Christ Church Cathedral, Lexington, KY
Choirmaster Erich Balling
The most ancient part of
this historic city occupies a rugged hill top rising over 200 feet above the
river Witham. Evidence has been found of occupation by Celtic people who
called the settlement Lindon. On the arrival of the Roman IXth legion in
A.D.47 the name was Latinised to Lindum Colonia. Geographical position,
elevation and the river all helped to make Lincoln an important centre even from
those pre Roman days. Roman Lincoln had fine colannaded streets and
elaborate public baths, also drinking water supplied in earthenware pipes under
pressure from over one and a half miles away. When the Romans departed
they left behind a road and canal system, sewers, working farms and a wealth of
tiles and stone. During the Anglo-Saxon times, Lincoln was a part of the
kingdom of Mercia. With the arrival of the Danes Lincoln became a part of
the Danelaw where streets like Saltergate, Danesgate & Hungate bear witness
(similar to York) The Normans made Lincoln one of the most important
cities in the kingdom. The castle was built in 1068 just 2 years after the
Battle of Hastings. The city is full of wonderful buildings, cobb hall
14th Century, a fine Norman house at 15 The Stait. The castle square some
lovely 16th Century buildings, Greyfriars a 13th Century building originally
designed as a Church (now the museum) the list is endless. The city is now
a busy place providing employment to many thousands in the engineering industry.
by William the Conqueror in 1068, built to be a invulnerable stronghold.
The battlemented castle is most impressive. The enclosed area encompasses
approx 6 acres with lawns and trees. The walls are 8 to 10ft thick and double
that amount in height. Two great detached mounds on the South side are the
observatory tower, with great views of Lincoln and the uprights of the Norman
keep. Cobb Hall was added in the 14th Century to be used as a
place of punishment. One can still see the iron rings to which prisoners
where fastened to. The roof of the tower was a place of public execution
till 1868. One of the original copies of Magna Carta is still kept here.
One other interesting feature to look out for within the passage of the castle
gateway is all that is left of the Eleanor Cross. This was positioned
close the priory where the body of Eleanor of Castile, the wife of Edward the
1st was embalmed before starting on its famous journey South to Westminster
Abbey. This, the first of the crosses erected at each resting place of her body
on its funeral procession from Nottinghamshire to the Capital. The last
one at Charing Cross in London where the body lay on the final night before
burial at the Abbey.
The third largest in
England occupying approx 57,000 sq ft. the original building was started in 1072
and fully built by 1092 but after a great fire and of all things an earthquake a
new Cathedral was started in 1192 built in the English style and today we see it
as the triple towered cathedral church of St Mary. An important feature of
the Cathedral is the arcade designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1674 which was
the year he started the rebuilding of St Pauls.
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.
Web Link to
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.
This museum is like no
other museum, the actual building is on the site of an archaeological dig, the
journey you take is around the actual remains below street level, exactly where
the old city of York was built
Seen against the backdrop
of the Howardian Hills, the splendour of Castle Howard is all the more
astonishing. The largest house in Yorkshire, designed by Sir John Vanbrugh
this was his first house (his second was Blenheim Palace). The clerk of
works was Nicholas Hawksmore, a partnership of brilliance. It was started
in 1700 but by the time of completion in 1737, the 3rd Earl of Carlisle, who
commissioned it, Vanbrugh and Hawksmore were all dead. The total cost of
building was a then staggering £78,000. The house is set in over 1,000
acres of parkland, has two lakes and is home to a vast treasure of pictures and
Crown Derby Pottery
With a history dating back
to 1745, Crown Derby China has a historical and world wide reputation for
beauty, quality and excellence which even now is still celebrated by collectors
The china made today still uses the same skills and techniques handed down
through the generations. Each piece of pottery is the accumulation of
years of craftsmanship and experience.
Enjoy the factory tour as one views at first hand
the working of a piece of clay through to firing and eventual hand decoration.
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.
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.
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.
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
This ancient hall is 290ft long, 68ft long 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.
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.
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.
The British Monarchy
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.
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.
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.
William the Conqueror was crowned in that Abbey on Christmas Day 1066. this
Coronation began a tradition and all Kings and Queens of England (Britain) with
the exception of Edward V & Edward VIII have been crowned in the Abbey since
Work began in 1245 in rebuilding the Abbey. The work proceeded rapidly and by
1269 the Quire and one bay of the Nave was completed. At this time the body of
St Edward was removed and laid to rest in a Chapel bearing his name. In 1272
Henry III died and his body was buried in the front of the high alter where
Edward`s had once lain.
The complete history of this famous Abbey would take many pages to write, hence
it is possibly to conclude by saying “many Kings and Queens together with famous
people lie buried within its walls and therefore this one building is a unique
testament to 1,000 years of the history of the British people”.
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.
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