Кафедра профессиональной иноязычной подготовки
ДИСЦИПЛИНА: Практика устной и письменной английской речи (V курс)
ТЕМА: Культура и искусство стран изучаемого языка
РАЗДЕЛ: Архитектура Великобритании
ЧАСЫ: 20 часов
Цель и задачи изучения раздела
Учебно-методический блок: серия заданий на основе видеоматериала
Учебно-исследовательский блок: вопросы для самостоятельного изучения с помощью дополнительной литературы, тематика мини-исследований по теме
Информационный блок: дикторские тексты видеофильма
Приложения: комментарии к дикторским текстам
Изучение культурного наследия стран изучаемого языка, в особенности такого вида искусства, как архитектура, должно проходить в нестандартной форме. Предлагаемый аутентичный видеоматериал предназначен для изучающий английский язык как иностранный. Он представляет собой блок страноведческой информации, которая раскрывается на фоне запоминающихся зрительных образов. Все это усиливает эмоциональное воздействие на студентов, открывает дополнительные возможности пополнения знаний и формирования профессионально значимых умений.
Видеофильм "The Spirit of Britain" (Дух Британии) дает возможность организовать серию занятий по практике устной и письменной английской речи, основной практической целью которых выступает совершенствование умений аудирования и неподготовленной устной речи. Работа с видеоматериалами носит интегрированный характер, так как предполагает привлечение и использование знаний и умений, полученных студентами при изучении таких дисциплин, как страноведение, литература Англии, стилистика.
. ЦЕЛЬ И ЗАДАЧИ ИЗУЧЕНИЯ РАЗДЕЛА
Практическая цель – дальнейшее совершенствование навыков аудирования и развитие умений неподготовленной устной речи на изучаемом иностранном языке.
Развивающая цель – комплексное совершенствование умений восприятия фактов иноязычной культуры.
Воспитательная цель – углубление понимания значения архитектуры как одного из видов искусства.
Образовательная цель – расширение знаний студентов об истории и культуре Великобритании.
ЗАДАЧИ изучения раздела:
дать представление о различных архитектурных стилях, известных в строительном искусстве Великобритании;
научить узнавать архитектурные особенности, характерные для британских памятников архитектуры;
развивать умения восприятия и обобщения страноведческой информации, сравнения и сопоставления ее с фоновыми знаниями о родной культуре.
УЧЕБНО-МЕТОДИЧЕСКИЙ БЛОК: серия заданий на основе видео
STOKESAY CASTLE (2 часа)
I. PRE-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
1.1. No doubt you've read some novels where the action is set in the Middle Ages. What do you think a medieval castle looks like? Share your views.
1.2. Can you guess what these word combinations mean?
- a manor house - a gate house
- a parish church - an architectural gem
1.3. Study these new words that will help you understand the video better.
- a huddle - woodworks
- a recess - elaborate
II. WHILE-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
2.1. While watching the video try to concentrate on finding the answers to the following questions:
a) What purpose was Stokesay Castle built for?
b) Is the emphasis in Stokesay on comfort rather than on defense ?
c) Does Stokesay have the right to be called an architectural gem? Share you views.
2.2. Try to single out one of Stokesay nooks that caught your fancy, give the reasons why.
2.3. Complete the following according to the information on video.
Stokesay is the most _____________ early fortified manor house in England.
This unique castle is ____________ hundred years old.
The castle has been under _____________________ program recently.
The only really-fortified part of the castle is ____________________.
What is remarkable about Stokesay is that _____________________.
III. AFTER-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
3.1. Think of your very own answers to the following:
a) Would you prefer to live in Stokesay?
b) There is a proverb: "An Englishman's house is his castle" Does Stokesay prove this?
c) A parallel can be drawn between Stokesay Castle and one architectural relic in Belarus. Can you name this structure? Can you come up with its detailed description?
3.2. Read the description of a medieval castle taken from the book "Catherine, Called Birdy" by Karen Cushman, paying attention to all the details. Can you feel the atmosphere of the epoch?
"…Clattering over the moat bridge, we passed through the main gate into the castle yard. The castle seemed like a small stone city. Huddled against the great curtain wall with its stone towers were buildings of all sizes – a slope-roofed storage shed, a kitchen with a chimney like a church steeple, the great hall, a brewhouse, thatched, barns and stables, a piggery, a smithy, and the chapel.
The yard teemed with sights and sounds. Great snorting horses coming or going just milling around stirred the rain and snow dirt into a great muddy slop. Peasants held wiggling, squawking ducks and chickens by their feet, shaking them in the face of anyone who might buy. Laundresses stirred great vats of dirty clothes in soapy water like cooks brewing up some gown-and-breeches stew. Bakers ran back and forth from the ovens at the side of the yard to kitchen with great baskets of steamy fresh bread. Masons chipped stones and mixed mortar as they continued their everlasting repairs. Everywhere children tumbled over each other and everyone else, stealing bread, chasing dogs, splashing and slopping through the mud.
