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Christ Church, Grosse Pointe, MI
Choir Director Scott Hanoian

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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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The Cotswolds               Developed from the Anglo Saxon words Cot and Wold, Cot meaning sheep pen. Wold meaning high windy ground, that certainly can describe the area well, especially in the winter.  The soil is poor on the Wolds and not a lot of it but a great area for rearing sheep.  Hence the numerous villages with lovely churches (known as wool churches) built by wealthy landowners centuries ago.  The area is also famous for the Cotswold stone a soft stone which yellows with age.  Many cottages will be seen built of Cotswold stone.
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Cotswold Images

Cheltenham                   Set on a sheltered ridge between the high Cotswolds and the Severn Vale the town enjoys a pleasant and equable climate.  Cheltenham is one of the finest Spa towns in Europe, with a wealth of regency houses bordering elegant squares, crescents, terraces and open spaces.  George III an inveterate frequenter of spas, visited the town in 1738 and set his seal of approval by staying at Bayshill lodge.  Lansdown Place and Montpellier Parade, among similar thoroughfares and the Rotunda, the design for its dome being based on the Pantheon in Rome.  Montpellier walk with its shops separated by Caryatids must be one of the most unusual shopping precincts in the world.  Out on the Bath Road are two of Cheltenham`s famous schools, Cheltenham College for boys was originally built between 1841 and 1843.  With the nearby Cheltenham Ladies college founded by Miss Beale, the ardent Victorian champion of good education for girls.
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Exeter                 Founded by the Romans in 50A.D. who surrounded the town with a great red stone wall, some parts which can still be seen today.  Under the Anglo Saxons it became a very important place and was twice ravaged by the Danes once in 876 when they occupied the town for three years and again in 1003. Following on after the Norman invasion the town held out till 1068 before finally accepting defeat after an 18 day siege by William the Conqueror.  The town was an important cloth manufacturing area and because of its strategic position close to the coast trading centre right up to the late 18th Century.  Two attractive areas in the city are the Cathedral Close and the area of the quay.  Some Medieval pubs still remain, The Ship, White Hart, Turks Head together with some fine timbered buildings.  Much however was lost in the German bombing of 1942 which flattened a great deal of the city.
Exeter-:derives its name from the River Exe on which it stands and could be conceived as the Roman Exchester the latter half indicating a Roman camp called Isca Dumnomiorum—Isca meaning Exe and Dumnomiorum being the name of the tribe of people who could be called the people of Devon.  The name was first recorded in 894 as Exanceaster and later in the Doomsday book with a Norman influence as Essecestra
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Exeter Cathedral                 It is recorded that a church with a religious community probably existed here from as early as the 7th Century and St Boniface an apostle from Germany was educated here.  It became the seat of the Bishop in 1050 when Leofric made the Minster his Cathedral.  Leofric founded a community of 24 Canons whose successors have run the Cathedral ever since.  The original Cathedral was built in the Norman style and consecrated on the 21st November 1133.  It is believed the Cathedral had boy singers by 1180 and the office of Dean founded in 1225.  During the period 1258-80 a new rebuilding scheme was started which built on the existing Norman foundations and by the 14th Century only the Norman towers remained of the original building.  Little disturbance was made until the exterior was extensively restored in the 19th Century and changes made inside during the period 1870-1877.   The building did take a direct hit during the bombing of 1942 and much damage was done.  The Quire screen is original dating back to 1320 and the Quire has furnishings (Bishops throne nearly 60ft high dating back to the period of Bishop Stapledon (1308-1326) Music plays a very important part in Cathedral life and the Choristers are educated in the school which dates back to the Cathedrals very early days.
