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Britain, places to visit, attractions, heritageThis 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.

East of England

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Round Church, Cambridge

The Round Church, or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in Cambridge is one of only four round churches in Britain. Influenced by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, Cambridge's round church was built in c1130 and is heavily Norman in style - though has been added to and restored at various times - particularly in the later medieval and Victorian periods. It hasn't been used as a parish church since 1994 and is now a study and visitor centre, with an exhibition about the story of Cambridge. The interior architecture of the round church is lovely - and there are some striking stained glass windows.

Location/Address: Bridge Street
County: Cambridgeshire
Post Code: CB2 1UB
Main Historic Period: Norman
Useful Website Address: Round Church Visitor Centre website
Tip/Nearby: City Centre location close to other colleges and sights
Primary Management: Other
Great St Mary's, Cambridge

Great St Mary's (aka 'GSM') is a parish church and the University Church, the first home of the University in 1209. The present building dates from the 15th century. The Protestant reformer, Martin Bucer (1491-1551), preached here, was burnt nearby, and his ashes are interred in the church. Queen Elizabeth I visited the church and Stephen Hawking had his funeral service here. It is famous for its bells, which date from 1515, and its clock, installed in 1793. For a fee, visitors can climb the tower for fabulous views over the city. The picture is the view to the north, showing Gonville and Caius College in the foreground.

Location/Address: The University Church
Senate House Hill
County: Cambridgeshire
Post Code: CB2 3BQ
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Useful Website Address: Great St Mary's website
Tip/Nearby: Cambridge Colleges, including King's
Primary Management: Educational establisment
Christ's College, Cambridge

Christ's College was first established as God's House in 1437 by William Byngham, a London parish priest, for training grammar school masters. However, its site was needed for King’s College, so it had to move to its present location in 1448.   Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII, decided to enlarge God's House and in 1505 the College was re-founded as Christ's College. Lady Margaret has been honoured ever since as the Foundress.  You can spot her coat of arms on the gatehouse and as pictured.  Christ's became one of the leading Puritan colleges of Elizabethan Cambridge. In 1625 it admitted the young John Milton. The Garden still boasts what is known as 'Milton's Mulberry Tree'.  Charles Darwin is another famous old boy.  Further noted alumni include JH Plumb, Lord Louis Mountbatten, Simon Schama, Roy Porter, Colin Dexter, CP Snow, Rowan Williams and Sacha Baron Cohen.

Location/Address: St Andrew's Street
County: Cambridgeshire
Post Code: CB2 3BU
Main Historic Period: Victorian
Useful Website Address: Christ's College website
Tip/Nearby: Central Cambridge attractions and colleges
Primary Management: Educational establisment

IWM Duxford is a historic RAF airfield also used by the United States Army Air Forces during the Second World War. It houses the Imperial War Museum's huge collection of historic aircraft and other large vehicles like tanks. Permanent exhibitions include the American Air Museum, Battle of Britain, Land Warfare and Historic Duxford (many of the buildings are original). You can get up close and personal with some of the most famous aircraft ever, including the Spitfire, Lancaster, Concorde and Vulcan. It's probably the best aviation collection and museum in the country, and enormous, so allow enough time. Air Shows are a regular feature and Duxford is also home to the Airborne Assault and Royal Anglian Museums.

Location/Address: Imperial War Museum
County: Cambridgeshire
Post Code: CB22 4QR
Main Historic Period: Modern
Link to featured article: Boy's toys? A visit to Duxford.
Useful Website Address: Imperial War Museum Duxford website
Tip/Nearby: Just off J10 of the M11
Primary Management: Imperial War Museum
Cambridge American Cemetery

The Cambridge American Cemetery commemorates almost 9,000 Americans who died while based in the UK, or travelling here, during the Second World War. It is the only World War II American military cemetery in the United Kingdom. The site was established as a temporary military burial ground in 1943, on land donated by the University of Cambridge, and has been granted free use in perpetuity by HM Government. It was dedicated in 1956, covers 30.5 acres and lies on a gentle slope overlooking farmland. Simple, white marble, headstones – mostly crosses – mark the resting place of 3,811 of America’s war dead - the missing are listed on large panels. There is a fascinating, and moving, visitor centre as well as an impressive memorial building.

