St Pauls, AR
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St Paul's Church Choir, Fayettville, AR
Choir Director Charlie Rigsby
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Inveraray                         Standing on the Western slopes of Loch Fyne a perfect example of a well planned 18th Century Scottish Town.   The new town was built on the remains of a old fishing village which the Duke of Argyll head of the famous Campbell's decided to pull down in 1745.  It is said it blocked the view, from his castle, of the Loch.  What we now have is an elegant Royal Burgh with wide streets and well proportioned whitewashed houses a set piece of Scottish Georgian architecture reflected in the still waters of the Loch.  Two Churches in the town, the Parish Church built in 1794 is divided into two so that services could be held in both Gaelic and English.  The other Church is the Episcopalian Church of All Saints built in 1886 which has a bell tower with the second heaviest ring of ten bells in the world.  Each one is named after a Saint and inscribed on the bell.
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Oban                               The Town enjoys a superb setting sitting at the end of a bay sheltered by the island of Kerrera.  A natural harbour. Today is a town of some 8,000 people but just 130 years ago little more than a village. Then came the railways.  Tourists, rich businessmen from Glasgow flocked in building Great Victorian and Edwardian villas and local people began to cater for this influx.  Today it is the gateway to the Western Isles with local ferries plying their trade to such wonderful sounding places Lismore, Colonsay, Barra, South Uist and of course Mull.  The town has two Cathedrals, the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St Columba, a 20th Century granite building and the Cathedral Church of St John the divine built in the 19th Century.  However the town is dominated by McCaigs Tower a vast Colosseum of a building started in 1897 by Oban banker John Stuart McCaig.  He wanted to establish a museum and art gallery but he died before completion.  Today it stands empty except for a garden but does provide a wonderful seaward panorama especially at sunset.  Anyone fancying a walk could climb up in about ten minutes but it is a very stiff walk.  If you fancy a wee dram then do take a tour of the Oban distillery in the centre of the town in George Street.  During the Second World War Oban and the bay were used as a base for the Flying Boats that searched the North Atlantic for U boats and Search & Rescue
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Island of mull                    The wettest of the Hebrides Islands this gives the natural moreland of heather an almost bleak and unwelcoming feel on a grey day.  But seen on a fine day the island is one of the most beautiful of the Inner Hebrides Islands.  It is certainly the largest.  It is also easy to reach from Oban just a ferry crossing of 45minutes.
Mull taken from the Gaelic word “Meall” it was certainly known to the Romans and even Ptolemy called it the Island of Maleus.  Ben More is the tallest mountain on the island at 3,140ft and the famous Duart Castle is the ancestral home of the Clan Chief of the McCleans.  The other castle is Torosay in the village of Criagnure and is owned by the local family the Guthries.
The population of the island which once approached nearly 10,000 people declined rapidly in the late 19th Century due to the clearances and the potato famine of 1846.  Thankfully this decline has halted and due to a rise of inbound settlers from other parts of the country now approaches over 2,500.this startling reversal has been brought about mainly by the increase in tourism with over half a million visitors coming to the island each year.  Tobermory is the main town situated on the Northern tip of the island with a population of approx 800 and easily one of the most attractive fishing ports on the Scottish West Coast.
Two other interesting points of interest in the area;  Calgary, recognise the name, it is said a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman visited the area in 1883, he was so impressed with the beauty around him he went home and named a Canadian City after the village.  Close to the island is a much smaller one called Staffa.  It is here a small cave is located called Fingals Cave. This place so inspired the composer Felix Mendelssohn he wrote a famous piece of music of the same name.