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Wells                            Very much a Cathedral city and dominated by it, the existing building was started in 1180 continued in stages until 1424.  Many of the buildings in the Cathedral precincts are used today for much the same purposes as that for which they were originally built.  The Vicars Close consists of a cobbled street with a total of 42 small houses built in the 14th Century for the Vicars of the Cathedral.  The Cathedral school was started in 909 and while closing for one short period of 6 years in 1861 now records over 600 pupils.  On the West front there are 294 sculptures left of the original 386 some damaged beyond recognition, 3 new ones were unveiled by the Prince of Wales in 1985.  The Chapter House reached by an ancient stone stairway is octagonal in shape and part of a two storey building, could be one of the most beautiful Chapter Houses in Britain.  The Cathedrals South doors lead to beautiful 15/16th Century cloisters
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Glastonbury      It is believed by many people that under the waters of a spring on the slopes of its Tor Joseph of Arimathea buried the chalice used at the last supper.  That when on a nearby hill, he thrust his thorn staff into the ground it took root to produce the distinctive Glastonbury Winter flowering thorn tree, and that, on what was later to be the site of the great Abbey round which the town grew, he built  a church of daub and wattle.  Briefly this is the legend which has drawn pilgrims to this place for centuries.  In 688, King Ine of Wessex gave it a Monastery, majestic, rich and the most beautiful in Britain which is clear from the ruins of the church.  It is also believed that King Alfred and Queen Guinevere were re-buried in the Abbey.  In the town St Johns church is a fine 15th Century example.  The George Inn was built in the 15th Century to lodge pilgrims and the handsome market cross is 19th Century.
Web Link to Glastonbury Abbey
Web Link to Glastonbury Town

Stonehenge                  There is nothing quite like this awe inspiring monument anywhere else in the world, yet at first sight it is curiously disappointing, probably because it is set on a plain so vast that in comparison the stones seem quite insignificant.  It is only when man stands close to the stones that he seems so puny in comparison and it is hard to imagine how centuries ago, with only primitive tools to help them, men could possibly have placed these huge boulders into position.
The actual building falls into three phases.  Phase one which took place in the late Neolithic period somewhere around 2,000 years B.C. but little is known of this work.  Phase two took place between 1,700 and 1,600 B.C. We do know at this point about 80 blue stones, brought over by sea from the Prescelly mountains in Pembrokeshire, Wales, were placed in two concentric circles, with the entrance at the N.E. this work was never finished.  Phase three which took place between 1,600 and 1,300 B.C. during the Bronze age.  At this time the blue stones were moved and about 80 enormous Sarsen stones were dragged here from the Marlborough downs.  The whole history of Stonehenge covers the period from about 2,200 B.C. to 1,300 B.C. but exactly why it was built remains a mystery.  One fact remains the axis of Stonehenge was carefully aligned with the sunrise on 21st June, the longest day of the year.  Was it built in order to calculate the annual calendar of the seasons?
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Old Sarum                         Such a historic place covering an area of approx 56 acres. Important due to its prominence above the countryside below.  First remains indicate a Iron age camp, followed by the Romans, the Anglo-Saxons, then the Danes who pillaged the area in 1003.  In 1070 William the Conqueror reviewed his troops on the plains below.  The site really moved forward just after William departed.  The Episcopal See was moved from Sherborne to Sarum and a new Cathedral and Castle where built on the site.  However by 1220 the area was becoming too small for the requirements of the community so a new Cathedral was planned nearby.(New Sarum or as it later became Salisbury) stones from the old Cathedral where carried away and used in the construction of the new Cathedral. 
Old Sarum---old refers to a former Iron age fort and Sarum is the abbreviated form of the Latin name
Salisbury
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Salisbury                       A town where there is no need to go looking for interests in dark corners, it is all around.  The city dates back to the 13th Century when it was decided to move the Bishops seat  from Old Sarum.  The Cathedral foundations were begun in 1220 and the city started to grow.  Salisbury was built on a grid or chequer system which left space between the blocks.  Cathedral Close is the most beautiful in all England and the list of buildings with interest is unending.  It is interesting to note that the main wall around the Cathedral Close was granted by license from Edward III.