As we drew near to the great hall, the smells overpowered even the noise – the sour smell of the sick, the poor, and the old who crowded about the door, waiting for scraps of food or linen, the rotten sweet smell of the garbage and soiled rushes piled outside the kitchen door, and above all the smell of crisping fat and boiling meat and the hundreds of spices and herbs and honeys and wines that together make a castle dinner".
Does Stokesay correspond to your idea of a medieval castle? Explain, please.
3.3. There is a proverb: "An Englishman's house is his castle". Stokesay seems to be the very proof of this. Do you agree? Why (not)?
KENWOOD (2 часа)
I. PRE-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
1.1. There have always been castles and mansions famous not only as architectural gems but also as frames for renowned art collections. Could you recollect the names of just a few of such places?
1.2. You'll have a chance to see the portrait of a Lady Hamilton. Does her name ring a bell? Share your ideas with your groupmates, or be prepared to dig for more information after class.
1.3. Study the following words and make sure you understand their meaning:
- a crest - grandeur/grandiose
- to bequeath/bequest - an array
- in one's own right - to dazzle
- ornate - wayward
II. WHILE-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
2.1. Answer the question: where does the secret of Kenwood's magic and popularity lie?
2.2.Mark the sequence in which the following items appeared in the video:
_______Henry Moore's sculptures
_______the Guitar Player
_______Portrait of the artist
_______Madonna and Child
2.3. Make sure you understood everything correctly. Study the brief description below and say what is not in accordance with the narration in it.
Rembrandt's Portrait of an Artist is one of the least famous of his paintings. Dated from four years before his death it reflects all the despair of an aging painter. Yet this tragic figure still seems heroic, though aware of the fact that his glorious days are long gone.
III. AFTER-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
1. Some names of the painters mentioned in the video definitely ring a bell. Point them out and present some information concerning their life and creative activity.
2. Now watch the video sequence again and answer, what was so peculiar about Lord Ivy's taste concerning paintings.
3. Kenwood is a real treasure trove, isn't it? But there is something more than that. It reflects the personality of its owner; can you guess what Lord Ivy was like? Create his personality profile.
RIEVAULX ABBEY (2 часа)
I. PRE-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
1.1. You are going to see the remains of the first ever Cistercian monastery in England. Do you happen to know anything about the Cistercian order? If not ask Teacher for more information.
1.2. Make sure you know these words; that will facilitate your understanding:
- serenity - tumult
- to thrive - to abandon
1.3. Make a list of the numerous architectural terms mentioned in the video. They are typical of descriptions of major religious buildings, aren't they? Compare your list with the teacher's one:
- an arcade - a nave
- a buttress - a shrine
- an aisle - an altar
- a transept
2.1. While you are watching the video, try to unveil the mystery: what drew people to this lonely and secluded spot?
2.2. Continue the statements based on the information.
- It was deliberately built by the monks ____________________________
- Architecturally, it's an example of _______________________________
- The nave is a good demonstration of the early belief in ______________
- The number of monks living here is estimated at ___________________
- The first Abbot, William, was entered in a shrine after ______________
2.3. Due to the peculiarity of natural conditions the canons of religious architecture were violated. Which of the traditions was violated and why?
III. AFTER-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
3.1. Which of the adjectives can be attributed to the way of life the monks used to lead in the Abbey? Find as much proof in the video as you can to confirm your point of view.
Choose from: lonely, spiritual, far-away, abandoned, pious, elaborated, religious, creative, working, impractical, traditional, peaceful, serene, marvelous, free, tumultuous, wordly.
3.2. Now watch the video again and comment on the atmosphere that every visitor can't help feeling when inside the Abbey. Is that atmosphere felt as you watch the video?
3.3. These picturesque ruins could be used as a perfect setting for a movie based on - well, choose one of the three possibilities. Could the film be based on (1) an anti-utopian fantasy; (2) a gothic novel; (3) an international spy thriller? (4) sci-fi odyssey; (5) musical; (6) soapy melodrama; (7) historical romance.
Explain your choice, please.
BELSAY HALL (2 часа)
I. PRE-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
1.1 Read a beautiful description of a 'room with a view' taken from Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca (1938). Say what the flowers add to the atmosphere of the place and why.