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Iona                                  Situated less than a mile off the Southwest tip of Mull it is an Island approx 3 miles in length and approx 1 mile in width at its widest point.  It has been a place of Christian worship for maybe 1400 years and a place of Pilgrimage for centuries due to the association of the Isle with St Columba.  Iona`s oldest remaining building is St Orans chapel which lies at the very centre of Iona`s sacred burial ground.  A cemetery said to contain the remains of over 60 Kings of Norway, Ireland, and Scotland including Duncan and Macbeth.  St Columba arrived in Iona during the year 563 with 12 loyal monks after being exiled from Ireland.  He died in 597 and history books tell us very little about his life except he became a cult figure.  In the Sixth and Seventh Centuries Iona became a place of importance establishing a specifically Celtic Christian tradition.  From here missionaries where sent out to many parts of Scotland and Northern England with Iona becoming a very respected seat of learning and artistry.  The famous book of Kells (illuminated manuscript now kept in Trinity College Dublin) was produced here.  So what caused the demise of this established community of Celtic Christianity and tradition.  Three major theories conclude to offer the following reasons:  A series of Viking raids culminating in the massacre of 68 monks on the sands of martyrs bay in 806.  Pressure form the established church beginning with the Synod of Whitby in 664 which choose Rome over the Celtic Church.  Suppression of the Celtic Church by King David in 1144.  In 1203 Iona became a part of the mainstream church and both a Augustinian Nunnery and a Benedictine Monastery where founded on the site.  During the reformation the entire complex was ransacked.  Then in 1899 the owner of the island the 8th Duke of Argyll donated the Abbey and buildings to the Church of Scotland.  The modern resurgence began in 1938 under George Mcleod a Minister from Glasgow who established a new community on the island.  This has grown to be a mixed community retreat with the entire abbey complex now looked after and administered by historic Scotland.  The island itself except for the church buildings is looked after by the National Trust of Scotland.
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Stirling                            Englands newest City, lying on the river Forth and dominated by the Castle.  An ancient Royal Burgh and of great strategic importance during medieval times, commanding as it did the first point at which the Forth could be bridged.  The castle dominating the place which was the natural route between central and northern Scotland.  Hence becoming the scene of more than one major battle between the olde enemy England.  The Defeat of the Jacobites in 1215, William Wallace and his victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 and Robert the Bruce and his victory in 1314 over Edward II at Bannockburn.
The old town, spread out below the castle, is a fantastic place to view possibly the finest collection of Scottish Medieval Buildings still existing today.  Bounded by broad street, St John Street, St Mary's Wynd and Castle Wynd such places as Church of the Holy Rude (Built nearly 600 years ago, the scene of the coronation of James VI in 1567) Argyll's Lodging (1632), Mars Walk, Cowane's Hospital (c1600) Tollbooth & Mercat cross, Old Jail.  Today the Town is an important commercial centre, has a thriving University and excellent new shopping centre, right next to the Olde World Charm which all adds up to make this such an enjoyable place to visit.
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Stirling Castle                The first evidence of buildings is a wooden fortification possibly dating back to the 11th Century.  What we see today is 13/14/15th Century.  Portcullis House from the Late 15th Century, The Royal Apartments from the early 16th Century. The Douglas garden where William 8th Earl of Douglas was murdered and his body flung from the ramparts by order of the young James II (1430-1460).  The Superb defensive position gives excellent views of the town and countryside around, It was often a place of refuge for Scottish Monarchs when Edinburgh fell into enemy Hands.  From the ramparts the sites of seven battles can be seen.  Time and again the castle was besieged relieved and then besieged again during the Scottish struggle with the English.  Mary Queen of Scots spent some of her Childhood here, her Coronation took place in the Chapel Royal in 1543.  Her son the future James VI was also baptised in the Castle.
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Edinburgh                    The Capital of Scotland, with origins in the Iron Age.  Although Edinburgh did not become the capital until the 12th Century the history of the city is really moulded around one street, The Royal mile.  At the foot lies Holyrood House, still a royal palace today, where Mary queen of Scots lived and where Bonnie Prince Charlie had a brief triumph of his celebration ball after capturing Edinburgh in the 1745 rebellion.  At its head the castle towers on its great rock.  Between the two, the royal mile winds its way along the spine of the rock with its pre 18th century Edinburgh, tall, many storied houses clinging to the steep hillside.  Yet Edinburgh is not just about history, the new town is just as picturesque with wide streets and crescents.  With princes street flanked by gardens on the south being described by many as one of Europe's finest thoroughfares.  The ladies will find Edinburgh's Shops just fine. 