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Salisbury Cathedral          The first sight of the Cathedral is most impressive an early example of English architecture.  Its spire soaring to a height of 404ft the highest in England which imposes almost 6,000 tons of stone on the four pillars of the crossing.  The Nave measures 198ft with a clear uncluttered beauty, little having changed since it was built.  With Foundations no more than 4 feet deep on a bed of gravel, the main building was begun in 1220 and completed in 1258.  The Cloisters and Chapter house being finished in 1280.  It was never a Monastic institution but staffed with Secular Clergy called Canons.  This arrangements continues today.  Canons would be away in their parishes for most of the year, just coming back to the Cathedral for short periods of time.  The present houses round the close are built on the sites of the former Canons' Houses.
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Bristol                 Once one of the most important ports in the country, the earliest records of its commercial activity going back to Edward II in the 10th Century when silver coins were minted here.  All this due to the fact that the River Severn and Avon was navigable to this point.  It was from Bristol in 1497 that John Cabot and his Bristol born son Sebastian set sail with 18 sailors in the 100 ton ship “Matthew” before reaching the mainland of America in Newfoundland.  A centre for trade and commerce for over 1,000 years, the city still has much to offer and although the large container ships now dock at the entrance to the Avon Gorge at Avonmouth, much activity still remains around the old dock side area.
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Bristol Cathedral                Formerly an Augustinian Abbey founded in 1142 by Robert Fitzharding.  In 1542 it became the Cathedral Church of the newly formed Diocese of Bristol.  It still retains much of its Norman solidarity, particularly the fine Chapter House.  The Church building is known as a “Hall Church” type where high Chancel, aisles and an Eastern Lady Chapel are of equal height.  The Choir is full of absolutely fine woodwork dating back to the 1500s and the Misericords of great interest depicting as they do Biblical scenes.  The organ was built in 1685 by Renatus Harris and all the pipework is original.  Grinling Gibbons created the superb organ case. Choristers are educated at the adjoining Cathedral school.  One important feature in the Berkeley Chapel: a Medieval candelabrum (understood to be the only one of its kind in England recorded) has being given to the Temple Church in Bristol during 1450 and passed on to its present home during the terrible blitz of World War Two.
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St Mary Redcliffe
A superb example of medieval architecture and once described by Queen Elizabeth 1st on a visit to Bristol as “the fairest, goodliest and most famous parish church in the Kingdom” in all respects it is the size of a Cathedral with a 240ft Nave and a spire added in the 19th century rising 285ft from street level.
The church owes much of its construction to William Canynge in the 14th Century and further work completed by his son.
Admiral Sir William Penn whose son, also a William, founded Pennsylvania is buried in the South Transept. The close links with the United States are further strengthened by the restoration of the St John`s Chapel by the friends of St Mary Redcliffe in America.
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Snowdonia                      Snowdonia national park. 840 square miles of varied countryside-mountains, lakes, forests, estuaries and 25 miles of coastline.  It is not just a park but a working landscape, looked after by the park committee.
Web Link to Attractions in Snowdonia

Web Link to Snowdonia National Park

Llanberis                          People have lived in the area of Llanberis since the Iron age.  Celts, Romans, St Padarn an early Christian Saint, and the Welsh Princes of Gwynedd.  The area abounds with ancient Welsh legends and folklore.
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Pass of Llanberis          The road down the pass descends some 1,200ft and is described by many as one of the most spectacular in Britain as it is squeezed between the flanks of Glyder Fawr (3,279ft) on the right and Snowdon (3,560ft) on the left.  The road snakes down between vertical cliffs which tower above, punctured by boulders some as big as houses.
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Conwy                              The mighty castle and complete town walls on the river bank make Conwy a picturesque and richly historic centre.  It is probably one of the finest and most complete walled towns in Europe.  The walls themselves are over three quarters of a mile in length with 22 towers and three original gateways.  Conwy`s setting on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park and the Western bank of the River Conwy is unrivalled, as is its colourful history.  The Romans arrived in the area during the First Century A.D. and many invading kings from the East endured great hardship trying to cross the river to subdue the Welsh Princes on the Western bank.  When Edward I did eventually seize the bank, he built a castle to strengthen his position.  The population now spreads beyond the town walls to nearby Deganwy and Llandudno.  Along the quay in the shelter of these ancient walls is an old world full of interest.  Together with a house reputed to be the smallest in Britain and furnished as a mid Victorian Welsh cottage.
