Christ Church, Grosse Pointe, MI
Built by Robert Cecil,
1st Earl of Salisbury in 1611. The state rooms are rich in paintings fine
furniture and Medieval armour, throughout the house are examples of superb
Jacobean Craftmanship. Take a stroll in the gardens where the surviving
wing of the old Royal Palace of Hatfield dated 1497 still stands.
Elizabeth I spent much of her childhood here and it is in the great hall where
she held her first council of state in 1558 after she inherited the throne on
the death of her sister Mary. The gardens date back to the 17th
Century and are considered by many to be some of the finest in Britain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Banqueting House Completed in 1622 and designed by Indigo Jones, it was the first building in London to embody the classical Palladium style together with the use of Portland stone in the construction. Built originally as a part of Whitehall Palace it was the only building to escape the great fire which destroyed the Palace in 1698. The main hall is 115ft long and 60ft wide but it is the ceiling which catches the eye. Painted by Rubens for Charles 1st in 1629-34 it depicts the Apotheoses of the Stuart Dynasty in nine panels, which should be viewed from the far end of the room. In 1649 Charles 1st stepped out of one of the windows of the hall on his way to the scaffold erected outside in the yard, to his execution. Ironically Charles II celebrated his restoration to the throne here 20 years later. Still used for state banquets and official functions by the Government and the Queen.
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.
St. Paul's Cathedral, London
The original Cathedral was
built on Ludgate Hill by the Anglo Saxons in 604A.D. built of wood it burnt down
and was rebuilt on a number of occasions. The present Cathedral was
started by Sir Christopher Wren in 1675 and it took 35 years to build. The
Cathedral was damaged during the Second World War with bombs falling through the
roof and destroying the alter and one damaging the North transept. A
famous picture taken at the time shows the cathedral surrounded by fire and
smoke and through the gloom appearing unscathed the dome of St Pauls rising
dominantly and defiantly from the inferno below, a source of inspiration to the
whole country in its hour of need. In the crypt lie buried, Wren, Nelson,
many other famous British people. The peel of 12 bells is outstanding and
the choir of 38 boys and 18 men maintain a very proud tradition.
Tower of London Built by William the Conqueror because he did not trust his new people. Over the years it has been a garrison, armoury, prison, royal mint and royal palace. Among well known heads that have rolled or languished in the tower were Kings of Scotland, France and England. Lady Jane Grey, Duke of Monmouth, Queen Elizabeth for six months, Sir Walter Raleigh and many more. There is even a gate directly off the river called traitors gate.
1753, it is the oldest museum in the world. The original collection was
started by the physician Sir Hans Sloane but over the years it as been added to
many times over. The immense hoard of artefacts spans nearly 2 million
years of world history. It is stored in 94 galleries covering over 2 miles
of displays. Some of the treasures include Egyptian mummies, the
Mildenhall Saxon silver tableware found after being ploughed up in a Suffolk
field in 1942, Lindow man preserved in a bog since the first century AD, pottery
from Greece and Rome, Lindisfarne Gospels from the 7th Century, an
original copy of Magna Carta from 1215. Together with specimens from all over
the world which bring the very history of our civilisation alive.
Trafalgar Square Was
formally part of the Great Mews attached to Whitehall Palace and once included
part of what is now known as Charing Cross. In 1812 architect John Nash
developed the area between Charing Cross and Portland Place leaving this elegant
Square, the largest in London. It was not officially known as Trafalgar
Square until 1830, having been named to celebrate the great naval victory over
the French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
The National Gallery Situated on the North side of
Trafalgar Square, it was built between 1832-38 from a design by William Wilkins.
In 1824 Parliament accepted the idea of a national collection of pictures and
voted £60,000 to buy a collection of 38 pictures from John Angerstein. 30
years later the Government decided to make a regular grant to buy more pictures
and since then the gallery has built up arguably an unrivalled collection
covering the period from the 13th Century to the present day. Particularly
strong in Italian, Dutch, Flemish and French art.
