Episcopal Church of the Nativity, Huntsville, AL
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
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.
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.
Museum of London
Telling the story of London
from prehistoric times to the present day. Highlights include the Lord
Mayors Coach, together with artefacts, jewellery and furniture from all the
periods of occupation.
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
New Globe Theatre
Situated on the South
bank as close as possible to the site of the original Globe Theatre stands the
New Globe. Faithfully reconstructed to the Elizabethan design using the
same materials. The Globe now stands as a fitting memorial to Shakespears
work and also to the vision of the late actor/director Sam Wanamaker whose dream
it was to rebuild a theatre in the round.
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.
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.
Believed to have been
the Convent Garden of St Peters, Westminster, where the Monks sold surplus
vegetables. In 1638 the area was very residential developed by Indigo
Jones, with arcaded walks based on the Piazza D` Arme at Livorno. In 1671
by right of charter it became a small market which gradually filled the Piazza.
In 1830 the 6th Duke of Bedford rebuilt it in its present form. It became
the largest fruit, vegetable and flower market in the country. Since the
market moved South of the river the area has been redeveloped. Still
keeping the magnificent canopy and many of the buildings from the early 1800s.
the area is now well known for its restaurants, shops, market stalls and of
course the Royal Opera House. The Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London
Transport Museum, Theatre Museum and much, much more.
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.
Shows the application of science to our lives directly and though industry.
A replica of Stephensons first locomotive The Rocket. The evolution of the
motor car. The aeronautical exhibition and much, much more.
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.
Hiddern away beneath the
modern arches and bridges of busy London. This jewel is known as “Londons
hidden glory” Londons oldest Cathedral. The doomsday book records that in
Anglo Saxon times a Monasterium was situated on this site, some recent
excavations have unearthed some Roman remains but the origins of the church
unfortunately are lost in the mists of time. The church was rebuilt in
1106 and was closely linked to the Bishops of Winchester. The present
choir was constructed in the 13th Century, the tower in the 14th and the altar
screen in the 16th Century. It finally became a Cathedral in 1905 to serve
what was a growing population on the South bank.
This great university
town is, for its history and associations and for its architecture, one of the
most rewarding in all England. In spite of recent industrialisation, its
beauty and dignity have emerged relatively unscathed. The university is
the second oldest in Europe, acknowledging only the Sorbonne in Paris as its
senior. In fact evidence of organised teaching can be traced to the 12th
Century. A Chancellor was appointed in 1214 and the collegiate system
began in the latter part of the 13th Century with the establishment in Oxford of
various religious orders.
Quite unique, a
Cathedral serving the Diocese of Oxford and a College Chapel serving Christ
Church College. It was made a Cathedral by King Henry VIII in 1545 after
cardinal Wolsey had made it a Chapel of the College in 1525. The building
however dates back to the 12th Century when it was a priory of Augustianain
Cannons. The first recorded church on the site was in the 8th Century.
The spire incidentally, constructed during the 13th Century was the first in
England the lovely Gothic chancel added in the year 1500. A superb
collection of stained glass windows still exists dating back the 14th Century
with the oldest being the magnificent Becket window in the South transept (a
rare example of 14th Century glass in situ).
Developed from the
Anglo Saxon words Cot and Wold, Cot meaning sheep pen. Wold meaning high windy
ground, that certainly can describe the area well, especially in the winter.
The soil is poor on the Wolds and not a lot of it but a great area for rearing
sheep. Hence the numerous villages with lovely churches (known as wool
churches) built by wealthy landowners centuries ago. The area is also
famous for the Cotswold stone a soft stone which yellows with age. Many
cottages will be seen built of Cotswold stone.
Set on a sheltered
ridge between the high Cotswolds and the Severn Vale the town enjoys a pleasant
and equable climate. Cheltenham is one of the finest Spa towns in Europe,
with a wealth of regency houses bordering elegant squares, crescents, terraces
and open spaces. George III an inveterate frequenter of spas, visited the
town in 1738 and set his seal of approval by staying at Bayshill lodge.
Lansdown Place and Montpellier Parade, among similar thoroughfares and the
Rotunda, the design for its dome being based on the Pantheon in Rome.
Montpellier walk with its shops separated by Caryatids must be one of the most
unusual shopping precincts in the world. Out on the Bath Road are two of
Cheltenham`s famous schools, Cheltenham College for boys was originally built
between 1841 and 1843. With the nearby Cheltenham Ladies college founded
by Miss Beale, the ardent Victorian champion of good education for girls.
