St Johns Episcopal Church, Lynchburg, VA
This is one of the
oldest Borough`s in England. The Old Bell Inn has a 13th Century window.
The town grew rich from weaving in the 7th Century. The Abbey soaring
above the town was originally Norman with 14th Century additions.
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.
life as a Roman fort which guarded the lowest Severn crossing and the legions
route into Wales (Glevum). The city later became the residence of Norman
Kings, while here William the Conqueror decided on the Doomsday survey.
The city has long been an inland port with its own harbour master. Famous
for its Cathedral it has also been the focal point of other important historic
main thoroughfares still follow the Roman roads and meet at the Cross. In
Brunswick Street is a memorial to Robert Raikes who founded the Sunday School
movement in nearby St Catherine Street. The New Inn in Northgate Street
was a half timbered 15th Century pilgrims hostelry. The Ravern Tavern in
Hare Lane, once the home of the Hoare Family who sailed in the mayflower to New
The present Cathedral
was started in about 1089 by a monk called Serlo from Mont St Michael in France.
The building was consecrated in 1100 though work did continue for some years to
come. The great East window is the largest Medieval window in Europe.
A central tower was built approx 1450 to replace the Norman one. The tower
stands 225 feet high and is one of the glories of Gloucester, seen for miles
around. The first appearance is of a Gothic Cathedral, but further close
inspection will reveal its Norman structure. The cloisters are amongst the
finest in England and are the earliest fan vaulted cloister still in existence.
They were built in the 14th Century and contain a magnificent lavatorium in the
North range and study carrels in the South range. The Kings school is very
much a part of the foundation, where the Cathedral Choristers are educated.
Music is very much a part of the tradition of Gloucester and is the venue every
3 years for the three choirs festival.
Resting in the leafy
Isbourne valley, this was once the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Mercia.
The town has retained many features of its long history and is largely unspoilt
by commercialism. St Peters Church is an excellent example so is the 700
years old pilgrims inn, The George.
Set against the
picturesque splendour of the rolling Cotswold hills, the castle is alive with
reminders of its glorious past and Royal connections spanning 1000 years.
The burial place of Queen Catherine Parr the last wife of King Henry VIII.
The castle is also famous for its beautiful rose gardens
The home of the present
11th Duke of Marlbrough. The first Duke John Spencer gave battle to the
Frence and Bavarian forces at the village of Blenheim in 1704. He took a
force of 50,000 men on a 600 mile march to the Danube were the enemy was waiting
in a strong position. By tactical brilliance and by the personal
inspiration he gave his troops, he achieved a great victory. When he
returned to England he was created a Duke and granted the Royal Manor of
Woodstock with a promise that a sumptuous palace should be paid for by a
grateful country. The architect of Blenheim Palace was John Vanbrugh who
worked with Nicholas Hawksmoor on both Blenheim and Castle Howard in Yorkshire.
Marlborough went on to other famous victories at Ramillies, Oudenarde and
Malplaquet. The Palace was built between 1705 & 1722, it is set in over
2,000 acres of parkland (landscaped by Capability Brown) Blenhalm Palace is the
birthplace of Sir Winstone Churchill who was born here on the 30th November
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.
attractive old town with a wealth of ancient houses and timbered inns. The
Hop Pole being a good example, with a fine 14th Century fireplace before which,
in dickens book, Mr Pickwick warmed his coat tails. Tewkesbury is famous
for 2 reasons.
The Village Inn, Twyning
Set in the lovely village of Twyning on the banks
of the River Avon. The Village Inn is recorded on local maps as long ago
as 740AD and was mentioned in the Doomsday book of 1086. A very busy Inn
dating back to about 1457, nice garden to the rear and overlooks the village
green at the front.
Stratford upon Avon
Situated on the West
bank of the River Avon. Many 15th and 16th Century timber framed houses
still exist and in many of its streets the essential character of a thriving
market town still purveys. However it can not be denied that it is justly
famous because on or about 23rd April 1564 William Shakespeare was born here and
a few days later baptised at the Parish Church of Holy Trinity. There is
however evidence of a Bronze age settlement in the area and a Romano British
village. A Monastery was founded in Anglo Saxon days and by the year 1196
the town was granted the right to hold a weekly market.
The town name means
ford by a Roman road. In this case over the River Avon and the Roman road
is the one joining the Roman settlements of Alcester and Tiddington. The
ford was actually at the point where Bridgefoot Crosses the River now.
The name was recorded as Stretford approx 700 years ago.
Shakespeare Birthplace Museum The Cottage was the childhood home of William Shakespeare. The cottage is authentically furnished throughout with both original and replica items from this time period of his life. To the rear is a lovely garden and adjoining is a superb exhibition charting his professional and private life including a first edition of his colleted plays published in 1623.
The town stands on a
North rise from the River Avon which is crossed by two bridges, Castle Bridge
and the old bridge in the castle grounds. It was this dominant situation
that accounted for its early importance. Apart from the castle the most
impressive piece of architecture left in the town is the lovely 14th Century
Church of St Mary with its 174ft tower and pinnacle. Situated on the site
of an early Norman church. A number of the Beauchamp family who held the
title Earls of Warwick are buried here, the Beauchamp Chapel is incomparable.
Some most delightful pre 1694 houses are to be found in Castle Street.
Outstanding is the isolated timbered house of Thomas Okam which carefully
restored is now the doll museum. Most famous of all the remaining Medieval
houses is Lord Leycester`s Hospital, pre 14th Century, situated by Warwicks West
Gate, originally the Guild House of St George. Certainly one of the most
unspoilt county towns in England.
Warwick must compare
favourably with any of the great fortress houses of Europe. The outlines
of the original motte or keep with its bailey which included the domestic
buildings are still visible. None of the present buildings however date
back before the 13th Century. The outstanding buildings are Caesar's
Tower, the gatehouse or clock tower, Guys Tower which is 128ft high and the
South range living quarters dramatically set above the winding river. The
gardens were laid out by Capability Brown who began work in 1753. The old
bridge across the Avon was built late in the 14th Century and has romantically
Kenilworth Castle Started as a wooden fortress in 1112 by Geoffrey De Clinton. The Keep which still stands today was built in 1162. King John visited several times during his reign. In 1199 the De Clinton family surrendered all rights to the King. Henry III gave it to his Sister who was married to Simon De Montfort. In 1361 the castle came into the hands of Blanche of the Lancastrian house who then married John of Gaunt. It was John that transformed the building from a fortress to a grand castle. The castle passed from John to his son Henry IV and remained a royal residence till Elizabeth 1st gave it to Robert Dudley. This was the height of influence at Kenilworth. Queen Elizabeth visited many times. But after Roberts death the castle went into slow decline. During the Civil War Cromwell ordered the castle to be dismantled. After the restoration it passed into the hands of the Clarendon family who eventually passed it into the care of the state. A magnificent sight to see, when itís red sandstone towers, keep and wall glow brightly in the morning sun.