St Mark's Church, Berkeley, CA
The Town stands above
the River Ouse on a bluff which was formerly an island, accessible only by boat
or causeway until the fens were drained in the 17th and 18th Century. It
was the scene of Hereward`s resistance to William the Conqueror. A quiet
oasis away from the hustle and bustle of modern city life around the precints of
the cathedral are the houses of the Kings School founded by Henry VIII.
Nearby is the Bishops Palace and St Mary`s church, in the vicarage of which
lived Oliver Cromwell and his family from 1636-1647.
The Cathedral was
founded by St Etheldreda in 673 but work on the present building did not
commence until the appointment of Abbot Simeon in 1081. It is only on
entering the Cathedral that the length of the nave becomes apparent (537ft in
length) with a wonderful painted wooden ceiling 72ft high, conceived by Alan
Walsingham over 600 years ago. The effect of its design with its beautiful
fan vaulting and delicate tracery makes it one of the highlights of English
architecture. The chapels which surround the extension contain some of the
most elaborate and extraordinary carvings to be seen in England.
A prosperous city and
an important market town. In its centre is the market place where the
Guildhall, built in 1671, dominates. Nearby is St John the Baptist’s
Church built in 1402. The best Georgian houses are in Priestgate on the
corner of which is the three storied Angel Hotel. The Town Hall in Bridge
Street was built in the 1930s in a mock Georgian style.
Founded as a monastery
by King Peada of Mercia in 655. Destroyed by the Danes in 870 and
re-founded by King Edgar over 100 years later. Hereward the Wake attacked
and plundered it about 1070 and approx 40 years later it was completely
destroyed by fire. The present church was begun in 1118 and the church was
dedicated in 1238. The building is of Barnack stone, 481 feet long by 206
feet wide and approx 81 feet high with the tower reaching 143 feet into the
heavens. The nave is a superb example of Norman architecture dating from
the second half of the 12th Century. The painted wooden ceiling is unique
in all England and dates back to 1220. In the retrochoir the ceiling has
magnificent fan vaulting and the “hedda stone” an important piece of Anglo-Saxon
sculpture dating from about 800. In front of the retrochoir are two burial
places one the tomb of Catherine of Aragon first Queen of Henry VIII who was
buried here in 1536. The second tomb was that of Mary Queen of Scots
buried here in 1587. However her son James I had her body removed and reburied
in Westminster Abbey in 1612. Henry VIII founded and endowed the Kings
school where the future choristers were to be educated.
This quiet town
built largely of mellowed local stone has a long and historic background.
times it was the selected capital of the
area and one of the original five
of the Danelaw.
town charter was granted by
in 1254 but received quite allot of damage during the
of the Roses
in the 15th
does have the finest collection of
of any small town in
and really does try to keep them all open;
together with excellent examples of
The largest & grandest
house of the first Elizabethan age. built between 1565 & 1587 by William Cecil.
The house is still a family home yet full of superb paintings and antiques, a
treasure to feast upon. The art collection is one of the most impressive
17th Century Italian painting collections in the world, with over 300 great
works on display in the state rooms, which also includes work by Gainsborough,
Kneller and Lawrence. The tour will allow access to over 18 state rooms
filled with superb porcelain from all over Europe and a collection of early
Japanese ceramics, together with furniture of the highest quality including a
bed once used by Queen Victoria. Try and find time to wander in the
grounds, acres of park land, originally landscaped by Capability Brown.
Mature trees and plenty of space for the youngsters to let off some steam.
Cambridge is one of the
most important and beautiful towns not only in East Anglia, but also in Britain
and even Europe. The quality of its buildings in particular those
belonging to the University and the particular atmosphere caused by the
felicitous combination of river and gardens have given the city a place in the
itinerary of every visitor to this country. The history of Cambridge began
many hundreds of years before the first college was founded, a Celtic settlement
had arise on Castle Hill 100 years prior to the Roman conquest. At the
foot of the hill was a ford across the River Cam. It is thought the Romans
built a bridge here. The site of Cambridge became of great strategic and
commercial importance. With the departure of the Romans the town continued
to spread to its present position on the East Anglian side of the river.
The coming of the Normans only increased expansion they even rebuilt the Castle.
