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St John's  Church, Lynchburg, VA
Choral Director Peggy Haas Howell
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Winchester                    The historic city of Winchester has been welcoming groups for centuries, ever since the first pilgrims visited the shrine of St Wwithun.  Already an important town in Roman times, it became the capital under the Anglo Saxons, and in Alfreds time 871-901 was a great centre of learning.  William the Conqueror kept Winchester as his capital and as late as the 17th Century Charles II planned a palace here.  The city is rich in important buildings, one such building is the Great Hall, completed in 1235 it is a magnificent example of 13th Century domestic architecture.  It is now an Assize Court. Sir Walter Raleigh was condemned to death here in 1603 and on the wall hangs what is called King Arthurs Round Table, marked out and inscribed for his knights.  However one building stands out above all others, the cathedral.
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Winchester Cathedral     The building was started in 1079 and consecrated in 1093.  Work from this period can still be seen in the crypt, transepts and east part of the cloister.  Between 1189 and 1204 the lady chapel was built and the choir extended.  It is the longest Medieval Cathedral in Europe (556ft) in 1110 the central tower collapsed and was rebuilt with the supporting piers greatly strengthened (they are now 20ft in width). Among its treasures is the Great Winchester Bible dating back to the 12th Century, this illuminated copy was written in the scriptorium at Winchester and is now preserved in the Cathedral library.
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Exbury Gardens          Few gardens in England can celebrate the glory of spring quite like Exbury.  Here in a peaceful corner of the New Forest, this remarkable 200 acre woodland garden overlooking the Beaulieu River was created by Lionel de Rothschild in the 20 years leading upto the Second World War.  The gardens now contain one of the most spectacular and colourful springtime displays of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and magnolias anywhere.
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Beaulieu                      Originally a 13th Century Cistercian Abbey, the stately home grew up round the gatehouse and became the home of the Lords of Beaulieu.  Today a very popular attraction which encompasses the ruins of the Abbey, the house, gardens and the national motor museum of over 250 cars.  Take advantage of some fun things such as go-karts, fast trax (motor racing simulator) and miniature motors.
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Bucklers Hard              Situated on the banks of the Beaulieu River in the heart of the New Forest National Park, the village consists of just one broad street flanked by charming terraced 18th Century houses.  In the late 18th Century this was a centre for ship building.  The great New Forest oaks were felled and brought here to build some of the Navy’s finest ships, many of which fought at the Battle of Trafalgar.
The maritime museum gives an insight into the history of the village while a walk along the riverbank provides an opportunity to see some of the abundant wildlife living in the area.
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Isle of Wight                   Approx 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 stone age. 
The Romans came and built lovely villas.  The
Normans built splendid castles and the Tudors built magnificent manor houses.  In 1845 Queen Victoria & Prince Albert made this their home.
It is also well known as being a part of the Jurassic coastline, a length of South coast famous for its fossil discoveries and mammoth tusks.
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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.
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Ryde                                The town stands on steep foothills and the area is well wooded.  The parish church of All Saints has the tallest spire around and is visible for miles.  A popular holiday resort with a population of approx 25,000. The famous pier is half a mile long and the sandy beach stretches over 7 miles.  A very nice place to wander and have a bite to eat.   Mermaid Street is well known for its steep cobbled road lined with 15th and 17th Century houses. With the Mermaid Inn a notorious haunt of smugglers in the 18th century.
The name rye represents the Olde English phrase "aet thaere iege" which means "at the island" the original town was built on an island in the marshes.
