Κυριακή, 27 Ιανουαρίου 2013

Historical Sites of Britain

January's Survey for the E.P.P

''Historical Sites of Britain''   

   Windsor Castle is the oldest occupied castle in the world. Covering an area of approximately 13 acres, it contains a wide range of interesting features. These include the State Apartments, Queen Mary’s dolls house and the beautiful St George’s Chapel. It is also the burial place of ten monarchs, including Henry VIII and his beloved wife (the one who gave him a son), Jane Seymour.
   The building of Windsor Castle began in the 1070s at the behest of William the Conqueror, with the intent that it was to guard the western approach to London. Since that time, the structure of Windsor Castle has been embellished by many of the monarchs of England and the UK. Notably, in the 1170s, Henry II (the first Plantagenet) rebuilt most of the castle in stone instead of wood, including the round tower and the upper ward, where most monarchs have had their private apartments since the 14th century.
   In the mid-fourteenth century, Edward III, who had recently founded the Order of the Garter, built St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle for the use of the knights of this Order. A further addition, St George’s Chapel, was started by Edward IV, but was not finished until the time of Henry VIII. It is here that the ten British monarchs lie buried. 
   During the English Civil War, Windsor Castle served as a prison and it was to St George’s Chapel that the body of Charles I was brought for burial after his execution. Charles II and George IV (formerly the Prince Regent) made further contributions to the architecture of Windsor Castle in the 1650s and 1820s respectively. 
   Queen Victoria and Prince Albert loved Windsor castle, and Prince Albert died there of typhoid in 1861. Queen Victoria built a mausoleum in the grounds of the castle, Frogmore, where Albert and later Victoria herself were buried.
   In the Second World War, Windsor Castle became home to our present Queen, Elizabeth II, and her family, George VI, the (future) Queen Mother and Princess Margaret. It remains a favourite home of Queen Elizabeth, and she spends most of her weekends there. There was a huge fire at the castle in November 1992 which took 15 hours and one and half a million gallons of water to extinguish. It began in the Private Chapel and soon spread to affect approximately one fifth of the area of the castle.
   It took five years to restore the Castle, and it was finished by the end of 1997.  
There are numerous exhibitions and tours at Windsor Castle. In fact, a typical visit can take up to three hours.
Buckingham Palace has been the official residence of Britain's monarchs since 1837, at the start of the reign of Queen Victoria.
With its 775 rooms, Buckingham Palace was originally built for the Dukes of Buckingham at the beginning of the eighteenth century.
In 1761, Buckingham Palace, then known as Buckingham House, was acquired by George III who rechristened it “The Queen's Residence" and had it remodeled by Sir William Chambers. When the building passed to George IV, he continued the renovations, and, from 1826 under the remit of architect John Nash, began transforming Buckingham Palace into the building with which we are familiar today. These changes took around 75 years to implement. The first monarch to actually live there was Queen Victoria.
Today, Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of Queen Elizabeth II, although it is also an administrative centre and a place in which the monarch hosts official receptions and events. Buckingham Palace also houses the offices of the Queen's and the Duke of Edinburgh's staff.
In August and September, the nineteen State Rooms and some other sections of Buckingham Palace are open to the general public and to tourists. Here, visitors can see the Royal Collections, which include an incredible array of artwork as well as some of the finest English and French furniture. Audio guides are included in the ticket price and a visit usually lasts around two hours.
One of the major attractions at Buckingham Palace is the ceremony of Changing the Guard. This takes place on a daily basis during the summer at 11:30am on the forecourt of the palace and on alternate days in winter. This ceremony lasts for 45 minutes.
A royal residence, a vital stronghold and an iconic structure, Edinburgh Castle is one of the most famous castles in the world. Known by its English name since the invasion of the Angles in 638AD, the first mentions of Edinburgh Castle occurred in 600 AD during Roman Britain, when it was called “Din Eidyn” or “the fortress of Eidyn”.
   However, even before the Angles and the Romans, Edinburgh Castle’s location had served as a vital stronghold for centuries. In fact, archaeologists have found evidence of human settlement on the rock on which the castle sits as early as 900 BC, the late Bronze Age. Over the following centuries, Edinburgh Castle continued to play its role as a crucial defensive structure as well as becoming an integral part of Scotland’s history.