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Conwy Castle                  The castle was built by Edward I between 1283 and 1289.  He made it his headquarters for the struggle against the Welsh Prince Llywelyn.  Edward was himself besieged there by a large Welsh force from the hills in 1290.  The castle`s shape is actually dictated by the very rock on which it stands.  It has barbicans at either end and eight massive towers.  First impressions are of tremendous strength, a dominating position and yet with a compactness of design which renders it one of the most picturesque Welsh castles.
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Bangor                              The city nestles in an ancient river valley which runs parallel to the Menai Straits.  In the 6th Century a monastery was established on the site of the present day Cathedral.  It's founder was St Deiniol who was consecrated bishop.  The city grew up around the Cathedral, therefore derives its existence from this monastic establishment.  Recorded history however extends even further back with monuments found in the area relating to the Bronze age “Cromlechs” proving human occupation was taking place in the area some 2,000 years B.C.  The city today is a thriving commercial centre for the region and home to television studios and the University College of North Wales.
B
angor:  the Welsh name means ”upper row of rods in a wattle fence” this may refer to either the wattled construction of monastic cells or the fence that enclosed them.  Earliest recorded reference was in the 7th Century as the Welsh “ benchoer”
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Bangor Cathedral           The Cathedral is built on one of the oldest Christian sites in Britain.  Founded by St Deiniol in 525AD, compared with Canterbury in 595AD.  A long and somewhat troubled history has found the Cathedral sacked by the Vikngs, destroyed by King John in 1210 when he burnt Bangor to the ground and ravaged by the uprising of Owen Glyndwr in 1402.  The present building is thought to date from the mid 13th Century although not completed until the erection of the West tower in 1512.  A number of restorations have taken place since then.  The tomb of Owain Gwynedd (this area of Wales is in the province of Gwynedd) one of Wales's foremost Princes is to be found here.  Although not amongst the largest of British Cathedrals, it does retain a charm and atmosphere all of its own.
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Bangor Old Pier              Originally built in 1896 and renovated in the 1980s this pier built during the height of Victorian splendour is 1,500 feet in length as it stretches out over the Menai Straight.

Snowdon Mountain Railway    The narrow gauge railway was opened in 1896 and the steam powered locomotives climb to within yards of the summit.  The track runs parallel to one of Snowdons most popular footpaths.  The mountain is 3,560 ft above sea level.
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Llechwedd Slate Mine              Please wear good shoes.
Llechwedd slate caverns were first opened to the public in 1972. The first ride of the day is to the miners tramway of 1846. Through a network of impressive caverns and tableaux.
The second ride to the deep mine with a walk through 10 chambers.
On the surface visit the village post office, pub and victorian shops.
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Menai Strait        For many years the only access to Anglesey was by the famous Thomas Telford Menai Bridge opened on the 30th January 1826.  It is 1,000ft long, 579ft from pier to pier and 100ft above the water. When crossing the straits remember those other invaders who came 2,000 years ago.  The Romans.  Who also crossed these swirling waters to put the Druid Priests and their flower maidens to the sword in the 1st Century AD.  Their action broke the mystique of ritual and sacrifice that flourished at that time in the oak groves of the isle.  The isle of Anglesey is a bastion to the Welsh Language.
