henry II put up the first stone
buildings including the round tower, but the defences are still those built by
Henry III. Edward III was born at Windsor and loved it, he enlarged the royal
apartments and founded the order of the Knights of the Garter, making Windsor a
centre for chivalry. The castle is made up of three parts, the lower ward,
which includes St George's chapel, the upper ward in which lie the state
apartments and the middle ward where the enormous round tower gives wonderful
views over 12 counties.
St. Georges Chapel, Windsor
A sumptuous and impressive
building which yet gives an effect of light and spaciousness. The
perpendicular chapel was begun by Edward IV in 1475 and completed in the reigns
of Henry VII and VIII. Many sovereigns and famous men and women lie buried
here, including Charles I, Henry VIII, Jane Seymour and the present Queens
Mother and father. Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert were also
buried at Windsor but in the royal mausoleum at Frogmore in Home Park near the
small market town dating back to early Saxon times. We have the Crypt in
the Minster from circa 672 and a belief that the town name is based on a tribe
of people known as the Hreope who inhabited the area in pre Saxon times.
In local documents the town was recorded as Hrypis in 715 and as Rypum in the
year 1030. We can therefore safely establish that a settlement has been
here dating back over 1500 years. The town is dominated by the Cathedral
but the heart of the town is the rectangular market place with its dominating
90ft obelisk raised in 1781. One of the oldest houses in the town is
situated near one corner of the square. The house was built in the 13th
Century and the Wakeman or Night Watchman lived there.
On entering you
will be standing in the oldest Cathedral in England, the first stone church was
built by Wilfred in 672, the original and surviving crypt is one of the oldest
Christian Shrines in England. It is interesting because it is built to
what was believed at the time to be the exact dimensions of Christ’s Tomb.
The original church was destroyed in 950 and the second laid waste by the
Norman’s in 1069. the present building therefore dates back to the 11th and 12th
centuries. Many interesting things to see in this lovely building
including the Harrison organ which dates back to 1914.
Fountain Abbey (Declared a world heritage site)
majestic ruins of possibly the Greatest Abbey in England, stand in this scenic
valley of the River Skell. Just a few miles South West of Ripon.
Even today so much of the building is still visible. From very humble
beginnings, a rise to power then total Dissolution under Henry VIII. It
was from St Mary`s Abbey York, that the prior and some followers left to
establish a new Cistercian order here at Fountains in 1132. They started
to build and over the years the community grew in property, prosperity &
recruits. Unfortunately this power and wealth replaced the original Cistercian
ideals and was a great prize for Henry VIII during the Dissolution. He
sold it to Sir Richard Gresham in 1540. One can clearly see from the ruins
the picture of what life in a Monastic institution was like during the middle
ages. The tower stands a remarkable 168ft in height with the church
extending some 360ft. In 1738 William Aisdale who owned the adjoining
Studley Royal Estate purchased Fountains and continued to mould the two
together. Landscaping and gardening as he went along. Today the
Cistercian Abbey ruins are the largest in Britain blending in naturally with a
landscape of ornamental lakes, cascades, bridges, river walks and eye catching
vistas. A 500 head deer colony live in the deer park and at night the
whole area of the ruins are floodlit.
townscape of this walled city illustrates much of its nearly 2,000 years
history. York possesses in its Minster the largest medieval church in
Northern Europe, the general scale of its building is small and human.
Even today York seems more medieval than almost any other English town.
The compact core is a treasure house for anyone interested in history,
architecture or ancient crafts, and is best seen on foot. The Romans
called the place Eboracum, and built a fort in AD.71. Under the Angles,
York was capital of their Kingdom of Deira. King Edwin was baptised here
by Paulinus, who became the first Archbishop of York in 634. The Danes
captured and burnt York in 867 and it was their capital in England for nearly
100 years, they called it Jorvik and it is from this that the present name
derives. There is nothing left to see of Anglo Saxon and Danish York, but
the use of the word gate for street is a reminder that the Danes did settle
here. The Norman's found a thriving little trading centre and burnt it in
1069 during their frightful ravaging of the North, and then rebuilt the walls,
expanding them to take the present 263 acres. Medieval York is everywhere,
not least in the web of narrow streets. The Shambles and Stonegate are two
of the best preserved examples. Too the East of the Minster is the half
timbered St William's College. Three of the nine Guildhalls still survive.
All the city walls are medieval rebuilt on the Roman and Norman foundations in
the 13th Century. A 2.5 mile footpath on the walls gives a circular tour
of the city. In the middle ages, York was England's second city a great
religious and commercial centre. A lovely city with much to see and enjoy.
