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St Mark's Episcopal Church, Geneva, IL
Choral Director Paul Grizzell
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St. Albans                            This ancient city, with narrow, twisting streets was once one of the largest and most important Roman towns in the country.  The Abbey is visible from miles around.  A British settlement existed here prior to the Roman invasion of 54A.D. by the middle of the 1st Century this settlement had become so important it was elevated to the status of Municipium, the only British city to attain such an honour, which accorded the inhabitants the right of Roman citizenship.  The remains of Verulamium were only excavated in the present century, parts of the original city walls up to 12 feet thick can be seen.  The Roman theatre (only one in Britain) has been excavated and restored, semi circular in shapes is 180 feet across and provided seats for over 1,600 people.
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St. Albans Cathedral                         The Cathedral, St Albans Abbey was built on the site where the first British Martyr, Alban was beheaded in 209A.D.  The existing Abbey was constructed by Paul of Caen using materials collected from the ruined Roman city (brick and flint taken from Roman remains) started in 1077 much of the original church remains today.  The church is over 900 years old but the materials used to build it are nearly twice that age.  The nave measures over 275 feet and is the longest in Great Britain, the tower is 144 feet high constructed entirely by the Normans with red bricks from the old Roman city.
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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.
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London Eye                        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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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River Thames                     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 present day. 
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Westminster Hall                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.
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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. 
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Buckingham Palace         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.
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The British Monarchy
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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.  
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British Museum                 Founded in 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.
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Covent Garden                  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.
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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.
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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, Wellington and 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.
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Westminster Abbey                          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.
William the Conqueror was crowned in that Abbey on Christmas Day 1066. this Coronation began a tradition and all Kings and Queens of England (Britain) with the exception of Edward V & Edward VIII have been crowned in the Abbey since that date.
Work began in 1245 in rebuilding the Abbey. The work proceeded rapidly and by 1269 the Quire and one bay of the Nave was completed.  At this time the body of St Edward was removed and laid to rest in a Chapel bearing his name.  In 1272 Henry III died and his body was buried in the front of the high alter where Edward`s had once lain.
The complete history of this famous Abbey would take many pages to write, hence it is possibly to conclude by saying “many Kings and Queens together with famous people lie buried within its walls and therefore this one building is a unique testament to 1,000 years of the history of the British people”.

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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.
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Southwark Cathedral                       Hiddern away beneath the modern arches and bridges of busy London.  This jewel is known as “Londons hidden glory” Londons oldest Cathedral.  The doomsday book records that in Anglo Saxon times a Monasterium was situated on this site, some recent excavations have unearthed some Roman remains but the origins of the church unfortunately are lost in the mists of time.  The church was rebuilt in 1106 and was closely linked to the Bishops of Winchester.  The present choir was constructed in the 13th Century, the tower in the 14th and the altar screen in the 16th Century.  It finally became a Cathedral in 1905 to serve what was a growing population on the South bank.
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Chichester                   An ancient city dating back to 43AD when the Romans landed nearby and established a base here.  Evidence of their occupation can be seen in the remains of the defensive walls, They also built a Palace at nearby Fishbourne, 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. 
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 had such a building, only the one at Chichester remains today.  It was built to take the weight of the eight massive bells from the Central Tower.  The spire and The Arundel Screen are 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 it 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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Portsmouth Royal Naval Museum     The 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.
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Web Link to the Mary Rose

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 up to the Second World War.  The gardens now contain one of the most spectacular and colourful displays of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and magnolias anywhere.
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Goodwood House     One of the finest Stately Homes in the country, home to the Dukes of Richmond & Lennox for over 300 years.  The 1st Duke of Richmond was the natural son of King Charles II and his French Mistress, Louise de Keroulle.  Goodwood was originally bought as a hunting lodge and subsequent Dukes have enlarged the existing Jacobean House to create the magnificent house we see today.
The house contains an outstanding art collection formed by successive generations of the family, this includes paintings from Van Dyck, Canaletto, Stubbs and Reynolds, porcelain from Sevres and many fine examples of English and French furniture.
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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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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 Conqueror 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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