St Peters NY
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St Peters Church, Albany, NY
Musical Director Neil Keen

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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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Cambridge                             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.
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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.  
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Ely                       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.
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Ely Cathedral       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.
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Burghley House                   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.
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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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Web Link to Worcester Diocese

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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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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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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Black Country Museum                 The Black Country, black by day and red by night, cannot be matched for vast and varied production by any sphere of equal radius on the surface of the globe--American Consul 1868.  The sights & sounds of the past are waiting at the museum.  A living tribute to the skills and enterprise of the people of the Black Country.  Nail making, chain making, glass cutting, baking, boat building, iron working cooking, shopping.
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