Dr Cheryl White's Trip
Firth of Forth
plied across the water here for at least 900 years, since the days of Queen
Margaret, Wife of Malcolm III (1057-1093) when she regularly travelled between
Edinburgh and her Palace at Dunfermline. The first bridge built was the
rail bridge in 1890 cost £3.2 million. At the time it was the largest
bridge in the world, incorporating over 54,000 tons of steel. The surface
area is so large (45 acres) the painting alone never stops. When you
finish at one end you start again at the other. It is 2,765yds in length.
St Johns Kirk
A church surrounded on all sides by history and the presence of famous people.
The earliest reference to the Church came in 1128 but the actually Kirk was not
consecrated until 1242. Most of the present building dates
back to the 15th Century and it was during this period that the Quire
was completed. John Knox preached a very fiery sermon on “idolatry” in May 1559
in St Johns. King Charles 1st worshipped in the church in 1633 and
his son King Charles II in 1650. Bonnie Prince Charlie also came here to worship
Situated just 2 miles out of town overlooking the scene of his greatest victory
against the English, a Tower 220ft high and reached by 246 steps celebrates one
of Scotlands greatest heroes and freedom fighters. Built in 1869. Born in
1267 he led his people to victory against an English army on the 11th September
1297 at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. The English army had moved forward
and began crossing the river by the bridge, which afforded passage for only two
horsemen at a time. Dutifully the English men at arms crossed two by two
and once a reasonable proportion but by now means their whole strength had
reached the far bank the Scots pounced. The army was cut in two, one half
trying vainly to fight off the entire Scottish army while the other half tried
to reinforce it two by two. It is known that the majority that crossed the
river were killed. William Wallace was knighted and made Guardian of the
Scottish Kingdom. Wallace was eventually betrayed and executed in London
in 1305. However although he his described as a guerrilla fighter he was
eventually to become a national hero in Scotland.
Englands newest City, lying on the river Forth and dominated by the Castle.
An ancient Royal Burgh and of great strategic importance during medieval times,
commanding as it did the first point at which the Forth could be bridged.
The castle dominating the place which was the natural route between central and
northern Scotland. Hence becoming the scene of more than one major battle
between the olde enemy England. The Defeat of the Jacobites in 1215,
William Wallace and his victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 and
Robert the Bruce and his victory in 1314 over Edward II at Bannockburn.
The first evidence of buildings is a wooden fortification possibly dating
back to the 11th Century. What we see today is 13/14/15th Century.
Portcullis House from the Late 15th Century, The Royal Apartments from the early
16th Century. The Douglas garden where William 8th Earl of Douglas was murdered
and his body flung from the ramparts by order of the young James II (1430-1460).
The Superb defensive position gives excellent views of the town and countryside
around, It was often a place of refuge for Scottish Monarchs when Edinburgh fell
into enemy Hands. From the ramparts the sites of seven battles can be
seen. Time and again the castle was besieged relieved and then besieged
again during the Scottish struggle with the English. Mary Queen of Scots
spent some of her Childhood here, her Coronation took place in the Chapel Royal
in 1543. Her son the future James VI was also baptised in the Castle.
Church of the HOLY
The Parish Church of Stirling dates back to the 15th Century.
It was built on the command of James IV and without doubt one of the finest
Medieval Churches in Scotland. The roof is made of oak and the original,
it has witnessed the crowning of Mary Queen of Scots in 1543 and the coronation
of her infant son James VI in 1567. The organ is exceptional and is
reputed to be the largest in Scotland. What is now the Kirkyard was once
the castles tilting ground where great tournaments where held. Checking
closely some of the grave stones, yes they are bullet holes dating back many
centuries to sieges and battles gone by.
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
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.
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.
St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh
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.
Holy Island (Lindisfarne)
Lindisfarne is famed as the
birthplace of English Christianity. A 3 mile causeway connects the island
with the mainland at low tide and can be crossed during six hour spells between
tides. approx 300 people live on the island, with fishing and tourism the main
employment. In 635 A.D. St Aidan came on the invitation of King Oswald
from Iona on the West Coast of Scotland to teach Christianity to the Angles of
Northumbria. Linidsfarne Monastry was established and the first English
diocese founded. The Sixth Bishop was St Cuthbert who came to the island
in 664A.D. and was buried here until the monks fled
with his coffin ahead of the Danes in 875A.D. The Danes destroyed the
Abbey and the island lay deserted until a Priory was founded by a Benedictine
order in the 11th Century.
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 main seat of
the Duke of Northumberland. this great border castle whose walls enclose 7 acres
of park has survived many battles during its chequered history. Below and
around the castle are grounds landscaped by Capability Brown in 1765 which now
form a beautiful park. The castle was begun by the Vesci family in the
early 12th Century. When the last legitimate member of the family line
died in 1297 the castle was held in trust by the then Bishop of Durham who
subsequently sold it on to Henry Percy in 1309. The family Percy
eventually became Dukes of Northumberland and have lived here ever since.
