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Tudor Rose Ensemble, Tyler, TX
Choral Director Donald Duncan

London the 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.
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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.
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Westminster hall
   
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River Thames                     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 present day. 
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Westminster Abbey                          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.
William the Conqueror was crowned in that Abbey on Christmas Day 1066. this Coronation began a tradition and all Kings and Queens of England (Britain) with the exception of Edward V & Edward VIII have been crowned in the Abbey since that date.
Work began in 1245 in rebuilding the Abbey. The work proceeded rapidly and by 1269 the Quire and one bay of the Nave was completed.  At this time the body of St Edward was removed and laid to rest in a Chapel bearing his name.  In 1272 Henry III died and his body was buried in the front of the high alter where Edward`s had once lain.
The complete history of this famous Abbey would take many pages to write, hence it is possibly to conclude by saying “many Kings and Queens together with famous people lie buried within its walls and therefore this one building is a unique testament to 1,000 years of the history of the British people”.

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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. 
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Banqueting House            Completed 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.  
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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.
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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.
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Buckingham Palace         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.
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The British Monarchy
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London Eye                        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.
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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.
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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, Wellington and 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.
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British Museum                 Founded in 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.
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Imperial War Museum      Established in 1920, it has a huge pair of navel guns in front of the porch. the building once formed part of the Bethlehem Hospital for the insane known as Bedlam.  You can still see some of the upstairs windows barred.  The building was Severely damaged during the Second World War.  The museum displays model ships and other instruments of war, the museum also holds a library of war documents, books and photographs for reference.
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Kensington Palace          A Royal residence since 1689 when William III and Mary II commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to convert Nottingham House into a Royal Palace.  Since that time the palace has seen many royal and momentous events, including the birth of Queen Victoria at 4.15pm on the 24th May 1819, her first meeting with the privy council in 1837.  Part of the palace remains a private royal residence but access to many of the state apartments is allowed.
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Kew Gardens                     The Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew are the worlds most famous gardens, set up as a scientific institution for the accurate identification and classification of plants and plant materials and for the distribution of botanical information to all parts of the world.  Kew is also a quarantine station for plants being sent from one country to another.  It trains botanists and gardeners for establishments all over the world, in the course of its work over many years, over 25,000 specimen plants have been assembled.  The first garden on this site belonged to Augusta, mother of George III, she lived in Kew house and in 1759 had a garden of 9 acres planted here  The garden was acquired for the state in 1841 Queen Victoria also gave property to the garden in 1898.  In 1904, the whole 300 acres of the site became the property of the state, to fulfil its scientific and popular functions.  The park now houses a tranquil temperature house with a rich collection of plants from all over the world, a rhododendron dell, landscaped by Capability Brown, the restored Japanese gateway and more than 9,000 trees throughout the gardens.
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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
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Tate Modern                       
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Windsor                                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.
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Windsor Castle                   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.
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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 castle.
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Ripon                                        A small market town dating back to early Saxon times.  We have the Crypt in the Minster from circa 672 and a belief that the town name is based on a tribe of people known as the Hreope who inhabited the area in pre Saxon times.  In local documents the town was recorded as Hrypis in 715 and as Rypum in the year 1030.  We can therefore safely establish that a settlement has been here dating back over 1500 years.  The town is dominated by the Cathedral but the heart of the town is the rectangular market place with its dominating 90ft obelisk raised in 1781.  One of the oldest houses in the town is situated near one corner of the square.  The house was built in the 13th Century and the Wakeman or Night Watchman lived there. 
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Ripon Cathedral            On entering you will be standing in the oldest Cathedral in England, the first stone church was built by Wilfred in 672, the original and surviving crypt is one of the oldest Christian Shrines in England.  It is interesting because it is built to what was believed at the time to be the exact dimensions of Christ’s Tomb.  The original church was destroyed in 950 and the second laid waste by the Norman’s in 1069. the present building therefore dates back to the 11th and 12th centuries.  Many interesting things to see in this lovely building including the Harrison organ which dates back to 1914.
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Fountain Abbey  (Declared a world heritage site)          The majestic ruins of possibly the Greatest Abbey in England, stand in this scenic valley of the River Skell.  Just a few miles South West of Ripon.  Even today so much of the building is still visible.  From very humble beginnings, a rise to power then total Dissolution under Henry VIII.  It was from St Mary`s Abbey York, that the prior and some followers left to establish a new Cistercian order here at Fountains in 1132.  They started to build and over the years the community grew in property, prosperity & recruits. Unfortunately this power and wealth replaced the original Cistercian ideals and was a great prize for Henry VIII during the Dissolution.  He sold it to Sir Richard Gresham in 1540.  One can clearly see from the ruins the picture of what life in a Monastic institution was like during the middle ages.  The tower stands a remarkable 168ft in height with the church extending some 360ft.  In 1738 William Aisdale who owned the adjoining Studley Royal Estate purchased Fountains and continued to mould the two together.  Landscaping and gardening as he went along.  Today the Cistercian Abbey ruins are the largest in Britain blending in naturally with a landscape of ornamental lakes, cascades, bridges, river walks and eye catching vistas.  A 500 head deer colony live in the deer park and at night the whole area of the ruins are floodlit.