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Chichester                   A ancient city dating back to 43AD when the Romans landed nearby and established a base here.  Evidence of their occupation in the remains of the defensive walls, also nearby at Fishbourne they built a palace.  One of the largest Roman buildings uncovered in Britain.  When the Romans left the Saxons established a settlement here and the area continued to be quite peaceful and prosperous.  The present city lay out follows the original Roman plan of walls and roads.  North, South, East & West Streets crossing at the 16th Century Butter Cross.  Many fine Georgian houses exist especially in a delightful street called Little London and the flat landscape makes it a fine and very easy place to explore divided up as it is into four quadrants separated by the main thoroughfares.  Chichester; the Romans called this place Noviomagnus meaning new market from the two Celtic words “Novus” meaning new and “Magus” meaning plain.  When the Saxons came, Aella first King of the Southern Saxons gave the word “Ceaster” meaning Roman town to his eldest son Cissa.  Hence we have “Cissa`s Ceaster”.  By 895 the settlement was recorded as “Cisseceastre”
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Chichester Cathedral    The main building began in about 1076 under the leadership of Bishop Stigand and continued under Bishop Ralph De Luffa.  A fire in 1114 hindered progress but most of what we see today existed by 1123.  The Cloisters were built in approx. 1400, followed by the seven light window in the North Transept.  The Chapter House was also completed at about this time.  The detached bell tower was built during the early part of the 15th Century and while many Cathedrals once has such building only the one at Chichester remains today.  It was built to take the weight of the massive eight bells from the Central Tower.  The spire and The Arundel Screen is also 15th Century.  The original Arundel Screen was removed in 1859 and this possibly precipitated the collapse of the tower in 1861.  In 1961 it was restored to its original position as we see t today.  The Prebendal School where the Choristers are educated stands alongside the Cathedral and is the oldest school in Sussex and was originally endowed by Edward Storey, Bishop in 1478.  The vicars hall bordering South Street is Circa 15th Century.  The 12th Century Undercroft is now the restaurant.  The Vicars Close also early 15th Century.  The Deanery was built in 1725 and the gateway at the end of Canon Lane leading to the Bishops Palace is Circa 1327.  The Palace just South of the Cathedral contains a lovely 12th Century Chapel.  The gardens and serenity of this Cathedral is a joy to behold.
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Arundel                    A pleasant town on the River Arun.  A lovely high street with a nice selection of shops and old houses.  The town is dominated of course by the castle.  But does have two Churches. St Nicholas rebuilt in 1380 after the black death.  Although a Anglican Church, one end of it is the Fitzalan Chapel where the family hold Roman Catholic services.  The two areas divided by a Sussex iron screen.  During the English Civil War Parliamentarian forces bombarded the castle using cannon fired from the Church tower hence most of the castle Norman fortifications where destroyed.  The other fine church is the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St Philip Howard built in 1870.  It became a Cathedral in 1965.  There has been a settlement here since pre-roman times.  The town was strategically important due to its location crossing the river on the main east west road route through Sussex.  Arundel: has its origins in the French word Hirondelle meaning Swallow.  A Swallow is depicted in the towns Coat of Arms.
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Arundel castle       A castle has stood on this site since before William the Conquer came in 1066.  However the oldest parts of the existing building are probably Norman dating back to the time of Roger De Montgomery one of Williams favourite knights.  The castle underwent several sieges and was extensively damaged by Parliamentarian forces during he Civil War.  After which it fell into a very dilapidated state being restored in the 18th Century and again in the 19th Century when a further two towers where added by the then 15th Duke.  It has been the home of the Fitzalen family for more than 500 years.  Earls of Arundel and through female descent the Howards (Dukes of Norfolk) the premier peers and hereditary Earls Marshal of England.  Despite religious persecution the family has remained Roman Catholic.  The interior contains some fine rooms especially the Barons Hall, the library 117ft long and 35ft wide and constructed entirely in mahogany, plus a Victorian room especially designed for the visit of Victoria and Albert in 1846.  Hanging from the walls art treasures including, Van Dyck, Gainsborough, Holbein, Constable and Reynolds, together with fine tapestries and furniture collected by the family over many centuries.  The castle is surrounded by 1,000 acres of parkland and sits majestically overlooking the surrounding landscape in similar fashion to that other great castle at Windsor.
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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 which 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 place 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, and was it built in order to calculate the annual calendar of the seasons?
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