St Mary's Episcopal Church, El Dorado, AR
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.
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.
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
The Temple Church London
The following few words do not do justice to this very historic place, a further
read would be recommended.
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.
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.
a historic place covering an area of approx 56 acres. Important due to its
prominence above the countryside below. First remains indicate a Iron age
camp, followed by the Romans, the Anglo-Saxons, then the Danes who pillaged the
area in 1003. In 1070 William the Conqueror reviewed his troops on the
plains below. The site really moved forward just after William departed.
The Episcopal See was moved from Sherborne to Sarum and a new Cathedral and
Castle where built on the site. However by 1220 the area was becoming too
small for the requirements of the community so a new Cathedral was planned
nearby.(New Sarum or as it later became Salisbury) stones from the old Cathedral
where carried away and used in the construction of the new Cathedral.
A town where there is
no need to go looking for interests in dark corners, it is all around. The
city dates back to the 13th Century when it was decided to move the Bishops seat
from Old Sarum. The Cathedral foundations were begun in 1220 and the city
started to grow. Salisbury was built on a grid or chequer system which
left space between the blocks. Cathedral close is the most beautiful in
all England and the list of buildings with interest is unending. The first
sight of the Cathedral is most impressive an early example of English
architecture. Its spire soaring to a height of 404ft the highest in
England, the nave measures 198ft with a clear uncluttered beauty, little having
changed since it was built.
The first sight of the
Cathedral is most impressive an early example of English architecture. Its
spire soaring to a height of 404ft the highest in England which imposes almost
6,000 tons of stone on the four pillars of the crossing. The Nave measures
198ft with a clear uncluttered beauty, little having changed since it was built.
Foundations no more than 4 feet deep on a bed of gravel, the main building was
begun in 1220 and completed in 1258. The Cloisters and Chapter house being
finished in 1280. It was never a Monastic institution but staffed with
Secular Clergy called Canons. This arrangements continues today.
Canons would be away in their parishes for most of the year, just coming back to
the Cathedral for short periods of time. The present houses round the
close are built on the sites of the former Canons Houses.
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
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.
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.
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.
Home to the largest Benedictine community in Britain. This order of monks did
not settle in Ampleforth until the early 1800s, but can trace their history back
to Westminster Abbey in much earlier times.
The spectacular remains of
the first Cistercian Abbey in Northern England. situated in the unrivalled peace
and serenity of a beautiful wooded valley on the banks of the River Rye.
sheltered from the moors rising above. Walter L`Espec granted this site in
the wilderness to a group of Cistercians in 1131. From these small
beginnings began a crusade which ended with the building of this Abbey.
Its grandeur outlined in the remains of the buildings. Completed before
the end of the 12th Century records indicate that under the Third Abbot (Aelred
1147-1167) the community consisted of 140 monks and over 500 lay brothers.
By the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 this large community had dwindled
down to just 22 monks. The buildings are now looked after by English
Heritage. The Church Nave dates back to at least 1135 and the Choir is a
particularly fine example of 13th Century work.
It is not only the lover of
architecture who will be thrilled by Durham. It is one of the most
visually exciting cities in Britain. The magnificent Norman Cathedral and
the Castle stand proudly on a sandstone hill almost enclosed by a steep banked
wooded bend of the River Wear. It is a scene well worth looking at from
every vantage point. The best views are obtained from the railway station,
Prebends Bridge, South Street, Silesgate and also Palace Green. The Castle
was built in 1069 by the Norman invaders and the town grew up under the Castle
walls between the two river crossings at Elvet and Framwellgate. Durham is
not a large city but is a centre of local government and education (Durham
University was created as the third university in England by an act of
Parliament in 1832)
The Cathedral was
founded as a shrine for the body of St Cuthbert. When Viking raids forced
on Lindisfarne to flee in
875. They carried with them the body of the saint, they reached Durham in
995 after time at Chester le Street and Ripon. In Durham the coffin seemed
to become rooted to the ground and the spot for the new shrine was revealed in a
vision. By 998 they had built a church (nothing remains of this early
building) it quickly became a place of pilgrimage. The Bishops became
Prince Bishops of Durham giving the city the right to raise armies, own
nobility, coinage and courts. All these privileges were ended in 1836.
The present Cathedral Church of Christ and blessed Mary the Virgin was built
between 1093 and 1133 to a plan of Bishop William of Calais. He died but
the work continued under Bishop Flambard. It is possibly the finest Norman
building in Europe. St Cuthberts body was brought to his shrine behind the
high altar in 1104. The Cathedral was the first in Northern Europe to be
covered with stone ribbed vaulting and it has the earliest pointed transverse
arches in England. There are few monuments because of a long held rule
that no one should be buried in the shrine of st cuthbert. From the South
side aisle a door leads to the monks dormitory, a great timbered hall 194ft by
39ft where some of
the Cathedrals prized possessions can be seen, they include St Cuthberts
illuminated manuscripts. In front of the font is a line of marble, the
nearest point that women were allowed to get to the altar. Almost no
amount of time is to long to spend in this unique place of worship.
Probably owes its
origins to the erection in the 7th Century of an Anglo Saxon convent.
However it was the later Benedictine Abbey founded by Leofric, Earl of Mercia in
the 11th Century that gave the town its impetus to grow. It was granted
its first charter in 1553. The mechanization of the 19th Century brought
the manufacture of sewing machines and bicycles right into the city. The
Daimler company produced the first English motorcar in 1898 and the car industry
increased rapidly, giving rise in turn to aircraft production. It was the
aircraft production Germany came to bomb in 1940, it was a cold November night
in 1940 when much of the city was wiped out by a devastating fire bombing air
raid, thousands of people killed and injured, the Cathedral was also destroyed,
leaving only a tower and a spire standing.
In 1951 an open
architectural competition for a new Cathedral was held and won by a design by
Basil Spence. A new Cathedral was born, started in 1954 it was finished in
1962. Today thousands of visitors are drawn to the new building, acclaimed
as one of the most striking examples of modern architecture. The nave is
270ft long and 80ft wide with the focal point a superb 75ft high tapestry
designed by Graham Sutherland and woven in France. The theme
reconciliation and unity by all people from whatever religion of whatever creed
or colour, the rising of hope from the ashes of war.