St Marks, OH
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St Marks Episcopal Church, Columbus, OH
Musical Director

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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.
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Worcester                         Worcester a city with a river, cathedral, famous pottery and history around every corner.  Situated in the centre of the county and built on the banks of the River Severn.  The area has known many marauding armies using the town as a base and river crossing.  Romans, Anglo Saxons, Danes and the Welsh have all contributed to its colourful history.  The Civil War inflicted  terrible damage, it was the first city to declare for the King and the last to surrender in 1646.  It also saw in 1651 the final battle for Cromwell when Charles I was completely defeated.  The Cathedral was started in 1084 and is a beautiful place of worship.  Many interesting houses are situated in the city some dating back over 500 years, however today the cities main claim to fame must surely be the home of the Royal Worcester Porcelain works situated near the Cathedral right in the centre of the city.
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Worcester Cathedral         Worcester received it first Bishop-Bishop Bosel in 680.  It is thought the first Cathedral stood very close the present one.  We do understand that Bishop Oswald built a new Cathedral in 962 and it is thought that some of the existing stonework is incorporated in the present building.  In 1084 Bishop Wulstan started the building of a new Church on the present site.  The crypt and chapter house remain substantially as the Norman builders left them.  King John visited many times and asked that on his death he be buried in the Cathedral which was agreed.  The new Cathedral was consecrated in 1218 but further enlargement followed ending in about 1375.  From 960 to 1540 the Cathedral was a Monastery under the rule of the Benedictine order. One interesting point the whole length of the Cathedral seems to be built in one piece when in fact the two West bays are Norman and the North side built in 1345 is far better finished than the South side which due to the intervention of the Black Death was built some 40 years later. 
Interesting history items.
 For 500 years pilgrims came to visit the shrines of St Oswald & St Wulstan here in Worcester.  From the great Cathedral tower Charles II saw his troops routed in the last great battle of the Civil War.  Today Worcester together with Hereford & Gloucester host the world famous Three Choirs Festival of music.
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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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Tintern                             Large impressive Cistercian Abbey in beautiful riverside location in the Wye valley.  It has been the subject of a poem by Wordsworth and a painting by Turner.  The order was founded in 1131 by Walter de Clare.  Little is left of the original building, it was built here deliberately, in keeping with the strictness and austerity of the order.  The abbey was completely rebuilt in the 13th Century and in 1326 Edward II stayed here for 2 nights.  The Abbey continued to be active and generally undisturbed until the dissolution in 1536.   From then on the Abbey became neglected and fell into disrepair.  Greatly regarded by the romantic movement in the late 18th Century for its peace and tranquillity.
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Cardiff                             The capital city of Wales boasts a castle with 1,900 years of history first built by the Romans, some of the 10ft thick walls still remain.  The Normans came and built their castle which has been in continuous occupation ever since.  Some of the area surrounding the castle is now occupied by a superb modern shopping centre.  Hundreds of acres of parkland situated right in the city centre, museums, the civic centre, University of Wales. St Davids Hall, a 2,000 seat concert and conference centre.  To take the city into the millennium the new Cardiff Bay project, a redevelopment of the old Cardiff docks area.
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Haw Bridge Inn                Built in 1630 as a stop over place for boats, where the old toll bridge crossed the river Severn.  Many a boatman has taken a sip of ale and a Ploughman’s lunch within these walls, while watching the boats plying their trade on this once busy stretch of river.  Today, just pleasure craft glide slowly by. But the Inn still retains the ambiance of a bygone age nestling as it does on the banks of the river.  Flagstone floors, oak panelling & oak beamed ceilings.  Collections of horse brasses and Toby jugs adorn both walls and ceilings.  Home cooked food, enjoy this little piece of real England.
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Ludlow                            The castle was built in 1085 by either the Earl of Shrewsbury Robert Montgomery or Roger De Lacy.  Built to ward off those marauding Welsh natives.  The massive structure stands today much as it did when it was built and seen by Edward IV, Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII's brother Prince Arthur who died here.  The massive structure stands today much as it did when it was built and seen by Edward IV, Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII's brother Prince Arthur who died here.  The parish Church of St Laurence is one of the largest parish Churches in England.  Largely 15th Century. Interesting Misericords in the church choir.  The East window in the Chancel is 30ft high by 18ft wide and depicts the life, history and miracles of the patron Saint in 27 separate scenes containing approx 300 figures.  The finest thoroughfare in Ludlow is broad street where every building dates back to the 14/15th Centuries.  Tucked into a yard off Church Street is the Rose and Crown first licensed in the 16th century.  The Feathers Hotel in the bull ring is a lovely 17th Century half timbered building. it is believed the entrance door is more than 300 years old.  Few towns in England have as much to show for their history as Ludlow.  Enjoy it in the time you have.
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