St Thomas Episcopal Church, Battle Creek, MI
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Trafalgar Square Was
formally part of the Great Mews attached to Whitehall Palace and once included
part of what is now known as Charing Cross. In 1812 architect John Nash
developed the area between Charing Cross and Portland Place leaving this elegant
Square, the largest in London. It was not officially known as Trafalgar
Square until 1830, having been named to celebrate the great naval victory over
the French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
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
The National Gallery Situated on the North side of
Trafalgar Square, it was built between 1832-38 from a design by William Wilkins.
In 1824 Parliament accepted the idea of a national collection of pictures and
voted £60,000 to buy a collection of 38 pictures from John Angerstein. 30
years later the Government decided to make a regular grant to buy more pictures
and since then the gallery has built up arguably an unrivalled collection
covering the period from the 13th Century to the present day. Particularly
strong in Italian, Dutch, Flemish and French art.
Victoria and Albert Museum Founded originally as the
Marlborough House Museum of Ornamental art in 1852 and then moved to South
Kensington in 1857. The present renaissance style building was designed by
Sir Aston Webb and opened in 1909. Today it constitutes the greatest
collection of fine and decorative art in the world. There is also a
collection of John Constable paintings and drawings given by the Constable
family. So many galleries so much to see!
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.
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.
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. 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
A very ancient city
with more than 2,000 years of history and the site of Canterbury Cathedral.
There were Belgic settlements here pre-Roman time and Julius Caesar took the
area by storm in 54B.C. after their conquest in 43A.D. the Romans established a
centre here called Durovernum. In 597 St Augustine arrived on his mission
to spread Christianity in England and built his first cathedral. Something
like half the Medieval walls which encircled the old city on the Eastern side
still remain. They date from the 13th & 14th Centuries, they were partly
built on Roman remains.
The Cathedral of course
dominates the city, the original was built by St Augustine but nothing remains.
In fact nothing pre-Conquest does remain. A little while after the
Conquest a new Cathedral was built by Lanfranc, the first Norman Archbishop.
Since that time there have been many additions, the oldest remaining part of the
Cathedral is the crypt dating from 1100. Only one English monarch is
buried here, Henry IV, who lies with his Queen Joan in Trinity Chapel. The
tomb of Edward, the Black Prince is close by and described by many as the most
magnificent in England. In Trinity chapel you will also find the shrine of
St Thomas a Becket, Archbishop from 1162-1170 when he was murdered by four
knights of Henry II after a long and bitter feud. The nave completed in
the early 15th Century is 187ft in length, 71ft in width and 79ft in height.
The tall central bell tower which dominates the external views of the cathedral
dates back to 1498 and is certainly one of earliest large brick structures in
England. Viewed from inside all but the top 50ft is visible. 130ft
above the floor level is the magnificent fan vaulted ceiling, the South window
is a splendid example of 12th Century art and the whole Cathedral is alive with
stained glass, despite the Civil War and the Second World War damage.
St. Augustines Abbey Canterbury
The ruins of St Augustines
Abbey are probably one of the most important ecclesiastical sites in England.
An Abbey was first built here in the time of the saint but was subsequently torn
down more than once. The 7th Century remains tell us much of the life in
an early Christian monastery, buried in the grounds, St Augustine and many of
the early archbishops of Canterbury.
St Martins Church Canterbury
St Martins “the oldest church in continuous use in England” is hard to contest,
although the small Chapel at Escomb near Durham also lays claim. We do know as
fact that St Augustine set up his mission here when he arrived from Rome in
AD597. However it is written by the Venerable Bede that a Church dedicated to
Martin had been built in Roman times approx AD90 to the East of Canterbury. It
is also written by Bede that Queen Bertha the wife of the Saxon King Ethelbert
of Kent had worshipped here prior to the arrival of Augustine.
Established for over a
thousand years on two islands in the middle of a natural lake. Leeds
castle is one of England's oldest and most romantic stately homes. Known
affectionately as the Ladies Castle, Leeds was home to six of the Medieval
Queens of England and most infamous of monarchs King Henry VIII. The
castle now houses a magnificent collection of Medieval furnishings, tapestries
and paintings. administered by a charitable trust. Surrounded by over 500
acres of rolling parkland and gardens a natural home to many varied varieties of
The inner keep and
bailey dating back to 1180, the royal apartments and chapels used some 800 years
ago. The oldest part of the castle is the Roman lighthouse situated next
to the Saxon church. the well 289ft deep is considerably older than the castle
itself. Take a walk in the 13th century underground fortifications
originally dug in 1216 at the time of the French attack. The battlements
and towers protecting the castle. Over a thousand years of history within the
walls, throughout this long history, until the late 1960s the castle has been a
military headquarters and garrisoned continuously.
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.
Grimsthorpe castle, park & gardens
Home to the Earls of Lancaster, the De Eresby family have lived here since 1516.
There has been a building on this site since the reign of King John (1199-1216)
and that tower can still be seen in the building standing today. The building,
as you see it, mostly dates back to 1540’s but has been altered and added to
many times. Henry VIII visited a number of times and members of the family were
Lord Great Chamberlains to seven Kings, helping them to accumulate a great
wealth. The treasures housed inside have been collected by generations and
display a cross sections of British history. Including a dress worn by Charles
I in a portrait by Van Dyck, robes worn by sovereigns since James II and the
table Queen Victoria signed her accession. Along with tapestries and art from
the great masters.
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.
York Castle (Cliffords tower) In 1068 William
the Conquer built 2 Motte & Bailey castles in York. Both where later destroyed
by a Danish fleet helped by the people of York. Eventually William rebuilt the
two castles and the mound on which now stands Cliffords Tower became a part of
the main fortress. However except for the tower very little of the original
castle now exists.
The tower was built between 1245 &
1272 and has been the scene of many historical events. It is reported that the
rebel leader Robert Aske was allegedly hung from the walls in chains and starved
to death. The tower also played its part in the Civil War siege of York in
1644. Then between 1825 & 1935 it was used as a prison. But its most
infamous historical reference is the Jewish massacre of March 1190, when an
estimated 150 Jews, the entire Jewish Community of York, Died after
taking refuge in the Royal Castle.
The Manor of Southwell was
given to the Archbishop of York in 956. It was not long before a College of
Canons was formed and as a Collegiate Church served as an outpost of York until
1840, when it was reduced to little more than a Parish Church. However in 1884
it became the See for a new Diocese covering both Derbyshire and
Nottinghamshire. Eventually Derbyshire became a separate Diocese but Southwell
had now become a Cathedral in its own right
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.