This was a woman's room, graceful, fragile, the room of someone who had chosen every particle of furniture with great care, so that each chair, each vase, each small, infinitesimal thing should be in harmony with one another, and with her own personality. It was as though she who had arranged this room had said: 'This I will have, and this, and this,' taking piece by piece (...) each object that pleased her best, ignoring the second-rate, the mediocre, laying her hand with sure certain instinct only upon the best. There was no intermingling of style, no confusing of period, and the result was perfection in a strange and startling way, not coldly formal like the drawing-room shown to the public, but vividly alive, having something of the same glow and brilliance that the rhododendrons had massed there, beneath the window. And I noticed then that the rhododendrons, not content with forming their theatre on the little lawn outside the window, had been permitted to the room itself. Their great warm faces looked down upon me from the mantelpiece, they floated in a bowl upon the table by the sofa, they stood, lean and graceful, on the writing-desk beside the golden candlesticks.
The room was filled with them, even the walls took colour from them, becoming rich and glowing in the morning sun. They were the only flowers in the room, and I wondered if there was some purpose in it, whether the room had been arranged originally with this one end in view, for nowhere else in the house did the rhododendrons obtrude. There were flowers in the dining-room, flowers in the library, but orderly and trim, rather in the background, not like this, not in profusion…
1.2. Many of the well-known plants have - well, if we may say so - English roots. Study several descriptions and guess the English names of the plants. (See Appendix 1 for more information.)
A. It is a plant grown for its striped leaves and blue, white, or pink flowers. It is also called spiderwort. The name comes from modern Latin, named for John Tradescant or his son. The name of the plant is________________.
В. It comes from Africa. It's a perennial plant that is widely cultivated for its showy flowers that are often unusual or irregular in shape. It was introduced in late 18th century and named for Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, queen of George III. It's called_______________________.
С It's commonly called wax plant or porcelain flower or wax vine. In fact, it is an Asian and Australian evergreen climbing plant or shrub that is related to milkweed and bears waxy white flowers. It was named after the English gardener Thomas Hoy. It's original name is_______________________.
1.3. A house of a person of means is often a mirror reflecting the image of the owner. Do you agree with the statement? Give a couple of examples to prove the above.
II. WHILE-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
2.1. Taking into account the indisputably original character of Belsay, we can suggest the idea of Sir Charles Monk's originality, can't we? Take a mental note of Sir Charles' views on life and love, on lakes and lawns.
2.2. Mark the sequence in which the following themes are discussed:
Belsay gardens present a unique medley of local and tropical plants, that looks as natural as it can be;
Belsay Hall attracts visitors by its architectural perfection making it one of the most magnificent estates in the Border Country;
Belsay gardens are located in the former quarry, which supplies special microclimate;
the original nucleus of the estate was Belsay Castle;
the grounds are a perfect place for crochet;
bewitched by the Greek arch style, Sir Charles Monk renovated his estate.
2.3. Explain the meaning of the words and expressions taken from the tape:
- the Border Country - a romantic tableau
- an eccentric - to be bewitched by
- a medley - to quarry
- a landscape architect - the feeling of utter seclusion
- features on the wail - sumptuous gardens
3.1. Think of all the components that make Belsay Hall a harmoniously beautiful landmark of the Border Country. Which of them seems to you the most stunning one?
3.3. One author described a fabulous house surrounded by picturesque environs like "a jewel in a ring". This metaphor can be well-applied to Belsay Hall, cant it? Can you come up with some of your own metaphors to refer to Belsay Hall?
DOVER CASTLE (2 часа)
I. PRE-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
1. In the video you will hear several outstanding historical figures mentioned. Some of them are: William the Conqueror, Sir Winston Churchill, QueenMother. Do you know anything about their role in history?
1.2.These words will help you to grasp the narrator's speech better:
- astride - a sweeping view
- a rampart - a siege
- a keep - a stronghold
2.1. Try to catch the names of two more famous Britons mentioned in the narration. Both were military leaders. Their names are…Can you say anything about their role in the history of Britain? Which of them appeals to you more and why? Don't hesitate to defend your point of view.
2.2. Give answers to the following questions:
a) Where and with what purpose was Dover Castle built?
b) What is its oldest surviving building? By the way, does the name ring a bell?
c) What can you say about Hubert De Burk and his contribution to the castle appearance and role?
d) The castle retained its strategic importance for centuries didn't it? Why was it put to military use during World War II?
e) What is so special and unique about Dover Castle?
2.3. Dover Castle is often referred to as the key to England. Pay special attention to the information who and when tried to use that "key".
2.4. The conclusion to the narration is that Dover Castle is the most important coastal defense work in Europe and probably one of Europe's best preserved strategic strongholds. Take note of the facts to prove that.
III. AFTER-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
3.1.Watch the video again and find detailed information for the following:
a) Dover Castle in Early Britain;
b) Dover Castle in the Middle Ages;
c) Dover Castle in the 19th century;
d) Dover Castle during World War II and in the period of the so-called nuclear threat.
