Metropolitan United Church, London, Ontario
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.
A beautiful city and
the Capital of Norfolk. The site of the city so important as it developed
within a large double bend in the River Wensum. After the Norman conquest
both the castle and the cathedral were built, two focal points that remain until
this day. The great stone keep of the castle dates back to 1160 and except
for the Tower of London must rate as one of the best surviving examples of
Norman military architecture in the country. 90 feet square and over 70
feet in height. The city centre is dotted with important historic
buildings, the Guildhall built between 1407-1413, the Assembly House in Theatre
Street 1754, Bridewell Museum 1370, Strangers Hall is Mid 15th Century, plus
approximately 30 surviving churches all Medieval and many of exceptional
interest. In Medieval times Norwich also had one of the largest Jewish
communities in England. Wealthy merchants and money lenders living in the
city built superb houses some of which exist to this day, one example being the
old music house in King Street which is 12th Century.
place name means Northern specialised place with the Olde English wic
meaning town or port. the town was recorded as Northwic during the early part of
the 10th Century. In the Doomsday book it is recorded as Noruic.
A fine Norman Cathedral
built under the direction of Bishop De Josinga in 1096. When he died in
1119 he was buried in the chancel and the work continued until the finished
building was consecrated in 1278. The Norman plan, which incidentally is
the only one to survive in this country, featured a Bishops Throne at the East
end, in an apse behind the altar. It is suggested the throne is approx
1000 years old which if confirmed would make it the oldest Bishops Throne in any
English Cathedral. The nave has a superb roof with close on 800 roof
bosses. Outside the building there are an array of Norman flying
buttresses which were needed to support this huge burden. The spire is the
second highest in England at 315 feet (Salisbury is the highest) was added in
the late 15th Century by Goldwell.
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.
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.
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.
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.
small market town dating back to early Saxon times. We have the Crypt in
the Minster from circa 672 and a belief that the town name is based on a tribe
of people known as the Hreope who inhabited the area in pre Saxon times.
In local documents the town was recorded as Hrypis in 715 and as Rypum in the
year 1030. We can therefore safely establish that a settlement has been
here dating back over 1500 years. The town is dominated by the Cathedral
but the heart of the town is the rectangular market place with its dominating
90ft obelisk raised in 1781. One of the oldest houses in the town is
situated near one corner of the square. The house was built in the 13th
Century and the Wakeman or Night Watchman lived there.
On entering you
will be standing in the oldest Cathedral in England, the first stone church was
built by Wilfred in 672, the original and surviving crypt is one of the oldest
Christian Shrines in England. It is interesting because it is built to
what was believed at the time to be the exact dimensions of Christ’s Tomb.
The original church was destroyed in 950 and the second laid waste by the
Norman’s in 1069. the present building therefore dates back to the 11th and 12th
centuries. Many interesting things to see in this lovely building
including the Harrison organ which dates back to 1914.
Fountain Abbey (Declared a world heritage site)
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.
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)
The Cathedral was
founded as a shrine for the body of St Cuthbert. When Viking raids forced
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.
Venerable Bede Born probably in 673. In 680 he was sent school in Monkwearmouth but stayed only two years before being sent to Jarrow in 682. 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Firth of Forth
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.
Some historians believe the earliest settlement in St Andrews, maybe during the
8th Century was in the area of All Saints Church, possibly a fisher settlement
built inland from a fortified area on the headland (later the castle). The
earliest recorded use of the name "St Andrews" was in the 12th Century when
again mention was made of the "fisher settlement. Much of the pale grey
and golden stone used to build the old houses in the town was taken from what
was the largest Cathedral in Scotland, now a majestic ruin on the Eastern edge
of the town. Besides it stands the 12th Century St Rules Tower named after
the Saint who according to legend was shipwrecked here in the 8th Century
carrying the bones of the Apostle St Andrew. Crosses in the cobbled
streets mark the sites where martyrs were burned at the stake. On the
Western side of the town stands the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. The
Senior golf club in the world with the responsibility for determining the rules
of the game. Beside the links, the West sands stretch for over 2 miles.