St Lukes, IL
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St Lukes Episcopal Church, Evanston, IL
Choir Master, Andrew Lewis
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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. George's 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

Gloucester                      Began 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 occurrences.  The city's 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 England.
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Gloucester Cathedral                    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.
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Lichfield                                            A very pleasant small very English town.  Made famous by the cathedral which sits in a lovely close just on the edge of town.  The close contains some fine buildings, including the Deanery dating from the time of William and Mary.  The Bishops House and the Palace dating back to 1687 and which is now used as the Cathedral School.  These superb buildings surround the Cathedral and together with the most attractive lawns provide a wonderful back drop to the Cathedral architecture.  It is said by many to be the most complete close of any English Cathedral.  The town as a cobbled market square, narrow streets and many links with Dr Johnson, (his birthplace on the corner of Breadmarket Street) in Beacon Street is the house where Dr Erasmus Darwin lived (grandfather of Charles).  At the far end of market square is a memorial to Edward Wightman, who was burnt at the stake there for heresy on 11th April 1612, the last person so to die in England.  A commercial town rather than industrial with strong links with the land.  Obvious when its position set in the midst of rolling countryside is considered. 
Lichfield 
not an English word but much older, probably Celtic in origin, meaning Grey Forest from two words related to the modern Welsh Llwyd (Grey) and Coed (Wood, forest). the name was first recorded in the 4th Century as Letoceto (Roman). In year 730 as Liccidfeld and Lichesfeld in 1130.
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Lichfield Cathedral                        Dominating the skyline of Lichfield are the three lovely spires of the Cathedral “known locally as the ladies of the vale”.  The only Cathedral in England with three spires.  The first Cathedral on the site was recorded in 700A.D. and took the name of St Peter.  The first Bishop of Lichfield in 669 was St Chad, he died in 672 but exercised tremendous influence over the region.  Dedication of this first Cathedral was eventually changed to St Peter & St Chad.  The second Cathedral was built in 1100 to a Norman design but was not considered good enough so the more modern gothic design was started on the same site in 1200ad.  The twin spires are almost 200ft in height and the central tower 60ft taller.  Within the arcades and panels of the front are 113 statues.  The Cathedral suffered tremendous damage during the Civil War.  Cannon were used to get into the fortified close, the central spire was shot down in the course of one action, restoration programmes took place during the 17th, 18th & 19th Centuries.  The lady chapel is unusual because it is the full height of the Cathedral and forms a magnificent Eastern termination.  Possibly the finest feature of the chapel is the wonderful long windows filled with stained glass from the Abbey of Herckenrode in Flanders.
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Anne Hathaway's Cottege            This well preserved example of early domestic architecture with its picturesque thatched roof was the home of William Shakespeare's wife before her marriage.  Her family the Hathaways lived here close to the village of Shottery for some years.    
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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.
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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.
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