TINTAGEL CASTLE (2 часа)
I. PRE-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
1.1. Some architectural relics owe their fame to myths or legends. Could you recall but a few of such places located anywhere in the world.
1.2. Comment on the following passage from Thomas Malory's Death of Arthur. "Yet many men say in many parts of England that King Arthur is not dead, but had by the will of Our Lord Jesus into another place; and many men say that he shall come again, and he shall win the holy cross. I will not say that it shall be so, rather I will say that here in this world he changed his life. But many men say that there is written upon his tomb this verse: HIC IACET ARTHURUS, REX QUONDAM REXQUE FUTURUS. (Here lies Arthur, the once and future king.)" What does this text imply?
II. WHILE-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
2.1. Two enigmatic personalities are mentioned in the video. Try to catch their names and try to recall where and when you might have come across the information about them. Are they just mere names or more than that?
2.2.These words will help you understand the narrator's speech better. Make sure you understand them well.
- to jut out - an enigma
- a causeway - obscure
- to foster(somebody)
2.3. Complete the following statements according to the narration.
Tintagel Castle is a place without _________________on the British Isles.
The building site must have been a former ________________________.
The evidence is that it could have been the stronghold of ____________.
Legend has it that it was in Merlin's cave that _____________________.
Tintagel's fame is based not on fact but on ________________________.
III. AFTER-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
3.1. Fact and fiction are intertwined in Tintagel Mythology. Separate fact from fiction with the help of the following chart.
So what is it that draws crowds of curious tourists to this enigmatic place: historic facts or legends? Try to argue your point.
If you ever made up your mind to go to Tintagel, what would be your primary reason to do so? Explain your point of view.
Use the information in Appendix 3 to tell a magical Tale of Tintagel.
AUDLEY END (2 часа)
I. PRE-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
1.1. There are some mansions and palaces that simply compel us to describe them in such terms as "magnificent", "opulent", etc. Could you name several places with such excellent characteristics?
1.2. Biblical themes and allusions are many in any form of art. Architecture and painting are no exception. What do know about the Last Supper. Why are so many works of art dedicated to this mythological meal?
1.3. Read the information below about an outstanding English landscape gardener. He is better known under his assumed name. Identify this name, which is a very unexpected one, by the way, while listening to the narration.
Lancelot Brown (1715-1783) is an English landscape gardener who codified and popularized the principles of "English", or "natural", landscape gardening. Building on the work of his predecessor William Kent, he rejected the geometric formality of the reigning French style in favor of more informal designs based on sweeping curves and natural groupings of trees and lawns. His landscapes often included artificially made but natural-looking lakes and watercourses. He landscaped more than 100 estates. Under his influence, the English style spread throughout Europe.
1.4. These word-combinations may come appear very handy while watching the video:
- the cream of the collection
- to complement something
- a huge undertaking
- to take pride of place
- a treasure trove
II. WHILE-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
2.1. While watching the video try to remember all the British monarchs whose names are connected with Audley End. Can you give any details concerning that connection?
2.2. Complete the sentences:
1) Originally Audley End was so magnificent that...
2) Audley End is distinguished by ...
3) At this or that time of its long history Audley End was linked with...
4) …adds to its splendor
5) Different elements like the Tea Houses Bridge, etc were added to.
6) The family accommodation was ... while the first floor was distinguished for....
7) Nowadays Audley End is one third of its..., but... nonetheless.
III. AFTER-WATCHING 'ACTIVITIES
3.1. Explain the meaning of these names and terms used in the narration.
STONEHENGE (2 часа)
I. PRE-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
1.1. Naturally, you must have heard a lot or at least something about Stonehenge. What period do you think it belongs to: (1) Anglo-Saxon; (2) Celtic; (3) Roman; (4) Norman' Share your knowledge with others.
1.2. These words will help you comprehend the method that was used by prehistoric engineers while constructing Stonehenge:
- sandstone - bluestone
- a sarsen - a lintel
- mortise and tenon joints
II. WHILE-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
2.1. Some of the stones that comprise Stonehenge bear names. Try to memorise them and think what could have given rise to this or that name.
2.2. Find out what exactly makes Stonehenge so unusual in terms of architectural design.
2.3. Complete the sentences below and then arrange them in the order they
appeared in the video:
a) Exactly why and how Stonehenge was built and...
b) 3500 years ago this was a temple made...
c) The original entrance was marked...
d) This astonishing construction is...
e) The stones were held together by...
f) At the focus of a central bluestone horseshoe is...
e) The "heel"stone is the one over which...