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Isle of Anglesey              For centuries Anglesey`s pastures and cornfields helped feed the peoples of Northern Wales and Snowdonia.  It earned the island the name “Mam Cymre” “mother of Wales” it is mostly flat compared to its neighbour, the mainland of North Wales, but its coastline is made up of fine sandy beaches, wide bays littered with rugged rocky headlands teeming with wildlife.  It is thought the first settlers came around 8,000B.C. and many prehistoric sites remain such as the stone age “Brycelli Ddu” burial chambers and the Iron age hill forts at Caer y Twr & Din Sylwy.  Whoever held Anglesey (the granary) it is said controlled North Wales.  The Romans came in 78A.D. and all but wiped out the Druids priesthood.  From the 7th Century the Princes of Gwynedd ruled this area.  Then in 1282 Edward I arrived building his castles to subdue the local inhabitants.  Anglesey also has another claim to fame; the village of Penmynydd was for many hundreds of years the family home of the Tudors.  Eventually merging with the English royal family in 1422 when Owen Tudor married Henry V's widow.  Their grandson of course becoming Henry Tudor taking the English throne in 1485.  Today the island is linked to the mainland by two bridges, the original Telford Menai suspension bridge 1,265 ft long, built in 1826 and the more recent Brittania rail bridge which was damaged by fire in 1970 and rebuilt.  In 1979 an upper road deck was added giving additional access to the island.
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Beaumaris                        The predominantly English feel to this small town stems from Medieval times when Edward I evicted the native inhabitants and created a garrison town.  Now a resort and sailing centre with a rich variety of well preserved buildings dating back to the 13th Century.  Chosen as the site of the last of eight castles built by Edward in North Wales.  Work started in 1295, the castle was a stronghold created using an elaborate system of concentric defences set in a new style.  Unfortunately the building was never completed through lack of funds.  A short distance from the castle is the quaint little court house built in 1614 also the former Grammar school circa 1603.  Vistoria terraces limestone facade looks out across the green to the mountains of Snowdonia.  Castle Street has many timber framed buildings including the Tudor Rose, George & Dragon, Bulkeley Arms Hotel (whose architect was Joseph Hansom designer of the Hamsom cab) The parish church of St Mary & St Nicholas is 14th Century and was built to serve what was called the new town which grew up around the castle.  One interesting item in the porch is the stone coffin of Princess Joan who was the daughter of King John of England and eventually became the wife of Llywelyn the Great she died in 1237.  It is reported that for many years the coffin was used as a drinking trough for horses.  The town gaol is situated in Steeple Lane and is recognised by its grim steep walls,  prisoners where held here from 1829-1878. now open to the public.
Beaumaris: from the Norman French words meaning “Beautiful Marsh” recorded in Latin in 1284 as “Bello Marisco” during the 16th Century we have a recoding as “Duwmares” the Beau being altered to the Welsh “Duw” (God. the present welsh version is Biwmares.
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St. Mary & St. Nicholas, Beaumaris    14th Century in origin and built to serve what was called the new town which grew up around the castle.  One interesting item in the porch is the stone coffin of Princess Joan who was the daughter of King John of England and eventually became the wife of Llywelyn the Great she died in 1237.  It is reported that for many years the coffin was used as a drinking trough for horses.

Aberystwyth                    This very pleasant seaside town is known as the intellectual centre of the principality housing as it does not only the University College of Wales but also the National Library.  This is the largest resort on Cardigan Bay and combines a popular seaside attraction with a history that goes back to the Iron Age.  The hill fort of Pen Dinas overlooks the south of the town and one of Edward I many castles in Wales is situated on a headland South of the pier.
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Swansea                        There is evidence of a settlement here as early as 2000BC.  In Viking times, around 12th Century, there was a wooden stronghold called "Swaynesse" believed to originate from the name of a Viking King Sweyne Forkbeard.  The Welsh name for the City is Abertawe (pronounced "Abba Toway") meaning mouth of the river Tawe.
Swansea was o
nce known as “Copperopolis”.  Wales’s second largest City was the earliest industrial centre in Wales.  By 1820 the Swansea area smelted 90% of Britains copper and was known throughout the world as the centre for copper production.  With a deep river for the sea going ships to travel up to 3 miles in land and on the edge of the Welsh coal mining area Swansea was perfectly placed to take advantage of the worlds need for copper.  By the 1780’s every Royal Navy ship’s hull was clad in copper to help them slip through the water faster and protect them from wood-boring worms.  By 1800 the use of copper for making coins had almost overtaken the use for ships.
