The Choir of St Marks School, TX
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
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.
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.
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.
Very much a Cathedral city
and dominated by it, the existing building was started in 1180 continued in
stages until 1424. Many of the buildings in the Cathedral precincts are
used today for much the same purposes as that for which they were originally
built. The Vicars Close consists of a cobbled street with a total of 42
small houses built in the 14th Century for the Vicars of the Cathedral.
The Cathedral school was started in 909 and while closing for one short period
of 6 years in 1861 now records over 600 pupils. On the West front there
are 294 sculptures left of the original 386 some damaged beyond recognition, 3
new ones were unveiled by the Prince of Wales in 1985. The Chapter House
reached by an ancient stone stairway is octagonal in shape and part of a two
storey building, could be one of the most beautiful Chapter Houses in Britain.
The Cathedrals South doors lead to beautiful 15/16th Century cloisters
The Romans built a city
here and called it Aquae Sulis. It grew up around the Baths establishment, one
of the foremost of its kind in the Western empire. Its remains form an
impressive monument to Roman Britain. In the 18th Century Bath became a
fashionable resort for society presided over by Beau Nash. It was at this time
that the work of providing a suitable environment began. From the early 1700s -
to the early 1800s many beautiful buildings, streets, squares and crescents were
completed. The pump room in 1795 and the only bridge left in England built with
shops, Pulteney Bridge completed in 1777 by William Pulteney. The city abounds
with acres of parks and gardens which sets off the formality of the Georgian
name means bath, it
is not Roman but a pure English word. The Romans did originally call the area
Aquae Calidae (hot waters) then Aquae Sulis (waters of sulis, referring to their
pagan god) the Anglo-Saxon name was Akemanchester, which is generally regarded
as being derived from the latin Aquae (ake) and the Roman road of Akeman Street
which ran via Bath. Also the old English word Ceaster meaning Roman Fort.
A Saxon Abbey first stood
on this site followed by a Norman one. It was not until 1499 that a Gothic
Church was erected. Progress was very slow and by the dissolution only the
choir and the walls had been completed. However the west front had certainly
been given its famous turrets and ladders. After the dissolution the Abbey was
looted and the church was given to the parish. The building was soon enclosed
by houses and the North aisle became a walk through for towns people. In 1864 a
new rector Charles Kemble at his own expense began a reconstruction of the
building. Hence what we see today is a Victorian replica of the original Tudor
Built over 800 years
ago and still the ancestral home of the Berkeley family who still live there,
the family, of course, have close associations with Berkeley U.S.A. The
oldest castle in Britain to have been continuously lived in by the same family.
Built as a fortress and used as a home, during its chequered history it has been
the scene of sieges during the civil war and terrible deeds. Its walls in
some places over 14 feet thick, turrets and towers stand majestic. This
was the scene in 1327 of the frightful murder of Edward II, he was imprisoned in
a cell close to the castle dungeon, a deep pit into which rotting carcasses and
half alive prisoners were thrown. It was anticipated the stench and filth
from the dungeon would overpower the prisoner in the cell. However Edward
survived for 5 months and ended up being tortured to death by his jailers.
The castle is also the site of the great hall where the West Country Barons met
before setting off to meet King John for the signing of Magna Carta in 1215.
Small but a real example of how we think a castle should look.
Welsh Folk Museum
Wales through the centuries
at this remarkable museum, an experience around every corner. From a
Celtic village of 2,000 years ago to a miners cottage of the 1980s. A
Welsh Victorian school, farm, bakers, grocery store. original buildings brought
back to life. Formal gardens and landscaped grounds, wooded walks, pools
and ponds giving a special insight into the daily life of the people of Wales,
how they lived, worked and spent their leisure time
of the very first stone castles in Britain. Built by the Normans soon
after the Battle of Hastings,
it was started by William Fitzosbern in 1067. It was never attacked in the
Middle ages but was besieged twice in the Civil War when being held by the King.
It is believed by many
people that under the waters of a spring on the slopes of its Tor Joseph of
Arimathea buried the chalice used at the last supper. That when on a nearby
hill, he thrust his thorn staff into the ground it took root to produce the
distinctive Glastonbury Winter flowering thorn tree, and that, on what was later
to be the site of the great Abbey round which the town grew, he built a church
of daub and wattle. Briefly this is the legend which has drawn pilgrims to this
place for centuries. In 688, King Ine of Wessex gave it a Monastery, majestic,
rich and the most beautiful in Britain which is clear from the ruins of the
church. It is also believed that King Alfred and Queen Guinevere were re-buried
in the Abbey. In the town St Johns church is a fine 15th Century example. The
George Inn was built in the 15th Century to lodge pilgrims and the handsome
market cross is 19th Century.
