St Paul's Church Choir, Fayettville, AR
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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)
The Cathedral was
founded as a shrine for the body of St Cuthbert. When Viking raids forced
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.
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.
St. Pauls Church, Jarrow
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.