    It initially became a royal castle in the Middle Ages and has since been the site of many significant events in royal and military history. As a royal residence, Edinburgh Castle was the site of the birth of King James VI, also James I of England from 1603, to Mary Queen of Scots in 1566. Visitors can still see the small room where this monarch was born. However, Edinburgh Castle’s main role was a military fortification.
   From as early as the thirteenth century, Edinburgh Castle was a focal point of the war between England and Scotland. Captured by Edward I of England following a three-day siege, Edinburgh Castle was then the subject of a tug of war between the warring countries, swapping hands numerous times in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries until the Scots took it back again in 1341.
   By this time, much of the original castle had been destroyed, to be rebuilt under the order of David II, who later died in Edinburgh Castle in 1371. However, the buildings of Edinburgh Castle were to suffer further destruction in battle and David’s Tower, which was built in honour of David II, was razed during the Lang Siege. The final siege at Edinburgh Castle would take place in 1745, carried out by the Jacobites.
   In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Edinburgh Castle found itself fulfilling a new role: as a prison. It housed prisoners from numerous wars, including the Seven Years War, the American War of Independence, the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.
   Today, visitors to Edinburgh Castle can explore the castle’s history through a series of guided tours and exhibitions.
   Amongst its many attractions are the Scottish National War Memorial and National War Museum, the Mons Meg, a giant cannon gifted to James II in 1457 and the Great Hall, built by James VI in 1511. Royal exhibitions include The Honours of Scotland jewels which, along with Scotland’s coronation stone, the Stone of Destiny, can be found in the castle’s Crown Room. Edinburgh Castle is also home to the oldest building in the city, the 12th-century St Margaret’s Chapel.
   Stonehenge in Wiltshire is a world renowned, magnificent site consisting of standing (and lying) stones, some transported from South Wales.
   The construction of Stonehenge took place between 3000 BC and 1600 BC and is considered to be one of the most impressive structures of its time, especially considering each stone weighs around four tonnes and that its founders had little by way of technological advances to assist them in moving the stones over the hundreds of miles that they travelled. The purpose of Stonehenge has remained a mystery, despite extensive archaeological investigation.
   Stonehenge is managed by English Heritage. Anybody wishing to access the stone circle of Stonehenge must arrange this in advance with English Heritage and these visits can only take place outside normal working hours. During normal operating hours, visitors walk around the circle on a set path and are given free audio guides explaining different aspects of Stonehenge.
   In 2010, archaeologists discovered a second henge next to Stonehenge. Hailed as the most exciting find in half a century, this second henge  was made up of a circle of pits – thought to have once contained timber posts - surrounded by a larger circular ditch. Stonehenge is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
 Owlpen Manor: The tree-clad Cotswold Hills rise and fall into steep valleys in this forgotten undulating area between Dursley and Nailsworth. Here nestling below the woods, is the remote hamlet of Owlpen; Manor House, Church and a few scattered cottages and farms, all extremely idyllic.
The infant River Cam that makes this steep valley, has its source in Owlpen Park high above Owlpen Manor, which can trace its origins back to 1450, and spans the Tudor period to 1616.
Built of mellow, now weathered Cotswold stone, the first house on this site is attributed to the de Olepenne family, who were of Saxon ancestry, but it is to the Daunt family, who purchased the site in the 15th century, that we must thank for today's beautiful building.
The interior contains a fine Tudor Great Hall, Jacobean wing and Georgian parlour, plus exhibits which include painted cloth and wall hangings. The terraced formal gardens have clipped yew trees, a fine watermill and a court house dating from early in the 17th century, plus a tithe barn.
Privately owned, Owlpen Manor presents the magnificent facade of a small English Manor House, which has been fully inhabited since 1450, and now open to the public at certain times, accompanied by a fine fully licensed restaurant.
The adjacent church is Victorian. Owlpen village was devastated by the collapse of the cloth industry around 1830 and decline was inevitable.
Location: In Owlpen hamlet, east of Uley near Dursley, off B 4066, Mid Gloucestershire.


Γεώργιος Μπάρδας
Δημήτριος Μαυρίδης
Ιουλιανός Τζελίλι
Κωνσταντίνος Παπαδόπουλος
Σταύρος Πατρίκιος
Another survey for the E.P.P
(English Project Presentations)

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