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.
The grandest Tudor
residence in England. Built from 1514 onwards by Cardinal Wolsey as a
country home, he presented it to King Henry VIII in 1525 who continued to build
until 1540. Sir Christopher Wren added extra buildings from 1689 for King
William III and Queen Mary II.
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.
St. Albans Cathedral
The Cathedral, St
Albans Abbey was built on the site where the first British Martyr, Alban was
beheaded in 209A.D. The existing Abbey was constructed by Paul of Caen
using materials collected from the ruined Roman city (brick and flint taken from
Roman remains) started in 1077 much of the original church remains today.
The church is over 900 years old but the materials used to build it are nearly
twice that age. The nave measures over 275 feet and is the longest in
Great Britain, the tower is 144 feet high constructed entirely by the Normans
with red bricks from the old Roman city.
St. Alfege Church, Greenwich
This is the elegant church
designed by Hawksmoor and one of the first built under the fifty new churches
act of 1711 also the burial place of General Wolfe. Alfege, Archbishop of
Canterbury when the Danes took him prisoner in 1012. They beat him to
death on the spot where the church now stands.
St. George's 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
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
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.
St. Stephen Walbrook Church
A city church rebuild after the Great Fire of London in 1666.
Regarded by many as Wren's most brilliant city church. Built between
1672-80. Strong documentary evidence exists of his close involvement with the
project. The exterior looks nothing special due to originally being built
in a gap between other properties and the exterior was never meant to have been
seen. On the other hand the Interior is one of London's most perfect
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.