III. AFTER-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
3.1. While watching the video try to find the clues that could prompt an inquisitive mind a somewhat different version of Stonehenge's original designation.
3.2. Read through the information below and explain why the mystery of Stonehenge will never cease to captivate our imagination.
Why Stonehenge was constructed remains
3.3. Can you offer your own version what exactly Stonehenge was used for? Exchange your versions with your groupmates and find the most plausible one.
3.4. Now that you've seen the place live, share your ideas about what exactly Tess of the d’Urbervilles might have felt when she got to Stonehenge on that fateful night.
BATTLE ABBEY (2 часа)
I. PRE-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
1.1. October 14,1066. Does that date ring a bell? What history-making event took place then? What do you know about King Harold or about William the Conqueror?
1.2. These words might prove helpful in understanding the narration.
- to atone (for)
- a cloister
- a brazier
- a novice
1.3. While watching the video try to concentrate on some helpful clues that can give a hint at what kind of man William the Conqueror could have been. Charles Dickens in "A Child’s History of England" wrote, "O Conqueror! Of whom so many great names are proud now, of whom so many great names thought nothing then, it were better to have conquered one true heart than England!" Explain why the great novelist said so.
II. WHILE-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
2.1. Complete the following sentences and arrange them in the order they appear on the tape:
a) The monks lived in this huge building which...
b) The altar of this church should be here, where...
c) The charter house was the place...
d) It remains one of the finest...
e) William ordered the building of an abbey on the...
f) There were alterations and...
g) Much of the abbots great hall has survived and now...
2.2. What has become of the Abbey in later centuries? Is there any irony in the fact? Please, be prepared to explain your point of view.
III. AFTER-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
3.1. The narrator calls the abbey a fitting tribute to a moment and a battle that changed the course of English history. Explain why.
3.2. The idea of atonement has always seemed very attractive. Can you recall any other structure(s) built with the same idea in mind?
3.3. Research the history of some famous British Abbeys (you may start with Westminster Abbey) and present your findings in class.
OSBORNE HOUSE (2 часа)
I. PRE-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
l.l. Queen Victoria is definitely one of the most renowned and revered among British monarchs. What do you know about the Victorian Age (1837—1901)? Why was that time often compared, and not unfavorably, with the Elizabethan Age?
1.2. Pay attention to the following words that will prove to be helpful.
- ornate - tranquil - rigour
- conceive - submit - centerpiece
1.3. Explain the meaning of the following word-combinations.
- an idyllic retreat - pride of place
- dominate the eye - all walks of life
II. WHILE-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
2.1. Osborne house was above all a family vacation home. Take note of as many facts as you can that prove this.
2.2. Mark the sequence in which the following items appear in the video:
a) the Peacock Column e) the marble-top table
b) the bathing machine f) Albert's posthumous mask
c) the hand-operated lift g) the marble-winged Victory
d) marble copies of limbs h) the ornate billiards table
III. AFTER-WATCHING ACTIVITIES
3.1. Could one call Queen Victoria an enlightened monarch who strove to know her subjects better? Are there any arguments for or against this in the video?
3.2. London is rich in landmarks connected with Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their love for each other. Can you recall a few?
3. УЧЕБНО-ИССЛЕДОВАТЕЛЬСКИЙ БЛОК: вопросы для самостоятельного изучения с помощью дополнительной литературы, тематика мини-исследования по теме
3.1. A parallel can be drawn between Stokesay Castle and one architectural relic in Belarus. Can you name this structure? Can you come up with its detailed description?
3.2. Scan the pages of historical /fantasy novel and find a detailed description of a castle. Translate it into English and present it to your group (with the original, if possible).
3.3. Some names of the painters mentioned in the story definitely ring a bell. Point them out and present some information concerning their life and creative activity.
3.4. Scan the pages of historical novels, reference books and encyclopedias and prepare a mini-report on the Rumyantsev- Paskevich Palace in Gomel. Pay special attention to the personality of its creator.
3.5. Henry Moore's sculptures are famous all over the world. What do you know about the artist? Prepare a mini-report on his life and work.
3.6. Art on display in Kenwood grounds can hardly be called classical. What is your opinion of abstract art – is it a sign of changing times or changing mentality? Does any of the names seem familiar? (if not, some research is in store for you)
3.7. Prepare a mini-report on ancient specimen of Belorussian religious architecture (you may start with Kalozha Church in Grodno).
3.8. Study Appendix 1 and prepare a report on your favourite house plants.
3.9. Study Appendix 2 and prepare a report on King Arthur's early life.
3.10. Now try to prepare a similar chart about one the many ancient architectural relics situated on Belarusian soil.
3.11. Conduct a research on the Dodges' Palace in Venice, Italy that inspired so many great masters, Canaletto included.
3.12. Audley End is but one place out of many on the British roil connected with the names of Royalty.
Make mini-research about one of such places and present your findings to the group.