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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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Harewood House                  This magnificent 18th Century mansion planned by Robert Carr and decorated by Robert Adam is situated in landscaped grounds completed by Capability Brown in 1772 and set in rolling countryside.
Room after room reflects exquisite craftsmanship of the 18th
Century. Superb chimney pieces, ceilings, carpets, mirrors and furniture by Chippendale.  Harewood also has a notable collection of paintings by Tintoretto, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Sargent, Turner & a host of other Italian Masters.
Do make time to see the sweeping terrace designed by
Sir Charles Barry (architect of the Houses of Parliament) which overlooks the formal gardens.
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Alnwick     Still looks like a stronghold of the Earls and Dukes of Northumberland.  You may enter from the South through the narrow medieval arch of Hotspur Tower and within moments confront the great barbican guarding the gateway to Alnwick Castle.  Within the town, age speaks for itself from the narrow streets, cobblestones, passageways, sturdy grey buildings and monuments.  The town grew up on the River Aln beside the great border castle whose walls enclose 7 acres.  Below and around the castle are grounds landscaped by Capability Brown in 1765 which now form a beautiful park.  In the town a broad main street with slopping tree shaded cobblestone parking space alongside, passes near a market square.  A free standing 18th Century hall has an arcade for shops on the ground floor and assembly rooms above.  A very interesting town steeped in history and the ravages of this wild border country.
The town name
pronounced Annick, situated on the River Aln from which it gets its name, which in turn derives from the Celtic word Alaun meaning holy or mighty.  Wick means a farm, outlying from a main settlement.  The earliest known record or the River Aln is in the Venerable Bedes, ecclesiastical history of the English people written in Latin and dated 731, it appears as Fluuium Alne.
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Edinburgh                    The Capital of Scotland, with origins in the Iron Age.  Although Edinburgh did not become the capital until the 12th Century the history of the city is really moulded around one street, The Royal mile.  At the foot lies Holyrood House, still a royal palace today, where Mary queen of Scots lived and where Bonnie Prince Charlie had a brief triumph of his celebration ball after capturing Edinburgh in the 1745 rebellion.  At its head the castle towers on its great rock.  Between the two, the royal mile winds its way along the spine of the rock with its pre 18th century Edinburgh, tall, many storied houses clinging to the steep hillside.  Yet Edinburgh is not just about history, the new town is just as picturesque with wide streets and crescents.  With princes street flanked by gardens on the south being described by many as one of Europe's finest thoroughfares.  The ladies will find Edinburgh's Shops just fine. 
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Edinburgh Castle        The Oldest part of the castle is St. Margaret's Chapel built early in the 12th Century.  Apart from this we know very little about the early buildings on the site.  We do know that the castle walls began to take their present form from about 1356.  Since then many additions and changes have taken place.
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St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh    Three of the soaring spires on the famous skyline of Edinburgh belong to the Scottish Episcopal Catherdal of St Mary the Virgin.  Consecrated in 1879 the Cathedral is still the home to a thriving congregation.  After the abdication of James VII in 1689 the reformed church in Scotland divided over the issue of the Stuart succession. Two churches came into being.
The Presbyterian Church established by King William and the Episcopal church loyal to the Stuart cause.  St Giles the Edinburgh Cathedral came under the established church which left the Episcopal ministry with no Cathedral of its own.  For many years they worshipped in an old woollen mill then the church of St Paul in York Place.  Always dreaming of the day when they would eventually have a Cathedral of their own.  However it was not until the middle of the Nineteenth Century that the dream started to become a reality.  The Walker Sisters local landowners bequeathed the residue from the sale of their estate “Drumsheugh” to the building of a new Cathedral.  A trust deed was drawn up which came into effect on the demise of the last surviving Sister Mary in 1870.  In 1872 a competition was held to find a design of the new building which was won by Sir George Scott.  However he was asked to add two more spires to his original design.  The foundation stone was laid on the 21st May 1874.  The nave was opened on the 25th January 1879 and daily services have been held every day since.
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St Andrews                 Some historians believe the earliest settlement in St Andrews, maybe during the 8th Century was in the area of All Saints Church, possibly a fisher settlement built inland from a fortified area on the headland (later the castle).  The earliest recorded use of the name "St Andrews" was in the 12th Century when again mention was made of the "fisher settlement.  Much of the pale grey and golden stone used to build the old houses in the town was taken from what was the largest Cathedral in Scotland, now a majestic ruin on the Eastern edge of the town.  Besides it stands the 12th Century St Rules Tower named after the Saint who according to legend was shipwrecked here in the 8th Century carrying the bones of the Apostle St Andrew.  Crosses in the cobbled streets mark the sites where martyrs were burned at the stake.  On the Western side of the town stands the Royal and Ancient Golf Club.  The Senior golf club in the world with the responsibility for determining the rules of the game.  Beside the links, the West sands stretch for over 2 miles.
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St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh        St Giles was the Patron Saint of Cripples, he was a Greek born in Athens in 640AD. The building was dedicated to St Giles in 1243.  There has probably been a church on this site since 854. The oldest parts of the present building are 4 massive central pillars thought to date back to 1120. The church was burnt down by the English in 1385.  However over the following 150 years it was enlarged and enhanced.  It was from here that John Knox (Scottish reformer) appointed Minister of Edinburgh in 1559 led the reformation of the Scottish Church.  The tie with Rome was broken and the administration of the Church of Scotland evolved into Presbyterianism.  Although it must be said that for two periods in the 17th Century the Church was Episcopalian.  Mary Queen of Scots held Parliament in 1563 in the outer tollbooth section.  During that time it was the market place at the centre of the cities activities.  Many tales of torture, execution, bravery and treachery started life within the walls of this building.  Which today echoes a violent past and yet by careful renewal points a way forward to the future.
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