Believed to have been
the Convent Garden of St Peters, Westminster, where the Monks sold surplus
vegetables. In 1638 the area was very residential developed by Indigo
Jones, with arcaded walks based on the Piazza D` Arme at Livorno. In 1671
by right of charter it became a small market which gradually filled the Piazza.
In 1830 the 6th Duke of Bedford rebuilt it in its present form. It became
the largest fruit, vegetable and flower market in the country. Since the
market moved South of the river the area has been redeveloped. Still
keeping the magnificent canopy and many of the buildings from the early 1800s.
the area is now well known for its restaurants, shops, market stalls and of
course the Royal Opera House. The Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London
Transport Museum, Theatre Museum and much, much more.
Imperial War Museum Established in 1920, it has a huge pair of navel guns in front of the porch. the building once formed part of the Bethlehem Hospital for the insane known as Bedlam. You can still see some of the upstairs windows barred. The building was Severely damaged during the Second World War. The museum displays model ships and other instruments of war, the museum also holds a library of war documents, books and photographs for reference.
Kensington Palace A Royal residence since 1689 when William III and Mary II commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to convert Nottingham House into a Royal Palace. Since that time the palace has seen many royal and momentous events, including the birth of Queen Victoria at 4.15pm on the 24th May 1819, her first meeting with the privy council in 1837. Part of the palace remains a private royal residence but access to many of the state apartments is allowed.
The Royal Botanical
Gardens at Kew are the worlds most famous gardens, set up as a scientific
institution for the accurate identification and classification of plants and
plant materials and for the distribution of botanical information to all parts
of the world. Kew is also a quarantine station for plants being sent from
one country to another. It trains botanists and gardeners for
establishments all over the world, in the course of its work over many years,
over 25,000 specimen plants have been assembled. The first garden on this
site belonged to Augusta, mother of George III, she lived in Kew house and in
1759 had a garden of 9 acres planted here The garden was acquired for the
state in 1841 Queen Victoria also gave property to the garden in 1898. In
1904, the whole 300 acres of the site became the property of the state, to
fulfil its scientific and popular functions. The park now houses a
tranquil temperature house with a rich collection of plants from all over the
world, a rhododendron dell, landscaped by Capability Brown, the restored
Japanese gateway and more than 9,000 trees throughout the gardens.
Museum of London Telling the story of London from prehistoric times to the present day. Highlights include the Lord Mayors Coach, together with artefacts, jewellery and furniture from all the periods of occupation.
New Globe Theatre
Situated on the South
bank as close as possible to the site of the original Globe Theatre stands the
New Globe. Faithfully reconstructed to the Elizabethan design using the
same materials. The Globe now stands as a fitting memorial to Shakespears
work and also to the vision of the late actor/director Sam Wanamaker whose dream
it was to rebuild a theatre in the round.
Shows the application of science to our lives directly and though industry.
A replica of Stephensons first locomotive The Rocket. The evolution of the
motor car. The aeronautical exhibition and much, much more.
St. Martins in the Field
The present church designed by James Gibbs was completed in 1726. However
St Martin in the Fields has been a place of worship since 1220. The parish
boundary passes through Buckingham Palace. Queen Elizabeth the Queen
Mother was a parishioner and the Prince of Wales although baptised in the palace
his record is kept in the baptism book held in the church. The church is
renown for its choral music the organ being one of the finest in Europe.
The church plays host and is famous for its lunchtime concerts given free on
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 1.05pm
Victoria and Albert Museum Founded originally as the
Marlborough House Museum of Ornamental art in 1852 and then moved to South
Kensington in 1857. The present renaissance style building was designed by
Sir Aston Webb and opened in 1909. Today it constitutes the greatest
collection of fine and decorative art in the world. There is also a
collection of John Constable paintings and drawings given by the Constable
family. So many galleries so much to see!