Gustav Holst Museum Nos 4
Pittville Terrace in Cheltenham (now Clarence Road) the house where Gustav Holst
the famous composer (the planets being one of his most notable compositions) was
born on 21st September 1874. He lived here for the first 8 years of his
life till the death of his mother in 1882. The family then moved to
Vittoria Walk. Young Gustav was educated at Cheltenham Grammar School and
in 1893 went on to study at the Royal College of Music in London. He died
in London on 25th May 1934.
Haw Bridge Inn
Built in 1630 as a stop over place for boats, where the old toll bridge crossed
the river Severn. Many a boatman has taken a sip of ale and a Ploughman’s
lunch within these walls, while watching the boats plying their trade on this
once busy stretch of river. Today, just pleasure craft glide slowly by.
But the Inn still retains the ambiance of a bygone age nestling as it does on
the banks of the river. Flagstone floors, oak panelling & oak beamed
ceilings. Collections of horse brasses and Toby jugs adorn both walls and
ceilings. Home cooked food, enjoy this little piece of real England.
life as a Roman fort which guarded the lowest Severn crossing and the legions
route into Wales (Glevum). The city later became the residence of Norman
Kings, while here William the Conqueror decided on the Doomsday survey.
The city has long been an inland port with its own harbour master. Famous
for its Cathedral it has also been the focal point of other important historic
main thoroughfares still follow the Roman roads and meet at the Cross. In
Brunswick Street is a memorial to Robert Raikes who founded the Sunday School
movement in nearby St Catherine Street. The New Inn in Northgate Street
was a half timbered 15th Century pilgrims hostelry. The Ravern Tavern in
Hare Lane, once the home of the Hoare Family who sailed in the mayflower to New
The present Cathedral
was started in about 1089 by a monk called Serlo from Mont St Michael in France.
The building was consecrated in 1100 though work did continue for some years to
come. The great East window is the largest Medieval window in Europe.
A central tower was built approx 1450 to replace the Norman one. The tower
stands 225 feet high and is one of the glories of Gloucester, seen for miles
around. The first appearance is of a Gothic Cathedral, but further close
inspection will reveal its Norman structure. The cloisters are amongst the
finest in England and are the earliest fan vaulted cloister still in existence.
They were built in the 14th Century and contain a magnificent lavatorium in the
North range and study carrels in the South range. The Kings school is very
much a part of the foundation, where the Cathedral Choristers are educated.
Music is very much a part of the tradition of Gloucester and is the venue every
3 years for the three choirs festival.
Large impressive Cistercian
Abbey in beautiful riverside location in the Wye valley. It has been the
subject of a poem by Wordsworth and a painting by Turner. The order was
founded in 1131 by Walter de Clare. Little is left of the original
building, it was built here deliberately, in keeping with the strictness and
austerity of the order. The abbey was completely rebuilt in the 13th
Century and in 1326 Edward II stayed here for 2 nights. The Abbey
continued to be active and generally undisturbed until the dissolution in 1536.
From then on the Abbey became neglected and fell into disrepair. Greatly
regarded by the romantic movement in the late 18th Century for its peace and
Once one of the most
important ports in the country, the earliest records of its commercial activity
going back to Edward II in the 10th Century when silver coins were minted here.
All this due to the fact that the River Severn and Avon was navigable to this
point. It was from
Bristol in 1497 that John Cabot and his Bristol born son Sebastian set sail with
18 sailors in the 100 ton ship “Matthew” before reaching the mainland of America
A centre for trade and commerce for over 1,000 years, the city still has much to
offer and although the large container ships now dock at the entrance to the
Avon Gorge at Avonmouth, much activity still remains around the old dock side
SS Great Britain
Launched in Bristol in 1843 the ship was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel,
famous Victorian engineer who also designed the Bristol suspension bridge.
This was the first ship fitted with a screw propeller, first to have an iron
hull and first to have a 1,000 horse power engine. On her first voyage
across the Atlantic she set a new speed record.
Augustinian Abbey founded in 1142 by Robert Fitzharding. In 1542 it became
the Cathedral Church of the newly formed Diocese of Bristol. It still
retains much of its Norman solidarity, particularly the fine Chapter House.
The Church building is known as a “Hall Church” type where high Chancel, aisles
and an Eastern Lady Chapel are of equal height. The Choir is full of
absolutely fine woodwork dating back to the 1500s and the Misericords of great
interest depicting as they do Biblical scenes. The organ was built in 1685
by Renatus Harris and all the pipework is original. Grinling Gibbons
created the superb organ case. Choristers are educated at the adjoining
Cathedral school. One important feature in the Berkeley Chapel: a Medieval
candelabrum (understood to be the only one of its kind in England recorded) has
being given to the Temple Church in Bristol
during 1450 and passed on to its present home during the terrible blitz of World
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.
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
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