This magnificent building, WELLS, designed in the Gothic style, was started in 1175 and took 80 years to build. Hardly surprising when it is a collection of astonishing architectural and sculptural design. It has a tower that holds the second oldest clock mechanism in the country. It has a wondrous stained glass window that is called The Jesse Window which is the original dating from 1340. The most photographed front of a cathedral is the West Front of Wells for here is a quite remarkable display of medieval statues all telling the Christian story. Then there are the famous scissor arches which were the result of a brilliant solution to overcome the weight of the tower above and these were constructed in 1338. The bell tower holds the heaviest ring of 10 bells in the world and they too will be ringing out for ST. GEORGE and will be heard right across the county.
This famous landmark of the City of OXFORD is called Carfax Tower as it is all that remains of the 12th C church of St. Martins which was demolished to make way for the growing traffic. It has the name Carfax in recognition of its position sitting at the junction of four main streets right in the heart of the city. It stands 74 feet tall and is the standard by which no other building can be built higher. It has 6 bells and they will be ringing out for ST. GEORGE on April 23rd.
The world famous city of OXFORD has, as one of its oldest colleges, MERTON COLLEGE founded in 1264 by Walter de Merton, a Chancellor of England and later Bishop of Rochester. It is famed for its library that is the oldest continuously working library for students in the world. Its chapel, dating back to the 13th C has a most accomplished choir and a ring of 8 bells which will ring out for ST. GEORGE’S Day.
Today, the city of ST. ALBANS, built on the ancient Watling Street in Hertfordshire, was known as Verulamium, and was the second largest settlement in Roman times outside of Londinium. It became known in its present form after a Roman British citizen named Alban, who at the end of the 3rd Century AD stood trial in place of a priest he had helped to escape and was condemned to death for refusing to give up his faith. His martyrdom inspired pilgrims to The Abbey that was founded by King Offa in 793. This venerable building ‘The oldest site of continuous Christian worship in Britain’ is still a site of pilgrimage and has had bells rung from its tower since 11th Century. Today, this tower is the earliest remaining Norman tower in the country and has a ring of 13 bells. These will be rung for ST. GEORGE and their celebration will be heard for miles around.
The city of SHEFFIELD dates back to the 1st millenium AD when a settlement was created in a clearing beside the River Sheaf. Later, after the Norman Conquest, a castle was built on the site. Then a local William de Lovetot built the first church in the 12th C on land at the other end opposite this castle and the township of Sheffield became established. Over the years the church was added to and so too the town grew later becoming a world famous center for steel in the Industrial Revolution. But it was not until 1914 that the church was granted the status of a Cathedral and among the additions to the original building came the St. George’s Chapel. This chapel was set aside to honour the city’s many lives lost during various conflicts, not least those that were on board HMS Sheffield when it sank in the Falklands war. As a reminder of this connection the chapel holds the ship’s bell. For the Cathedral’s other bells they number 13 and they will be ringing out across the city for ST. GEORGE’S DAY.
More churches from Hertfordshire are joining in including a special ST. GEORGE’S in the village of ANSTEY. This village with Anglo Saxon origins has a delightful medieval church dating from 12th C. It has strong connections with the military which include graffiti from the 13th C and more recently with many American airman based nearby who lost their lives during WWII. Its 6 bells will be ringing loud and clear for ST. GEORGE.
The city was founded by The Romans in 71AD and was known as ‘Eboracum’, situated strategically at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss and became the Roman capital of the interior. Today, this city, now known as YORK, is still a capital of the interior and also of its county. It has many historic features but none so important nor influential than its magnificent Minster. A church had been established on this site since the 4th Century and over the years it has been rebuilt after fires, wars and invasions. The sublime and magisterial building it is today brings visitors from all over the world to admire its architecture including its towers. The North West holds the bell ‘Great Peter’ the fourth largest in the country weighing just over 216 cwt. In the South West there are 14 bells that are hung for ‘change ringing’ and they will be making a thundering good sound across the country as they ring out for ST.GEORGE, April 23rd.
The great city of Newcastle has an area known as JESMOND and herein sits a very special church – ST. GEORGE’S. It was built in 1888 and the entire building is a great testament to the Arts and Crafts Movement and Art Nouveau styles. Its interiors are covered in stunning mosaics that have hints of Ravenna and its tower follows that of St. Mark’s in Venice. This amazing structure stands 154 feet high and from this tower its 8 bells ring as they will on April 23rd for ST. GEORGE.
The Romans built a fort here and named it ‘Mancunium’ and from out of this settlement grew today’s great city now named MANCHESTER. Its growth and fame grew as the textile industry exploded and thus it became the world’s first industrial city as a result of the Industrial Revolution. It was in 1853 that it was declared a city and is now the third most visited by foreign travellers. The cathedral is built with the widest naves in the country and is the only one in England to be dedicated to ST.GEORGE. Within its grounds is the oldest public library wherein Karl Marx studied and conversed with Engels. It suffered terribly during WWII and again by the IRA but through the stamina and resoluteness of its citizens it has been restored and its 10 bells will be ringing out and reminding Manchester that it is ST.GEORGE’s Day.