Then in the 13th Century saw the founding of the first Cambridge College,
Peterhouse College, established in 1281 by the Bishop of Ely and moving to its
own hostels in 1284. So was established the first College and the
consequent increase in the importance of the city as a seat of learning and a
centre of communal life.
Kings College, Cambridge
One of the most
outstanding buildings in Britain and the finest Gothic building in Europe.
It was begun in 1446. its unusual dimensions, 300ft long, 80ft high and 40ft
wide, prepare the visitor for its extraordinary system of spatial relationships.
The effect of the interior is breathtaking. the shafts on either side of the
chapel lead the eye up into the roof where the profusion of delicate fan
vaulting appears to be made of lace rather than stone. The organ case
(1606), screen and choir stalls (1536) stained glass windows (1515 incidentally
the year the chapel was completed) act as a perfect foil to the magnificent
roof. Does this give meaning to look upwards to heaven for the splendours
that are above.
Once one of the most
important ports in the country, the earliest records of its commercial activity
going back to Edward II in the 10th Century when silver coins were minted here.
All this due to the fact that the River Severn and Avon was navigable to this
point. It was from
Bristol in 1497 that John Cabot and his Bristol born son Sebastian set sail with
18 sailors in the 100 ton ship “Matthew” before reaching the mainland of America
A centre for trade and commerce for over 1,000 years, the city still has much to
offer and although the large container ships now dock at the entrance to the
Avon Gorge at Avonmouth, much activity still remains around the old dock side
Augustinian Abbey founded in 1142 by Robert Fitzharding. In 1542 it became
the Cathedral Church of the newly formed Diocese of Bristol. It still
retains much of its Norman solidarity, particularly the fine Chapter House.
The Church building is known as a “Hall Church” type where high Chancel, aisles
and an Eastern Lady Chapel are of equal height. The Choir is full of
absolutely fine woodwork dating back to the 1500s and the Misericords of great
interest depicting as they do Biblical scenes. The organ was built in 1685
by Renatus Harris and all the pipework is original. Grinling Gibbons
created the superb organ case. Choristers are educated at the adjoining
Cathedral school. One important feature in the Berkeley Chapel: a Medieval
candelabrum (understood to be the only one of its kind in England recorded) has
being given to the Temple Church in Bristol
during 1450 and passed on to its present home during the terrible blitz of World
St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol
A superb example of Medieval
architecture and once described by Queen Elizabeth Ist on a visit to Bristol as
“the fairest, goodliest and most famous parish church in the kingdom” in all
respects it is the size of a Cathedral with a 240ft Nave and a Spire added in
the 19th Century rising 285ft from street level. The Church owes
much of its construction to William Canynge in the 14th Century and
further work completed by his son.
Built over 800 years
ago and still the ancestral home of the Berkeley family who still live there,
the family, of course, have close associations with Berkeley U.S.A. The
oldest castle in Britain to have been continuously lived in by the same family.
Built as a fortress and used as a home, during its chequered history it has been
the scene of sieges during the civil war and terrible deeds. Its walls in
some places over 14 feet thick, turrets and towers stand majestic. This
was the scene in 1327 of the frightful murder of Edward II, he was imprisoned in
a cell close to the castle dungeon, a deep pit into which rotting carcasses and
half alive prisoners were thrown. It was anticipated the stench and filth
from the dungeon would overpower the prisoner in the cell. However Edward
survived for 5 months and ended up being tortured to death by his jailers.
The castle is also the site of the great hall where the West Country Barons met
before setting off to meet King John for the signing of Magna Carta in 1215.
Small but a real example of how we think a castle should look.
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
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.
St Mary's Priory Church, Deerhurst
The actual dates of the foundation of
a Church in Deerhurst are unknown but there is evidence that a church existed
here by 804AD
Dating back to 1056AD this ancient
building was lost for a while until it was rediscovered in 1865. The building
had been incorporated into the 16th Century building next door and
had been used as a barn for many centuries all memories of its hidden past were
forgotten. Earl Odda had built this to remember his brother Aelfric who
died on 22nd December 1053. Earl Odda was a relative of Edward the
Confessor and governed this part of the Kingdom. The lands and Priory at
Deerhurst were conveyed to the hands of Westminster Abbey shortly before Edward
the Confessor died.