Outwardly the castle has altered little since the 14th Century. However it
was severely damaged during the border wars and stood as a ruin for nearly 200
years before the 1st Duke restored it in the 18th Century.
Some of the state rooms in the castle are open to the public displaying superb
paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, Canaletto & Van Dyck. Augmented by
collections of Meissen pottery and superb furniture the fine library is the
largest room in the castle and the main staircase exquisite.
Gardens The rose garden with over 2,000 roses, the grand cascade linking
over 120 water jets into a display utilising 7,000 gallons of water per minute.
Ornamental Garden, woodland walk and much more as this garden opened only very
recently begins to grow.
most important monument built by the Romans in Britain. It is a world
heritage site and is by far the best known frontier in the entire Roman Empire.
Built by order of Emperor Hadrian on his visit to Britain in 122AD. It
took 6 years to build and is 73 miles in length, 15ft high and runs from
Wallsend in the East to Bowness on Solway in the West. It was built to
separate the Romans from the Barbarians.
When the Romans left in about 400AD the wall became derelict and stones where
used in buildings and walls all, over the area.
Possibly the remains of the most complete Roman Fort in Britain. Superb position
with commanding views all round, spectacular scenery. See the foundations
of the fort, granaries, barrack blocks, hospital, latrines. Excellent views of
the wall as it joins the fort.
contrasting church styles set in one building. The old church to the East
comprising the magnificent Crossing and Chancel. Together with Temple
Moores Scholastic Nave started in 1905 to the West. Hexham has suffered
more than most from its prime location, not far from Hadrians Wall. The
7th Century foundation by St Wilfred was burnt and plundered by the Vikings.
The restored Augustine Priory refounded in 1113 was then attacked by the Scots
under William Wallace at the end of the 13th Century, the Nave was
destroyed and not rebuilt. Therefore it is to the East end one naturally
is drawn, early Gothic architecture in a Parish Church. It is in this area
where the transept is dominated by the Priory`s famous night staircase.
Described by many as one of the finest Monastic relics in an English church.
A treasure trove of architectural gems. Lest not forget the Crypt,
beneath the Nave a Saxon Tunnel vaulted chamber built primarily of Roman Stones
its arch reputedly dating from the 7th Century. Many Celtic and
Roman relics of their occupation adorn the fabric of this lovely Church
probably in 673. In 670 he was sent school in Monkwearmouth but stayed
only two years before being sent to Jarrow in 672. He loved knowledge and
found the libraries of St Pauls fascinating. He enjoyed astronomy,
numbers, Latin and wrote the life of St Cuthbert. He also wrote a famous
history book. The first of its kind about the English Church and People.
He also loved the Bible and was working on St Johns Gospel when he died on may
25th 735. He was 62 years old. He was buried in Jarrow. During
the 11th Century his bones were stolen and brought to Durham. At the time
they were put in the same coffin as St Cuthbert. However in the 13th
Century they were separated and brought to a new tomb in the Galilee Chapel also
in Durham Cathedral.
St. Pauls Church, Jarrow
Church of St Pauls Jarrow has been a place of worship for 13 Centuries.
The Church & Monastery was built on land given by King Ecgfrith of Northumbria
in 681AD. The Chancel of St Pauls is the original Saxon Church built as a
separate Chapel and thus offers at least a relic of Bede`s time. Much of
the cut stone is Roman, do look for the three single splayed Saxon windows, the
middle one containing Saxon stained glass made in the monastic workshops, it was
excavated from the site in 1980 and inserted here in the Chancel.
Reputedly the oldest such glass in Western Europe. The Monastery where
Bede came as a boy thrived in the 7th & 8th Centuries. Outside the church
are the remains of the domestic buildings of that monastery, it was here that he
lived, worked and worshipped. The buildings where sacked by the Vikings in
794AD. It was not until 1074 that the church was repaired by the Normans and the
Monastery re-founded by Aldwin, Prior of Winchcombe Abbey in Gloucestershire.
Do look for the original dedication stone of 685 (above the Chancel arch)
supposedly the oldest in England. Although St Martins Church Canterbury
does predate Jarrow by maybe 100 years and therefore holds the honour of oldest
church in England.
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.
Famed as one of
the earliest and most important centres of Christianity in England. In 657 St
Hilda founded the Abbey for King Oswy of Northumbria in thanks for his victory
over the heathen Penda of Mercia. It was also the setting for the Synod of
Whitby in 664 who committed the English Church to the Roman Rite rather than the
Celtic one and also fixed the Precise date on which Easter should be celebrated,
the exact formula which is still in use today.
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.
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.