3.13. Remember where famous commemorative stones are placed on Belarusian soil. What names or events are associated with them? Prepare a mini-report on each.
3.14. Prepare a narration to accompany a tour of British school students to the Brest Fortress.
3.15. Reread the famous ballad Recessional (1897) by Rudyard Kipling and add a new dimension to your commentary on it.
3.16. Rudyard Kipling's father, Lochwood Kipling, made designs for part of hors d'ouevre's room. Do you think the designer's son took great pride in the fact? Do you think it could have shaped Kipling's attitude towards the great concept of the Empire where the sun never set?
4. ИНФОРМАЦИОННЫЙ БЛОК: дикторские тексты видеофильма
Not far from the border with Wales stands the ancient market town of Lladllow which grew up on the banks of the river Teem. In the late 13th century the leading wool-merchant of his day Lawrence of Lladllow decided to build a new home a few miles north of the town at the head of a narrow valley that runs to the midst of the Shropshire hills. The result is the most perfectly preserved early fortified manor house in England.
This is an extraordinary picturesque huddle of castle, parish church and gate house, quite simply, an architectural gem.
Built at the time of newly established peace on the Welsh borders, Stokesay took advantage of the first chance in centuries to create a community that had more a domestic atmosphere than a military one. It gives a unique glimpse into how a rich merchant would have lived seven hundred years ago.
The core of the house is the great hall, a vast room where an entire household would have eaten together including guests and servants as well as the family. The six large windows were glazed in the top half but only shuttered in the low half. The magnificent timber roof, recently restored as a part of extensive renovation program at Stokesay, is supported by huge curved pieces of wood standing on stone core walls. At the north end a very rare example of the surviving medieval staircase supported by large timber brackets built into the walls and made up of solid timber treads cut from whole tree trunks.
The stairs lead to the north tower where a spacious second floor apartment provided extra accommodation for family or guests. The arched recess would probably have held a lamp. Beside it is fine example of the late 13th century decorated fireplace, on the floor medieval clay tiles, some of which still show traces of decoration. The roofs on the north and west walls are timber framed and by projecting out of the outer wall give considerably more floor space.
On the other side of the great hall is the solar block, a three-storeyed unit where principal members of the family would live. The rooms were updated in the middle of the 17th century with Jacobine paneled woodwork, a sure sign of opulence and decorated with grotesque carved figures based on Flemish design.
This was a place of privacy, of intimacy in which to work or entertain as well as keeping an eye on what was going on down in the great hall.
The only really-fortified part of the house is the south tower built on a perfectly geometrical base. It has a battlement parapet with arrow loops.
Although the windows are narrow, the wide splays increase their light; the emphasis, again, is on comfort rather than defense.
The original stone gate house was replaced in the 17th century by a timber framed building. Its highly decorated elaborate interior is typical of the region and is similar to the gate house in Shropshire nearby, which was built in 1620.
What is remarkable about Stokesay is not so much that it has survived in such good condition, but rather after centuries of neglect and a civil war which destroyed so many other manor houses of its type that it has survived at all.
It's a perfect setting. On the crest of Hamstead Heath commanding a superb view over London in a midst of spectacularly beautifuly landscape is a house which contains one of the finest collections of paintings in Britain...
Kenwood and its renowned art collection was bequeathed to the nation in 1927 by Edward Guinness, first Earl of Ivy. It's known as the Ivy bequest the original house dating from the 17th century was remodeled by Robert Adam, the leading architect and interior designer of his day in the 1760 - 70's. Many of the rooms in Kenwood stand as works of art in their own right. In Adam's new wing is one of the most impressive late 18th century interiors to be found anywhere in the country. The library or great room, considered by many to be Robert Adam's finest room, this is a shining example of neo-classical style that Adam made so fashionable in the late 18th century.
The eminent Venetian painter Antonio Zucci, husband of Angelica Kaufmann, whose paintings can also be found in Kenwood was chosen to paint the finely ornate ceilings.
Mirrored recesses were designed to reflect the fine prospects through the opposite windows. Balancing the room they provided an alternative to windows; they could only have had a rather grandiose view on kitchen garden.
Later, new rooms were designed by George Sonders who was heavily influenced by Henry Holland's modifications to Carlton House in Pall Mall. The striking similar circular balustrade here in the dining room lobby recalled Carlton's octagone vestibule.
