Church of the Ascension, Montgomery, AL
A town where there is
no need to go looking for interests in dark corners, it is all around. The
city dates back to the 13th Century when it was decided to move the Bishops seat
from Old Sarum. The Cathedral foundations were begun in 1220 and the city
started to grow. Salisbury was built on a grid or chequer system which
left space between the blocks. Cathedral Close is the most beautiful in
all England and the list of buildings with interest is unending. It is
interesting to note that the main wall around the Cathedral Close was granted by
license from Edward III.
The first sight of the
Cathedral is most impressive an early example of English architecture. Its
spire soaring to a height of 404ft the highest in England which imposes almost
6,000 tons of stone on the four pillars of the crossing. The Nave measures
198ft with a clear uncluttered beauty, little having changed since it was built.
With Foundations no more than 4 feet deep on a bed of gravel, the main building was
begun in 1220 and completed in 1258. The Cloisters and Chapter house being
finished in 1280. It was never a Monastic institution but staffed with
Secular Clergy called Canons. This arrangements continues today.
Canons would be away in their parishes for most of the year, just coming back to
the Cathedral for short periods of time. The present houses round the
close are built on the sites of the former Canons' Houses.
The historic city of
Winchester has been welcoming groups for centuries, ever since the first
pilgrims visited the shrine of St Swithun. Already an important town in
Roman times, it became the capital under the Anglo Saxons, and in Alfreds time
871-901 was a great centre of learning. William the Conqueror kept
Winchester as his capital and as late as the 17th Century Charles II planned a
palace here. The city is rich in important buildings, one such building is
the Great Hall, completed in 1235 it is a magnificent example of 13th Century
domestic architecture. It is now an Assize Court. Sir Walter Raleigh was
condemned to death here in 1603 and on the wall hangs what is called King
Arthur's Round Table, marked out and inscribed for his knights. However one
building stands out above all others, the cathedral.
building was started in 1079 and consecrated in 1093. Work from this
period can still be seen in the crypt, transepts and East part of the cloister.
Between 1189 and 1204 the Lady Chapel was built and the Quire extended. It
is the longest Medieval Cathedral in Europe (556ft) In 1110 the central tower
collapsed and was rebuilt with the supporting piers greatly strengthened (they
are now 20ft in width). Among its treasures is the Great Winchester Bible, dating
back to the 12th Century. This illuminated copy was written in the scriptorium
at Winchester and is now preserved in the Cathedral library.
There is nothing quite
like this awe inspiring monument anywhere else in the world, yet at first sight
it is curiously disappointing, probably because it is set on a plain so vast
that in comparison the stones seem quite insignificant. It is only when
man stands close to the stones that he seems so puny in comparison and it is
hard to imagine how centuries ago, with only primitive tools to help them, men
could possibly have placed these huge boulders into position.
a historic place covering an area of approx 56 acres. Important due to its
prominence above the countryside below. First remains indicate a Iron age
camp, followed by the Romans, the Anglo-Saxons, then the Danes who pillaged the
area in 1003. In 1070 William the Conqueror reviewed his troops on the
plains below. The site really moved forward just after William departed.
The Episcopal See was moved from Sherborne to Sarum and a new Cathedral and
Castle where built on the site. However by 1220 the area was becoming too
small for the requirements of the community so a new Cathedral was planned
nearby.(New Sarum or as it later became Salisbury) stones from the old Cathedral
where carried away and used in the construction of the new Cathedral.
Isle of Wight
9,000 years ago this area was still a part of the British mainland, however the
rise in sea levels at the end of the last great ice age opened up a waterway,
turning the land into a small island accessible via a short sea crossing.
The island is situated off the South coast of England and measures just 23 miles
by 13 miles. It is however rich in history that can be traced back to the
Built by Queen Victoria’s husband Albert between 1845-1851 as a family retreat
where the family could stay free from the state ceremonial. Much loved by
the Queen who right up till the late 1890s would spend at least 100 days a year
living in the house. In 1901 she returned to Osborne for the last time
dying here in her 83rd year. The rooms are still laid out in
the way she left them with treasured possessions such as paintings, furniture,
ornaments and personal bric a brac on show.
The town stands on steep foothills and the area is well wooded. The parish
church of All Saints has the tallest spire around and is visible for miles.
A popular holiday resort with a population of approx 25,000. The famous pier is
half a mile long and the sandy beach stretches over 7 miles. A very nice
place to wander and have a bite to eat. Mermaid Street is well known
for its steep cobbled road lined with 15th and 17th Century houses. With the
Mermaid Inn a notorious haunt of smugglers in the 18th century.
Dating back nearly a thousand years to the time of William the Conquer.
The Norman Keep is built on an artificial mound which is the oldest part of the
fortifications. The well house also contains the famous remains of the
donkey wheel that was used to raise water from the well.
Stourhead House & Gardens
This superb 40 hectare landscaped garden was laid out between 1741 & 1780 set in
parkland and surrounding woods. A central lake reflects splendid trees,
flowering shrubs and offers a visual experience that many say is unequalled
anywhere else in Britain. Exquisite buildings blend easily into the surrounding
landscape. The handsome house is a Palladian 18th Century mansion
filled with paintings and fine Chippendale furniture.