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Christ Church Winnetka, Illinois
Choir Leader Richard Clemmitt

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Woburn Abbey                                 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 the family.
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Anne Hathaway's Cottege            This well preserved example of early domestic architecture with its picturesque thatched roof was the home of William Shakespeare's wife before her marriage.  Her family the Hathaways lived here close to the village of Shottery for some years.    
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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.
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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.
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Coventry                                            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.
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Coventry Cathedral                      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.
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Kenilworth castle                           Started as a wooden fortress in 1112 by Geoffrey De Clinton. The Keep which still stands today was built in 1162. King John visited several times during his reign. In 1199 the De Clinton family surrendered all rights to the King.  Henry III gave it to his Sister who was married to Simon De Montfort.  In 1361 the castle came into the hands of Blanche of the Lancastrian house who then married John of Gaunt.  It was John that transformed the building from a fortress to a grand castle.  The castle passed from John to his son Henry IV and remained a royal residence till Elizabeth 1st gave it to Robert Dudley.  This was the height of influence at Kenilworth.  Queen Elizabeth visited many times.  But after Roberts death the castle went into slow decline.  During the Civil War Cromwell ordered the castle to be dismantled.  After the restoration it passed into the hands of the Clarendon family who eventually passed it into the care of the state. A magnificent sight to see, when itís red sandstone towers, keep and wall glow brightly in the morning sun.
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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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Jorvik Museum                      This museum is like no other museum, the actual building is on the site of an archaeological dig, the journey you take is around the actual remains below street level, exactly where the old city of York was built
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Castle Howard                        Seen against the backdrop of the Howardian Hills, the splendour of Castle Howard is all the more astonishing.  The largest house in Yorkshire, designed by Sir John Vanbrugh this was his first house (his second was Blenheim Palace).  The clerk of works was Nicholas Hawksmore, a partnership of brilliance.  It was started in 1700 but by the time of completion in 1737, the 3rd Earl of Carlisle, who commissioned it, Vanbrugh and Hawksmore were all dead.  The total cost of building was a then staggering £78,000.  The house is set in over 1,000 acres of parkland, has two lakes and is home to a vast treasure of pictures and antiques.
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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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Hawes                    One of the highest market towns in England.  Known as the capital of Upper Wensleydale.  Set amongst a thriving farming area of outstanding beauty home to thousands of sheep and cattle.  A small town with broad cobbled streets where local industries such as cheese making, pottery and rope making still survive.  Small shops offering local produce together with antique shops offer glimpses of times gone by.
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Wensleydale Cheese            The story of cheese making in the Yorkshire dales dates back to possible Roman times.  However it was Cistercian Monks from Jervaulx arriving here in the 12th Century who bought with them a knowledge of cheese making which they used to produce a soft, blue veined cheese made from Wensleydale Ewes milk.  By the 17th Century most farmhouses had their own recipes which were passed down from generation to generation.  The first commercial creamery in Hawes was set up in 1897.  Then followed a history of high points and a very low point reached in 1992 when the creamery was closed.  However within 6 months some ex managers a local businessman together with skilled help from former workers re-opened for business. Today going from strength to strength the creamery once again is proud to produce the real Wensleydale cheese.
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Scarborough                            Described by locals as big and breezy, this North sea resort town with its two splendid bays is a fine combination of a ruined castle, nice hotels, boarding houses, sands, terraced gardens, wave swept promenades and plenty of walks.  According to legend it was founded by a Norseman, we do know that it was burned to the ground by another one Harold Harrada in 1066.  A stylish Spa in the 17th & 18th Centuries which during the last 20 years has lost much of its appeal to travelling holiday makers.  The castle circa 1160 stands on a headland that was once the site of a British Camp and later a Roman Signal Station.  The splendid Marine Drive and Promenade were completed in 1908 and follow the wide curve of the North Bay.  The Parish Church of St Mary`s was built in the 12th Century it was severely damaged during the Civil War.  It is the final resting place of Anne Bronte who is buried in the churchyard.  She came to the town in the hope that the spa waters and bracing sea air would improve her health.  Unfortunately she died in Scarborough at the age of 29.
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