Oxford This great university town is, for its history and associations and for its architecture, one of the most rewarding in all England. In spite of recent industrialisation, its beauty and dignity have emerged relatively unscathed. The university is the second oldest in Europe, acknowledging only the Sorbonne in Paris as its senior. In fact evidence of organised teaching can be traced to the 12th Century. A Chancellor was appointed in 1214 and the collegiate system began in the latter part of the 13th Century with the establishment in Oxford of various religious orders.
Quite unique, a
Cathedral serving the Diocese of Oxford and a College Chapel serving Christ
Church College. It was made a Cathedral by King Henry VIII in 1545 after
cardinal Wolsey had made it a Chapel of the College in 1525. The building
however dates back to the 12th Century when it was a priory of Augustianain
Cannons. The first recorded church on the site was in the 8th Century.
The spire incidentally, constructed during the 13th Century was the first in
England the lovely Gothic chancel added in the year 1500. A superb
collection of stained glass windows still exists dating back the 14th Century
with the oldest being the magnificent Becket window in the South transept (a
rare example of 14th Century glass in situ).
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.
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.
Portsmouth Royal Naval Museum
historic dockyard is home to great ships, such as HMS Victory, Lord Nelson's
Flagship from the battle of Trafalgar. HMS Warrior (1860) the worlds first
iron-hulled, armoured warship powered by steam, still afloat in Portsmouth
harbour. Also the Mary Rose, one of the most famous ships in the world,
built in 1510 and capsized and sank dramatically in an accident in 1545.
This great ship was raised again in 1982 and has undergone extensive
preservation work ever since, with the new museum opening in Spring 2013.
The Dockyard also houses the Royal Navy Museum and many other attractions.
Isle of Wight
9,000 years ago this area was still a part of the British mainland, however the
rise in sea levels at the end of the last great ice age opened up a waterway,
turning the land into a small island accessible via a short sea crossing.
The island is situated off the South coast of England and measures just 23 miles
by 13 miles. It is however rich in history that can be traced back to the
Osborne house Built by Queen Victoria’s husband Albert between 1845-1851 as a family retreat where the family could stay free from the state ceremonial. Much loved by the Queen who right up till the late 1890s would spend at least 100 days a year living in the house. In 1901 she returned to Osborne for the last time dying here in her 83rd year. The rooms are still laid out in the way she left them with treasured possessions such as paintings, furniture, ornaments and personal bric a brac on show.
Dating back nearly a thousand years to
the time of William the Conquer. The Norman Keep is built on an artificial mound
which is the oldest part of the fortifications. The well house also contains the
famous remains of the donkey wheel that was used to raise water from the well.
The Romans built a city
here and called it Aquae Sulis. It grew up around the Baths establishment,
one of the foremost of its kind in the Western empire. Its remains form an
impressive monument to Roman Britain. In the 18th Century Bath became a
fashionable resort for society presided over by Beau Nash. It was at this
time that the work of providing a suitable environment began. From the
early 1700s - to the early 1800s many beautiful buildings, streets, squares and
crescents were completed. The pump room in 1795 and the only bridge left
in England built with shops, Pulteney Bridge completed in 1777 by William
Pulteney. The city abounds with acres of parks and gardens which sets off
the formality of the Georgian architecture.
name means bath, it
is not Roman but a pure English word. The Romans did originally call the
area Aquae Calidae (hot waters) then Aquae Sulis (waters of sulis, referring to
their pagan god) the Anglo-Saxon name was Akemanchester, which is generally
regarded as being derived from the latin Aquae (ake) and the Roman road of
Akeman Street which ran via Bath. Also the old English word Ceaster
meaning Roman Fort.
Bath Abbey A Saxon Abbey first stood on this site followed by a Norman one. It was not until 1499 that a Gothic Church was erected. Progress was very slow and by the dissolution only the choir and the walls had been completed. However the west front had certainly been given its famous turrets and ladders. After the dissolution the Abbey was looted and the church was given to the parish. The building was soon enclosed by houses and the North aisle became a walk through for towns people. In 1864 a new rector Charles Kemble at his own expense began a reconstruction of the building. Hence what we see today is a Victorian replica of the original Tudor designs.