Christ Church Cathedral, Lexington, KY
Built on the site of a
Cistercian Abbey, this superb 18th Century mansion stands in 3,000
acres of parkland where some 1,000 deer roam. Since 1574 it has been the
home of the Dukes of Bedford. It is presently occupied by the Marques &
Marchioness of Tavistock and their family. The house is complete with many
works of art in a collection consisting of Canaletto, Rembrandt, Van Dyck,
Reynolds and Gainsborough. In the Canaletto room are 21 views of Venice by
Antonio Canale. The collection is further enhanced by English and French
period furniture together with English, continental and oriental porcelain.
14 state apartments are on view and some private apartments when not in use by
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.
Stratford upon Avon
Situated on the West
bank of the River Avon. Many 15th and 16th Century timber framed houses
still exist and in many of its streets the essential character of a thriving
market town still purveys. However it can not be denied that it is justly
famous because on or about 23rd April 1564 William Shakespeare was born here and
a few days later baptised at the Parish Church of Holy Trinity. There is
however evidence of a Bronze age settlement in the area and a Romano British
village. A Monastery was founded in Anglo Saxon days and by the year 1196
the town was granted the right to hold a weekly market.
The town name means
ford by a Roman road. In this case over the River Avon and the Roman road
is the one joining the Roman settlements of Alcester and Tiddington. The
ford was actually at the point where Bridgefoot Crosses the River now.
The name was recorded as Stretford approx 700 years ago.
Shakespeare Birthplace Museum
The Cottage was the childhood home of William
Shakespeare. The cottage is authentically furnished throughout with both
original and replica items from this time period of his life. To the rear
is a lovely garden and adjoining is a superb exhibition charting his
professional and private life including a first edition of his colleted plays
published in 1623.
The Town stands above
the River Ouse on a bluff which was formerly an island, accessible only by boat
or causeway until the fens were drained in the 17th and 18th Century. It
was the scene of Hereward`s resistance to William the Conqueror. A quiet
oasis away from the hustle and bustle of modern city life around the precints of
the cathedral are the houses of the Kings School founded by Henry VIII.
Nearby is the Bishops Palace and St Mary`s church, in the vicarage of which
lived Oliver Cromwell and his family from 1636-1647.
The Cathedral was
founded by St Etheldreda in 673 but work on the present building did not
commence until the appointment of Abbot Simeon in 1081. It is only on
entering the Cathedral that the length of the nave becomes apparent (537ft in
length) with a wonderful painted wooden ceiling 72ft high, conceived by Alan
Walsingham over 600 years ago. The effect of its design with its beautiful
fan vaulting and delicate tracery makes it one of the highlights of English
architecture. The chapels which surround the extension contain some of the
most elaborate and extraordinary carvings to be seen in England.
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.
The largest & grandest
house of the first Elizabethan age. built between 1565 & 1587 by William Cecil.
The house is still a family home yet full of superb paintings and antiques, a
treasure to feast upon. The art collection is one of the most impressive
17th Century Italian painting collections in the world, with over 300 great
works on display in the state rooms, which also includes work by Gainsborough,
Kneller and Lawrence. The tour will allow access to over 18 state rooms
filled with superb porcelain from all over Europe and a collection of early
Japanese ceramics, together with furniture of the highest quality including a
bed once used by Queen Victoria. Try and find time to wander in the
grounds, acres of park land, originally landscaped by Capability Brown.
Mature trees and plenty of space for the youngsters to let off some steam.
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.