Location/Address: Madingley Road
County: Cambridgeshire
Post Code: CB23 7PH
Main Historic Period: Modern
Link to featured article: The Cambridge American Cemetery
Tip/Nearby: Just outside Cambridge
Primary Management: Other
Queens' College, Cambridge

The royal founders of Queen’s College were Margaret of Anjou (1430 – 1482) in 1448 and Elizabeth Woodville (c1437 – 1492) in 1465. Margaret was the wife of King Henry VI and Elizabeth was the wife of King Edward IV. The has also enjoyed the patronage of three further queens - Anne Neville (1456 – 1485), who was married to King Richard III, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (1900 – 2002), the late Queen Mother and HM Queen Elizabeth II. Queens’ College Cambridge is the only Oxbridge college to have the Queen as Patroness. Particular features of the College include the 15th century Old Court, Hall and Cloister. Walnut Tree Court is located on the site of a 13th century Carmelite Monastery. The Wooden Bridge – wrongly called ‘the Mathematical Bridge’ – dates from 1749, though the current version was completed in 1905. Famous alumni include Bishop John Fisher, Stephen Fry, Richard Dearlove and Emily Maitlis.

Location/Address: Queens' Lane
County: Cambridgeshire
Post Code: CB3 9ET
Main Historic Period: Tudor
Useful Website Address: Queens' College website
Tip/Nearby: Central Cambridge attractions and colleges
Primary Management: Educational establisment

Ely Cathedral was founded by Queen Etheldreda in the 7th century on the site of an earlier church. Sacked by the Danes, it was re-founded by Benedictine monks in the 10th century. The present, magnificent yet serene, cathedral dates from 11th century, was heavily refurbished in the 19th century and is partly surrounded by parkland. Do not miss the amazing octagon tower, the ceilings and the Lady Chapel.

Location/Address: Chapter House
The College
County: Cambridgeshire
Post Code: CB7 4DL
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Link to featured article: Ely Cathedral
Useful Website Address: Ely Cathedral website
Tip/Nearby: Oliver Cromwell's House
Primary Management: Church authorities

Hero or villain, Oliver Cromwell was one of those people who make a brief appearance on history’s stage and leave their mark. So his house has got to be worth a visit. Cromwell inherited the lease from a rich uncle, moved there with his family in 1636 and they stayed for 10 years - though Cromwell himself would have been away for much of that time. It stands opposite a small green, next to St Mary’s Church. It has been a pub, vicarage and at time of writing is Ely’s Tourist Information Centre. A tour of the house includes the fascinating kitchen and Cromwell's study.

And - it is meant to be haunted...wooooo!

Location/Address: 29 St Mary's Street
County: Cambridgeshire
Post Code: CB7 4HF
Main Historic Period: Stuart
Link to featured article: Oliver Cromwell's House
Tip/Nearby: Ely Cathedral
Primary Management: Local Authority

Preserved cold war bunker designed to help continue some semblance of government following nuclear attack. Also known as 'the secret nuclear bunker'.  Not recommended.

Location/Address: A128 Chipping Ongar to Brentwood Road
Kelvedon Hatch
County: Essex
Post Code: CM15 0LA
Main Historic Period: Modern
Link to featured article: Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker
Useful Website Address: Secret nuclear bunker website
Primary Management: Private - open to the public
St ANDREWS, Greensted

Known as 'Greensted Log Church', or simply, 'Log Church', this is reputedly the oldest surviving wooden church in the world, constructed c1060 using split oak logs.  It is believed that an earlier church stood on the same site.  The church is also famous as a resting place for the body of St Edmund, on its way from London to be finally interred in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, in 1013.

When visiting, bear in mind this is not just a historic building of considerable interest, but also a fully functioning place of worship.

Location/Address: Church Lane
County: Essex
Post Code: CM5 9LD
Main Historic Period: Saxon
Link to featured article: Greensted Log Church
Useful Website Address: Greensted church website
Primary Management: Church authorities
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