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Edinburgh Castle        The Oldest part of the castle is St. Margaret's Chapel built early in the 12th Century.  Apart from this we know very little about the early buildings on the site.  We do know that the castle walls began to take their present form from about 1356.  Since then many additions and changes have taken place.
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St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh    Three of the soaring spires on the famous skyline of Edinburgh belong to the Scottish Episcopal Catherdal of St Mary the Virgin.  Consecrated in 1879 the Cathedral is still the home to a thriving congregation.  After the abdication of James VII in 1689 the reformed church in Scotland divided over the issue of the Stuart succession. Two churches came into being.
The Presbyterian Church established by King William and the Episcopal church loyal to the Stuart cause.  St Giles the Edinburgh Cathedral came under the established church which left the Episcopal ministry with no Cathedral of its own.  For many years they worshipped in an old woollen mill then the church of St Paul in York Place.  Always dreaming of the day when they would eventually have a Cathedral of their own.  However it was not until the middle of the Nineteenth Century that the dream started to become a reality.  The Walker Sisters local landowners bequeathed the residue from the sale of their estate “Drumsheugh” to the building of a new Cathedral.  A trust deed was drawn up which came into effect on the demise of the last surviving Sister Mary in 1870.  In 1872 a competition was held to find a design of the new building which was won by Sir George Scott.  However he was asked to add two more spires to his original design.  The foundation stone was laid on the 21st May 1874.  The nave was opened on the 25th January 1879 and daily services have been held every day since.
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St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh        St Giles was the Patron Saint of Cripples, he was a Greek born in Athens in 640AD. The building was dedicated to St Giles in 1243.  There has probably been a church on this site since 854. The oldest parts of the present building are 4 massive central pillars thought to date back to 1120. The church was burnt down by the English in 1385.  However over the following 150 years it was enlarged and enhanced.  It was from here that John Knox (Scottish reformer) appointed Minister of Edinburgh in 1559 led the reformation of the Scottish Church.  The tie with Rome was broken and the administration of the Church of Scotland evolved into Presbyterianism.  Although it must be said that for two periods in the 17th Century the Church was Episcopalian.  Mary Queen of Scots held Parliament in 1563 in the outer tollbooth section.  During that time it was the market place at the centre of the cities activities.  Many tales of torture, execution, bravery and treachery started life within the walls of this building.  Which today echoes a violent past and yet by careful renewal points a way forward to the future.
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Greyfriars kirk                Built on the site of a former Monastery the Kirk was opened in 1620, the first to be built in Edinburgh after the reformation.  The national covenant was signed here in 1638.  The churchyard contains probably the finest collection of 17th Century memorials in the city.  One of them is to William Adam father of the great family of architects.  But the most famous of all is just outside the actual churchyard, at the top of Candlemakers Row.  A statue of Greyfriars Bobby, a small dog who watched over the grave of his master the shepherd Kohn Gray for 14 years.  The venue is used extensively throughout the year for recitals and is much in demand during the fringe period.

Firth of Forth                    A ferry plied across the water here for at least 900 years, since the days of Queen Margaret, Wife of Malcolm III (1057-1093) when she regularly travelled between Edinburgh and her Palace at Dunfermline.  The first bridge built was the rail bridge in 1890 cost £3.2 million.  At the time it was the largest bridge in the world, incorporating over 54,000 tons of steel.  The surface area is so large (45 acres) the painting alone never stops.  When you finish at one end you start again at the other. It is 2,765yds in length.
The road bridge is 1,993yds in length and cost just over £19.5 million it was opened in 1964.  The 512ft towers support two steel cables over 6ft in diameter. Suspended from these cables is the four way highway and footpath.