But it's in the dining room that one comes across the finest of Kenwood's paintings. Here are the richest of the old masters' work from Lord Ivy's bequest. This is one of the most famous paintings in the world - Rembrandt's "Portrait of an Artist". Dated from four years before his death it has all the grandeur of an autobiography presented to posterity. Employed by his son to avoid creditors and living off his daughter's savings this tragic figure still seems heroic, confident of his genius. A fine painting by Rubens of the Madonna and Child and St Joseph, the child Jesus like an infant Hercules with a halo of golden hair. Lord Mainsfield's dressing room offers still more beautiful paintings by great artists like Gainsborough. Lord Ivy gathered together in his collection of paintings a dazzling array of beautiful women/Gainsborough's portrait of Mary, Countess How, is perhaps the most striking image in the Kenwood collection. In one of the Gainsborough's most admired works his seemingly casual swirls of paint create the impression of the most ornate lace. There is also "Lady Hamilton of the spinning wheel", Lord Nelson's rather wayward future mistress by Romney.
The art on display at Kenwood is not merely restricted to paint on the canvas. Robert Adam described the grounds as amazingly gay, beautiful, magnificent and picturesque. On the eastern end of a 1000 pound pond, so called because it cost 1000 pounds to make in the 1790's is the Sham Bridge, only inches wide. Here too is eye catching art of a different era - sculptures by Henry Moore and other modern sculptors.
In his bequest Lord Ivy also insisted that his fabulous art collection and magnificent landscape that surrounds it must remain open to the public free of charge. No wonder Kenwood remains one of the most popular as one of the most beautiful places in the whole of London.
In 1132 in the valley of the river Rye in Yorkshire work began on the north of England's first Cistercian monastery. Today its ruins are the most important of their type on the British Isles.
This has always been a lonely place, deliberately built by the monks as far away as possible from the temptation of town and city. In time though the community here was to become a very busy thriving one.
At the heart of the Abbey the great church with its splendid early English arcades and three-tiered wall - a breathtaking example of English Gothic architecture. It was built in the early 13th century and later fine buttresses were added to support the north aisle wall and to pin the building which had started to slide down the hill. The raised platform of the high altar which according to convention usually faces east, is actually nearer to the south side of the Abbey. Because of the site of the Abbey in the Rye valley was so narrow, the monks had to abandon the normal rules of Ecclesiastic architecture and build an new monastery on an almost south-north access.
Built into the walls of the south transept is the remains of a passage, which led directly to the monks dormitories. Services were often held in the middle of the night. The oldest part of the church is the nave. This is the earliest surviving Cistercian nave in Britain. It's a good demonstration of the early belief in simple and unelaborated design. Below the nave the cloisters where monks and the lay brothers would spend much of their day working, writing or at discussion. A cones section of the 12th century arcade around the cloisters has been built from original stone and it looks exactly as if would have been done 800 years ago. Beyond the cloister, an area set aside for the more practical aspects of Abbey life. This is the lavatorium, equipped with rows of recessed wash basins. And beside it - the huge refectory, where the community would take its meals.
In the west wall the remains of the spiral staircase to a pulpit where prayers were read during the meals, the eating area with a store room or undercroft beneath had to be big. At one time no less than 140 monks and 500 lay brothers were in residence here. In the kitchen next door there's a hatch to pass the food through. In the 13th century the only place in the cloisters where the fire was allowed for heating purposes was the warming house. Fires were lit in the huge double fireplace.
A chapter house, where the community met daily to be addressed by the Abbot, often after a reading of a chapter of the rule of St Benedict's. That was a traditional burial place of the Abbots. Rievaulx’s first Abbot, William was entered in a shrine after he was made a saint.
This is still a lonely place. It also remains as its third and most famous Abbot Alerod said: "A place of peace, serenity and a marvelous freedom from the tumult of the world".
In beautiful Border Country, 15 miles to the north-west of New-Castle and set in 30 acres of landscaped parkland and gardens, is one of the north most striking country houses. Begun in 1807, the creation of a wealthy eccentric, Sir Charles Monk, this is one of the most important neo-classical buildings in Britain.
Almost as famous as the house are the gardens. To the south, a pattern of borders echoes the extraordinary symmetry of Belsay Hall itself. It's planted with the informal medley of evergreens and perennials. Below, the terraces look out over the rhododendron garden. And below that Sir Charles, the admirer of the work of the landscape architect Sir Homphrey Reapton, created a stunning new lake. In fact, until the building of the new hall, Sir Charles's ancestors, the Middletons, had lived in Belsay Castle, the original nucleus of the estate/which had been built as a fortified home because of centuries of fighting around the Border Country with Scotland.
The oldest part of the estate is the tower, built before 1460, which was certainly intended to be defensible. Features on the south wall were also decorative to be admired by the travelers passing by on the road which ran past in front of the castle. Beside it, in 1614, Thomas Middleton added an unfortified range, a witness to more peaceful times. His coat-of-arms on the carved stonework proclaiming his and his wife Dorothy's achievements can still be clearly seen above the porch of the main range.