The Town stands above
the River Ouse on a bluff which was formerly an island, accessible only by boat
or causeway until the fens were drained in the 17th and 18th Century. It
was the scene of Hereward`s resistance to William the Conqueror. A quiet
oasis away from the hustle and bustle of modern city life around the precints of
the cathedral are the houses of the Kings School founded by Henry VIII.
Nearby is the Bishops Palace and St Mary`s church, in the vicarage of which
lived Oliver Cromwell and his family from 1636-1647.
The Cathedral was
founded by St Etheldreda in 673 but work on the present building did not
commence until the appointment of Abbot Simeon in 1081. It is only on
entering the Cathedral that the length of the nave becomes apparent (537ft in
length) with a wonderful painted wooden ceiling 72ft high, conceived by Alan
Walsingham over 600 years ago. The effect of its design with its beautiful
fan vaulting and delicate tracery makes it one of the highlights of English
architecture. The chapels which surround the extension contain some of the
most elaborate and extraordinary carvings to be seen in England.
American War Cemetery
Commemorating the brave
American servicemen who gave their lives during the Second World War to help
keep this island and the rest of the world free. 8,312 are buried here
together with a memorial to the 5,126 missing in action. Never let us
forget their help and ultimate sacrifice in helping to keep our island home free
from those across the water who wish to subjugate us into their world which we
are not part. Their sacrifice must be a lesson to us all to never drop our
guard, no matter how sweet the music sounds.
Cambridge is one of the
most important and beautiful towns not only in East Anglia, but also in Britain
and even Europe. The quality of its buildings in particular those
belonging to the University and the particular atmosphere caused by the
felicitous combination of river and gardens have given the city a place in the
itinerary of every visitor to this country. The history of Cambridge began
many hundreds of years before the first college was founded, a Celtic settlement
had arise on Castle Hill 100 years prior to the Roman conquest. At the
foot of the hill was a ford across the River Cam. It is thought the Romans
built a bridge here. The site of Cambridge became of great strategic and
commercial importance. With the departure of the Romans the town continued
to spread to its present position on the East Anglian side of the river.
The coming of the Normans only increased expansion they even rebuilt the Castle.
Then in the 13th Century saw the founding of the first Cambridge College,
Peterhouse College, established in 1281 by the Bishop of Ely and moving to its
own hostels in 1284. So was established the first College and the
consequent increase in the importance of the city as a seat of learning and a
centre of communal life.
Kings College, Cambridge
One of the most
outstanding buildings in Britain and the finest Gothic building in Europe.
It was begun in 1446. its unusual dimensions, 300ft long, 80ft high and 40ft
wide, prepare the visitor for its extraordinary system of spatial relationships.
The effect of the interior is breathtaking. the shafts on either side of the
chapel lead the eye up into the roof where the profusion of delicate fan
vaulting appears to be made of lace rather than stone. The organ case
(1606), screen and choir stalls (1536) stained glass windows (1515 incidentally
the year the chapel was completed) act as a perfect foil to the magnificent
roof. Does this give meaning to look upwards to heaven for the splendours
that are above.
The largest & grandest
house of the first Elizabethan age. built between 1565 & 1587 by William Cecil.
The house is still a family home yet full of superb paintings and antiques, a
treasure to feast upon. The art collection is one of the most impressive
17th Century Italian painting collections in the world, with over 300 great
works on display in the state rooms, which also includes work by Gainsborough,
Kneller and Lawrence. The tour will allow access to over 18 state rooms
filled with superb porcelain from all over Europe and a collection of early
Japanese ceramics, together with furniture of the highest quality including a
bed once used by Queen Victoria. Try and find time to wander in the
grounds, acres of park land, originally landscaped by Capability Brown.
Mature trees and plenty of space for the youngsters to let off some steam.
Duxford Europe’s top aviation
museum located at a former R.A.F. Battle of Britain fighter station. Over
140 historic aircraft from the First World War up to the present day including
the recently opened American museum.