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This is the place to search for places and things of interest to visit in Britain, by name, location, type, keyword – or just have a browse. It is a growing directory – 700+ entries as of October 2019. Most entries have links for further information.
Chirk is a picture-book medieval fortress as well as a sumptuous home, with wonderful gardens and a spectacular wrought-iron entrance gate. Roger Mortimer, Marcher Lord, began the castle in 1295 as one of King Edward I's chain of castles along the Welsh/English border. Since 1595, it has been owned by the Myddleton family. From 1910-1946, it was leased to Lord Howard de Walden and was scene of lavish entertaining in the 1930s.
The full name of this place is the Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings and it was England's first open air museum, established in 1967. Avoncroft displays 30-odd rescued buildings and structures, ranging from 14th - 20th centuries, which have been re-built in 19 acres of rural Worcestershire. The museum includes a wildflower meadow, period gardens and a traditional cider and perry orchard. It is also home to the National Telephone Kiosk Collection.
It may come as a surprise that one of - if not the - finest Baroque churches in Britain is not in London, but in rural Worcestershire. It dates from 1735, replacing an earlier medieval parish church which stood a little way to the west. It was built by the then owners of neighbouring Witley Court, the Foleys, possibly for their convenience, but not as a private chapel; it has always been a parish church. In 1747, the interior was transformed by the installation of internal decoration from the chapel at Canons, Lord Chandos' Edgware palace - and the impact is astonishing. Dedicated to St Michael and All Angels, Great Witley Church also boasts the Foley Monument, at 26 feet (8 metres) reputed to be the tallest funerary monument in the country.
Not long ago, in the great scheme of things, Witley Court was a Palladian mansion with a staff of over 100 servants, where the great and the good - including the Prince of Wales (Later Edward VII) attended lavish parties. Jewellery was hung from Christmas trees for lady guests. In 1937, it was burnt to a shell in an accidental fire. Its ruins echo with the past and its ornate gardens, including two astonishing fountains, have been lovingly restored. The Perseus and Andromeda fountain, in particular, needs to be seen in action - it is 'fired up' at particular times. There are also woodland walks, lakeside views, places to picnic and a play area for kids.
The medieval Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Mary the Virgin, Worcester, perches beautifully over the river Severn. It was founded in the 7th century, rebuilt by St Oswald in the 10th century and the present building was begun by St Wulfstan in 1084. The Norman crypt is particularly worth seeing. Worcester Cathedral was badly damaged during the Civil War in the 17th century and has been subsequently restored, notably by the Victorians. It is the burial place of King John, Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales (Henry VIII's older brother) and Stanley Baldwin, three times Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Lacock is one of those places that are almost frozen in another time. In this small picture-perfect Wiltshire village of about 350 souls, there are few overt trappings of the 21st century: no satellite dishes or TV aerials, no yellow lines, and only a small amount of signage – which anyway appears to be easily removable. Blank out the cars and rough-up the road surface a little and you’re transported back to the past, albeit a sanitised version where every building is immaculately maintained. Which explains why Lacock is one of the UK’s premier locations for filming period dramas, like Pride and Prejudice and Cranford. The village is owned by the National Trust.
Lacock Abbey was established between 1229 and 1232 by Lady Ela, Countess of Salisbury. After the Reformation, it became a family home in the hands of the Sharingtons, followed by the Talbots. The most famous Talbot, William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-77) was an accomplished scientist and inventor of the negative/positive photographic process. Thus, Lacock is often plugged as "the birthplace of photography". There are wonderful gardens and grounds set amongst rolling Wiltshire countryside. The ground floor of the abbey has been well preserved - including the cloisters - and parts have featured in several film and TV productionss, including Harry Potter and Wolf Hall. The first floor is a Gothic Victorian home. Also on site is the Fox Talbot Museum, dedicated to photography.
The first cathedral was completed in 1092 at the now deserted Old Sarum, about 3 miles to the north of 'new Sarum' - modern Salisbury. Work on the present cathedral began in 1220 and was substantially complete by 1320. Salisbury Cathedral is a soaring Gothic masterpiece. It has the tallest church spire (404 feet - 123 metres), and the largest cloister and cathedral close in Britain, houses the world's oldest working clock, dating from 1386) and holds one of four surviving copies of the 1215 Magna Carta. Famously painted by John Constable, among its notable burials is ex-Prime Minister Edward Heath (1916-2005).