The Minster is York's chief
glory, appropriate to the dignity of an Archbishopric, built between 1220 and
1470, it contains England's greatest concentration of medieval stained glass,
principally from the 13th and 14th Centuries. The two most famous windows
being the five sisters and the magnificent 15th Century east window, the largest
in the world. The Ministers length is 518ft and is 241ft wide at the
transept. The central tower rises 198ft and is the largest lantern tower
in Britain. The 14th Century Chapter House with seven lovely window walls
has no central support for its conical roof, just the great buttresses on the
eight sides. The Choir was completed by 1400 and its great climax the east
window with 2,000 sq ft of ancient glass by John Thornton of Coventry was
finished in 1408, the massive towers came last.
18th Century mansion planned by Robert
is situated in landscaped grounds completed by
in 1772 and set in rolling countryside.
Alnwick Still looks like a
stronghold of the Earls and Dukes of Northumberland. You may enter from
the South through the narrow medieval arch of Hotspur Tower and within moments
confront the great barbican guarding the gateway to Alnwick Castle. Within
the town, age speaks for itself from the narrow streets, cobblestones,
passageways, sturdy grey buildings and monuments. The town grew up on the
River Aln beside the great border castle whose walls enclose 7 acres.
Below and around the castle are grounds landscaped by Capability Brown in 1765
which now form a beautiful park. In the town a broad main street with slopping tree shaded
cobblestone parking space alongside, passes near a market square. A free
standing 18th Century hall has an arcade for shops on the ground floor and
assembly rooms above. A very interesting town steeped in history and the
ravages of this wild border country.
The Capital of Scotland, with origins in the Iron Age. Although Edinburgh
did not become the capital until the 12th Century the history of the city is
really moulded around one street, The Royal mile. At the foot lies
Holyrood House, still a royal palace today, where Mary queen of Scots lived and
where Bonnie Prince Charlie had a brief triumph of his celebration ball after
capturing Edinburgh in the 1745 rebellion. At its head the castle towers
on its great rock. Between the two, the royal mile winds its way along the
spine of the rock with its pre 18th century Edinburgh, tall, many storied houses
clinging to the steep hillside. Yet Edinburgh is not just about history,
the new town is just as picturesque with wide streets and crescents. With
princes street flanked by gardens on the south being described by many as one of
Europe's finest thoroughfares. The ladies will find Edinburgh's Shops just
Edinburgh Castle The Oldest
part of the castle is St. Margaret's Chapel built early in the 12th Century.
Apart from this we know very little about the early buildings on the site.
We do know that the castle walls began to take their present form from about
1356. Since then many additions and changes have taken place.
St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh
Three of the
soaring spires on the famous skyline of Edinburgh
belong to the Scottish Episcopal Catherdal of St Mary the Virgin.
Consecrated in 1879 the Cathedral is still the home to a thriving congregation.
After the abdication of James VII in 1689 the reformed church in Scotland
divided over the issue of the Stuart succession. Two churches came into being.
Some historians believe the earliest settlement in St Andrews, maybe during the
8th Century was in the area of All Saints Church, possibly a fisher settlement
built inland from a fortified area on the headland (later the castle). The
earliest recorded use of the name "St Andrews" was in the 12th Century when
again mention was made of the "fisher settlement. Much of the pale grey
and golden stone used to build the old houses in the town was taken from what
was the largest Cathedral in Scotland, now a majestic ruin on the Eastern edge
of the town. Besides it stands the 12th Century St Rules Tower named after
the Saint who according to legend was shipwrecked here in the 8th Century
carrying the bones of the Apostle St Andrew. Crosses in the cobbled
streets mark the sites where martyrs were burned at the stake. On the
Western side of the town stands the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. The
Senior golf club in the world with the responsibility for determining the rules
of the game. Beside the links, the West sands stretch for over 2 miles.
St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh
was the Patron Saint of Cripples, he was a Greek born in Athens in 640AD. The
building was dedicated to St Giles in 1243. There has probably been a
church on this site since 854. The oldest parts of the present building are 4
massive central pillars thought to date back to 1120. The church was burnt down
by the English in 1385. However over the following 150 years it was
enlarged and enhanced. It was from here that John Knox (Scottish reformer)
appointed Minister of Edinburgh in 1559 led the reformation of the Scottish
Church. The tie with Rome was broken and the administration of the Church
of Scotland evolved into Presbyterianism. Although it must be said that
for two periods in the 17th Century the Church was Episcopalian. Mary
Queen of Scots held Parliament in 1563 in the outer tollbooth section.
During that time it was the market place at the centre of the cities activities.
Many tales of torture, execution, bravery and treachery started life within the
walls of this building. Which today echoes a violent past and yet by
careful renewal points a way forward to the future.