St Marks, OH
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St Marks Episcopal Church, Columbus, OH
Director of Music Matthew Bester
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Cambridge                             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.
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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.  
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Lincoln                        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.
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Lincoln Cathedral        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.
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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 1540ís 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.
The park and gardens extend to over 2000acres with parts landscaped by Capability Brown.  Formal gardens, woodland, lakes and deer parks something for everyone.
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Burghley House                              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.
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York                                           The fascinating 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.
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Web Link to Historic York

York Minster                    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.
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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.
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Southwell Cathedral/Minster    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
The earliest Church on the site was Saxon but nothing remains of this building except a small area of tessellated pavement in the South transept. The Western towers, nave, central tower and transepts remain very much as they where built in the 12th Century.
The early English Quire was completed about 1250 and replaced an earlier Norman original.
The Chapter House is exceptional. It is octagonal and only 31ft in diameter, no central pillar and the vault is a remarkable star design. If one looks outside you will see massive buttresses taking the strain of this wonderfully unsupported vault.
The Minster is set in a lovely grassed churchyard and is remarkably well preserved for a mostly Norman building.
The Minster is well loved by the community and serves both as a busy parish Church and Diocese

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Lincoln Castle                Founded 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.
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