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St Andrews                 Some historians believe the earliest settlement in St Andrews, maybe during the 8th Century was in the area of All Saints Church, possibly a fisher settlement built inland from a fortified area on the headland (later the castle).  The earliest recorded use of the name "St Andrews" was in the 12th Century when again mention was made of the "fisher settlement.  Much of the pale grey and golden stone used to build the old houses in the town was taken from what was the largest Cathedral in Scotland, now a majestic ruin on the Eastern edge of the town.  Besides it stands the 12th Century St Rules Tower named after the Saint who according to legend was shipwrecked here in the 8th Century carrying the bones of the Apostle St Andrew.  Crosses in the cobbled streets mark the sites where martyrs were burned at the stake.  On the Western side of the town stands the Royal and Ancient Golf Club.  The Senior golf club in the world with the responsibility for determining the rules of the game.  Beside the links, the West sands stretch for over 2 miles.
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Holy Trinity, St Andrews
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The history of why St. Andrews is named.

Holy Island (Lindisfarne)            Lindisfarne is famed as the birthplace of English Christianity.  A 3 mile causeway connects the island with the mainland at low tide and can be crossed during six hour spells between tides. approx 300 people live on the island, with fishing and tourism the main employment.  In 635 A.D. St Aidan came on the invitation of King Oswald from Iona on the West Coast of Scotland to teach Christianity to the Angles of Northumbria.  Linidsfarne Monastry was established and the first English diocese founded.  The Sixth Bishop was St Cuthbert who came to the island in 664A.D. and was buried here until the monks fled with his coffin ahead of the Danes in 875A.D.  The Danes destroyed the Abbey and the island lay deserted until a Priory was founded by a Benedictine order in the 11th Century. 
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Alnwick     Still looks like a stronghold of the Earls and Dukes of Northumberland.  You may enter from the South through the narrow medieval arch of Hotspur Tower and within moments confront the great barbican guarding the gateway to Alnwick Castle.  Within the town, age speaks for itself from the narrow streets, cobblestones, passageways, sturdy grey buildings and monuments.  The town grew up on the River Aln beside the great border castle whose walls enclose 7 acres.  Below and around the castle are grounds landscaped by Capability Brown in 1765 which now form a beautiful park.  In the town a broad main street with slopping tree shaded cobblestone parking space alongside, passes near a market square.  A free standing 18th Century hall has an arcade for shops on the ground floor and assembly rooms above.  A very interesting town steeped in history and the ravages of this wild border country.
The town name
pronounced Annick, situated on the River Aln from which it gets its name, which in turn derives from the Celtic word Alaun meaning holy or mighty.  Wick means a farm, outlying from a main settlement.  The earliest known record or the River Aln is in the Venerable Bedes, ecclesiastical history of the English people written in Latin and dated 731, it appears as Fluuium Alne.
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Alnwick Castle     The main seat of the Duke of Northumberland. this great border castle whose walls enclose 7 acres of park has survived many battles during its chequered history.  Below and around the castle are grounds landscaped by Capability Brown in 1765 which now form a beautiful park.  The castle was begun by the Vesci family in the early 12th Century.  When the last legitimate member of the family line died in 1297 the castle was held in trust by the then Bishop of Durham who subsequently sold it on to Henry Percy in 1309.   The family Percy eventually became Dukes of Northumberland and have lived here ever since.  Outwardly the castle has altered little since the 14th Century.  However it was severely damaged during the border wars and stood as a ruin for nearly 200 years before the 1st Duke restored it in the 18th Century.  Some of the state rooms in the castle are open to the public displaying superb paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, Canaletto & Van Dyck.  Augmented by collections of Meissen pottery and superb furniture the fine library is the largest room in the castle and the main staircase exquisite.
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Alnwick Castle Gardens    The rose garden with over 2,000 roses, the grand cascade linking over 120 water jets into a display utilising 7,000 gallons of water per minute. Ornamental Garden, woodland walk and much more as this garden opened only very recently begins to grow.
