Cheryl White
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St James, MD
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Cheryl White
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Dr Cheryl White's Trip

Firth of Forth                    A ferry 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.
The road bridge is 1,993yds in length and cost just over £19.5 million it was opened in 1964.  The 512ft towers support two steel cables over 6ft in diameter. Suspended from these cables is the four way highway and footpath.
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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 in 1745.
In the 18th Century the Kirk was actually divided into three churches and it was not until 1918 that plans were drawn up to open up the Kirk internally to form one church again. Building work was completed in 1926
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William Wallace            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.
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Stirling                            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 old town, spread out below the castle, is a fantastic place to view possibly the finest collection of Scottish Medieval Buildings still existing today.  Bounded by broad street, St John Street, St Mary's Wynd and Castle Wynd such places as Church of the Holy Rude (Built nearly 600 years ago, the scene of the coronation of James VI in 1567) Argyll's Lodging (1632), Mars Walk, Cowane's Hospital (c1600) Tollbooth & Mercat cross, Old Jail.  Today the Town is an important commercial centre, has a thriving University and excellent new shopping centre, right next to the Olde World Charm which all adds up to make this such an enjoyable place to visit.
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Stirling Castle                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.
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Church of the HOLY RUDE (Stirling)    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.
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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 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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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. 
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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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Alnwick Castle     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.
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Alnwick Castle 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.
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Hadrians wall                 The 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.
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Housesteads Fort  (Vercovicium)            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.
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Hexham abbey                Two 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
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Venerable Bede           Born 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.
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St. Pauls Church, Jarrow            The Parish 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.
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Durham            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)
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Durham Cathedral                        The Cathedral was founded as a shrine for the body of St Cuthbert.  When Viking raids forced the monks 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. 
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Whitby Abbey        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.
Both men and women lived in the early Monastery, it is where Caedmon was inspired to sing of creation.  Destroyed by the Danes in 867 it was founded again by the Benedictines in 1078.  Continued to flourish until surrendered in 1539.  From then on the buldings have slowly blown away, by 1830 the tower had collapsed and in 1914 it was shelled by the German fleet.
The oldest part of the town is on the East cliff, with the new town under the West cliff, dividing the two the River Esk.  The old port of Whitby developed on the East bank, where ancient houses lean against each other and is a muddle of cobbled streets and narrow alleyways.  James Cook the explorer lived in this area and of course Whitby became his home port
Whitby: a Scandinavian name meaning Hviti`s village. The doomsday book records it as Whiteby.
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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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