England


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Sites

London
Tower of London
Palace of Westminster
Westminster Abbey
Kensington Palace
St Paul's Cathedral
Buckingham Palace
Royal Mews



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England

 
   England
 
London

Tower  of  London
 
The Tower of London – known as The Tower - has been a Castle, Palace, Prison, Museum and a place offering a secure repository for the keeping of valuables. Spanning back to the 11th century its history started with the death of Edward the Confessor who died childless in 1066.  Edward’s brother-in-law, Harold Godwinson, was crowned king but William, Duke of Normandy, a distant blood relative, claimed he had been promised the throne. This led to William invading England and the defeat of Harold at the Battle of Hastings.  READ MORE
 

The Palace of Westminster

The Palace of Westminster is perhaps better known as the Houses of Parliament and the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of Parliament of the United Kingdom.

The history of the site started in Roman times when a temple dedicated to Apollo is believed to have stood on the site. Although its present development began in the 8th century when a Saxon church dedicated to St Peter was constructed and became known as the West Minster. In the 10th century it became part of a Benedictine abbey and was used as the Royal church, it was its association with the Kings that resulted in the expansion of the site, something that was started by King Cnut (1016 – 1035). READ MORE


Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey started as a Benedictine monastery established during the period of 960-980, although it is believed that an abbey - known as St Peters - was founded on the site in the 7th century. Between 1042 and 1052 King Edward the Confessor (1042-1066) began to rebuild and develop the abbey as a royal burial church. Although it was consecrated in 1065 shortly before Edwards’s death, it was not completed until the 1090’s. It was the first church in England to be built in the shape of the cross. READ MORE


Kensington Palace

Built in 1605, the Jacobean property that was originally known as Nottingham House was acquired by William (III) and Mary (II) in 1689 for the sum of £20,000. They embarked on an expansion programme under the supervision of Sir Christopher Wren, which was to make the Palace the residence of the British Monarchs until the death of George II in 1760 when it became used as apartments by a number of the Royal Family. Today it still accommodates the offices and private apartments of a number of members of the Royal Family. The State Apartments were opened to the public in 1899 and visitors are still able to visit them and gardens. READ MORE


St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral was designed by Sir Christopher Wren to replace the cathedral destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666.  Constructed during the years from 1675 to 1710 it is the fourth religious building on the site. The first was built in 604 which was destroyed and rebuilt following Viking raids and subsequent fires. It was around 1087 that Bishop Maurice, the Chaplain to William the Conqueror started the construction of what was to become known as Old St Paul’s. This was completed in 1240 although was subsequently enlarged finally being completed in 1300. READ MORE



Buckingham Palace
 

Buckingham_PalaceBuckingham Palace is the centrepiece of Britain's constitutional monarchy and although owned by the British people it is used by the Royal Family as their official London residence. The land first came into Royal ownership in the 11th century with the first building being constructed on it in 1624. The subsequent building was acquired by King George III in 1762. This was developed and enlarged and in 1837 it became the main residence for Queen Victoria, which it has remained for the British Monarch ever since.  READ MORE



Royal Mews

Royal_Mews_EntranceThe Royal Mews is the finest working stables in existence today.  Built in 1760 by George III adjacent to Buckingham Palace it contains, and has on display, some of the Royal Coaches and vehicles used on State occasions. This includes the magnificent Gold State Coach first used by George III when he opened Parliament in 1762. This has subsequently been used for every coronation since then. READ MORE


 



The Thames Barrier

Thames_Barrier_LondonThe Thames Barrier is a flood defense system that stretches across the River Thames near Woolwich, it was constructed during 1974-1982. Its purpose is to protect Central London from excessive flooding by regulating the flow of water in the Thames in the event of tidal surges in the river. The system incorporates ten circular rotating steel segments that lay on the riverbed and rise to form a gate to interrupt the flow of the water.  READ MORE



 


 

              All  Photographs were taken by and are copyright of Ron Gatepain

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