The copper ore came from Cornwall and Devon, just a short ships journey across the Seven Estuary.  In 1820 100 vessels traded regularly carrying around 70,000 tones of copper ore a year.  The need for the copper ore out stripped the domestic supply and by 1860’s most copper was imported from around the world including S.America and Australia.  By 1884 1,375,000 tones of copper ore was imported from abroad to Swansea.  But by the late 19th century copper was being smelted in the country of origin and the copper trade for Swansea took a massive decline, the last copper-smelting ceased in 1923.
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St. Davids                        This tiny city (Britain’s smallest) grew up around the religious settlement founded by St David, (patron saint of Wales ) in the 6th Century.  It is situated on St Davids peninsula, a Celtic place of pilgrimage and peace, a granite ledge of land jutting out into the Atlantic ocean.  A truly magical place of inspiring beauty with golden beaches, stunning coastline, nature and wildlife in abundance.  Over the centuries, an important place situated as it is en route to Ireland.  Many are said to have passed this way, King Arthur landed on St Davids shores, Black Bart, creator of the Jolly Roger embarked on piracy from nearby Solva Harbour and pilgrims in their thousands have trodden the ancient roads.
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St. Davids Cathedral                                St Davids Cathedral almost hidden from view in a valley at the far West of the city occupies a site of a religious settlement founded by St David in the 6th Century.  Tradition also has it that he was born here.  His mother, so the story goes, gave birth to him on the spot on the cliffs to the South of the Cathedral now marked by the ruins of St Nons chapel.  The Cathedral with its wonderful oak roof dates back to the 12th Century (circa 1181-82), for centuries it was a place of pilgrimage, (two visits to St Davids being equal to one visit to Rome).  Next to the Cathedral are the remains of the ruined Bishops Palace, how splendid this must have looked in its prime.  Uniquely the sovereign of the United Kingdom is a member of the chapter and therefore has his/her own royal stall.
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Bishops Palace St Davids  Situated adjacent to the Cathedral at St. Davids the ruins of this magnificent palace bear testament to the influence and wealth created by the church in mediaeval times.  Most of the construction was overseen by Bishop Henry De Gower in the mid 14th Century.  He spared no expense on creating this lavish residence.  Originally built with two sets of state rooms set around a courtyard.  He used one set for private business and the other for the ceremonial entertaining.  The palace fell into disrepair in the 16th Century.  It is said the then bishop stripped the lead from the roof to pay for his five daughters dowries.
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Brecon                               Situated at the confluence of the Rivers Usk & Honddu in a pastoral vale dominated by the peaks of the Brecon Beacons.  One of the oldest Welsh towns, granted its first charter in 1246 and in 1366 another charter gave it the right to hold a fair.  The town centre is a mix of Medieval, Georgian, Jacobean and Tudor architecture with narrow streets and alleyways leading in all directions from the central square which is overlooked by the 16th Century St Mary`s Church.  On the Western bank of the Usk is Christ College founded in 1541 it incorporates the remains of a 12th Century friary and its chapel being one of the oldest places of worship still in use in Wales.  The priory church of St John dating from the 13/14th Centuries was designated a Cathedral in 1923.  Although small, only 250 ft long, it does give the impression of a stark and fortress like strength with its simple lines and massive tower. 
Brecon:
derives from the personal name “Brychan” who was a 5th Century Welsh Prince.  In the 15th Century as the welsh “Brycheinioc”. the current Welsh name is Aberhonddu.  Aber means “place at the mouth of two rivers” and Honddu means pleasant.  Brecon is therefore at the confluence of the Honddu and the Usk.
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Cardiff                                The capital city of Wales boasts a castle with 1,900 years of history first built by the Romans, some of the 10ft thick walls still remain.  The Normans came and built their castle which has been in continuous occupation ever since.  Some of the area surrounding the castle is now occupied by a superb modern shopping centre.  Hundreds of acres of parkland situated right in the city centre, museums, the civic centre, University of Wales. St Davids Hall, a 2,000 seat concert and conference centre.  To take the city into the millennium the new Cardiff Bay project, a redevelopment of the old Cardiff docks area.
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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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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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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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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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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 Hall                This ancient hall is 290ft long, 68ft long 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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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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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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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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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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