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Durham            It is not only the lover of architecture who will be thrilled by Durham.  It is one of the most visually exciting cities in Britain.  The magnificent Norman Cathedral and the Castle stand proudly on a sandstone hill almost enclosed by a steep banked wooded bend of the River Wear.  It is a scene well worth looking at from every vantage point.  The best views are obtained from the railway station, Prebends Bridge, South Street, Silesgate and also Palace Green.  The Castle was built in 1069 by the Norman invaders and the town grew up under the Castle walls between the two river crossings at Elvet and Framwellgate.  Durham is not a large city but is a centre of local government and education (Durham University was created as the third university in England by an act of Parliament in 1832)
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Durham Cathedral                        The Cathedral was founded as a shrine for the body of St Cuthbert.  When Viking raids forced the monks on Lindisfarne to flee in 875.  They carried with them the body of the saint, they reached Durham in 995 after time at Chester le Street and Ripon.  In Durham the coffin seemed to become rooted to the ground and the spot for the new shrine was revealed in a vision.  By 998 they had built a church (nothing remains of this early building) it quickly became a place of pilgrimage.  The Bishops became Prince Bishops of Durham giving the city the right to raise armies, own nobility, coinage and courts.  All these privileges were ended in 1836.  The present Cathedral Church of Christ and blessed Mary the Virgin was built between 1093 and 1133 to a plan of Bishop William of Calais.  He died but the work continued under Bishop Flambard.  It is possibly the finest Norman building in Europe.  St Cuthberts body was brought to his shrine behind the high altar in 1104.  The Cathedral was the first in Northern Europe to be covered with stone ribbed vaulting and it has the earliest pointed transverse arches in England.  There are few monuments because of a long held rule that no one should be buried in the shrine of st cuthbert.  From the South side aisle a door leads to the monks dormitory, a great timbered hall 194ft by 39ft where some of the Cathedrals prized possessions can be seen, they include St Cuthberts illuminated manuscripts.  In front of the font is a line of marble, the nearest point that women were allowed to get to the altar.  Almost no amount of time is to long to spend in this unique place of worship. 
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Venerable Bede           Born probably in 673.  In 670 he was sent school in Monkwearmouth but stayed only two years before being sent to Jarrow in 672.  He loved knowledge and found the libraries of St Pauls fascinating.  He enjoyed astronomy, numbers, Latin and wrote the life of St Cuthbert.  He also wrote a famous history book.  The first of its kind about the English Church and People.  He also loved the Bible and was working on St Johns Gospel when he died on may 25th 735.  He was 62 years old.  He was buried in Jarrow.  During the 11th Century his bones were stolen and brought to Durham.  At the time they were put in the same coffin as St Cuthbert.  However in the 13th Century they were separated and brought to a new tomb in the Galilee Chapel also in Durham Cathedral.
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St. Pauls Church, Jarrow            The Parish Church of St Pauls Jarrow has been a place of worship for 13 Centuries.  The Church & Monastery was built on land given by King Ecgfrith of Northumbria in 681AD.  The Chancel of St Pauls is the original Saxon Church built as a separate Chapel and thus offers at least a relic of Bede`s time.  Much of the cut stone is Roman, do look for the three single splayed Saxon windows, the middle one containing Saxon stained glass made in the monastic workshops, it was excavated from the site in 1980 and inserted here in the Chancel.  Reputedly the oldest such glass in Western Europe.  The Monastery where Bede came as a boy thrived in the 7th & 8th Centuries.  Outside the church are the remains of the domestic buildings of that monastery, it was here that he lived, worked and worshipped.  The buildings where sacked by the Vikings in 794AD. It was not until 1074 that the church was repaired by the Normans and the Monastery re-founded by Aldwin, Prior of Winchcombe Abbey in Gloucestershire.  Do look for the original dedication stone of 685 (above the Chancel arch) supposedly the oldest in England.  Although St Martins Church Canterbury does predate Jarrow by maybe 100 years and therefore holds the honour of oldest church in England.
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