The family moved out on Christmas day 1817 and by the 1840's much of the building had been carefully reduced to create a romantic tableau. Work on the new Belsay Hall with its precise geometric dimensions (it's exactly 100 feet square) was begun on Sir Charles Monk's return from his two-year honeymoon in April 1806 during which he and his new bride had visited Greece and became bewitched by the romantic appeal of the architecture there. The new home bore resemblance to a Greek temple. The capitols and ten heads of the columns in this pillar hall were put in place in 1812, each carved by a different mason. The balustrade wasn't inserted until the 1830's. Other rooms, many of them now empty, reveal Sir Charles interest in the new methods of heating with fire crates and double floors pugged to reduce heat loss. In its day, it would have been a very comfortable place to live. The sandstone for the house was quarried within the park to the west of the hall, and when excavation was complete, Sir Charles transformed the quarry into a huge picturesque garden.
The unforgettable Belsay quarry garden is a man-made landscape, of course, but the wild woodland style of gardening helps make it look natural. Later it was added to by Sir Charles' grandson, Sir Arthur Middleton. Because it's so sheltered, the quarry garden is a superbly stable environment in which plant life can thrive.
Exotic plants have been carefully positioned to make them seem natural too. Huge, water-loving plant from South America abounds. And in a sheltered corner by the arch there's even a palm-tree. "It's not warm, and it's not frosty either, but the climate moves steadily from extreme to extreme, so plants are flung around between the opposite extremes and they do well. You can come in here in December, hen the - sky is black and it's snowing and the rhododendrons 30 feet high are in full bloom and it's magic".
Beside the rhododendrons are many other species of delicate plants and ferns which thrive in the warm moist conditions. The feeling of utter seclusion and the absence of wind is heightened by the ranks of towering Scottish pine, for which Belsay is famous.
In summer the sunken lawns of the winter gardens are used for crochet, a perfect setting. For more than 150 years the scene has been dominated by a vast Douglas fur planted here immediately after its introduction from North America in 1827.
And so, back to the hall via the magnolia terrace, which is now being replanted with new varieties including shrub rose and geranium.
Sumptuous gardens and medieval castle and extraordinary neoclassical Georgian hall. After 600 years of history Belsay remains one of the most remarkable estates in the north of England.
High above the bustling modern port like an ancient crown astride the famous cliffs stands a castle, which is unrivalled in its position, history and sheer breathtaking size. Built within the ramparts of the prehistoric Iron Age fort Dover has the longest recorded history of any major fortress in Britain. William the Conqueror spent eight days here in 1066 strengthening the existent Saxon defenses although what remains today dates from the 12-13 centuries.
The central keep of the castle is one of the finest in Europe built for Henry II in thell80's. The main entrance is in the huge fore building, the most ambitious structure of its type in castle building before or since. Built into it a pail of tiny chapels designed in what we now call early English style: the round arches of late Norman combined with Gothic columns. The stairs were originally partly open to the sky commanded by the battlement above and in the middle there must have been a draw bridge. Inside are the vast rooms of the royal apartments where Henry II and the court who traveled with him could stay in absolute safety and comparative warmth and luxury. At the south end of the second floor the King had own very private chapel. It is beautifully proportioned and similarly planned to a tiny parish church. The roof of the keep was strengthened by Georgian military engineers over 500 years later to carry heavy guns. It is still a superb viewpoint. From here with a great sweeping view of a harbor and the town nearly 500 feet below, it's easy to see why Dover Castle became known as a key to England. In the early 13th century new gate ways and defense works were built on Dover outer western wall. This is a gate house of two periods. A. conical roof was added to. a big mural tower of king John's reign in about 1300.
In the 1220's the castle had a magnificent new entrance - the work of famous Hubert De Burk, Constable of Dover, who had successfully held the castle against the French in the siege in 1216. Constable's gate was one of the greatest gate houses of its day, although its top section was modernized by the Victorians, most of it looks now just as it did 750 years ago - a doting prospect to any would-be-attackers.
After a period of comparative quiet Dover entered a new era of life in 1740's when Georgian and later Victorian engineers set to work on the ramparts and once again updated its defenses. In fact the oldest surviving building within the castle wall is the Roman light house. The Pharos is one of the tallest standing structures of its age west of the Alps. It was strengthened, then heightened in the 15' century as a bell tower. Beside it the Anglo-Saxon church of St Mary-in-Castro almost completely rebuilt in the 1860's.
The original cruciform plan and scale of a church indicates that it would have held minister status as a home of the community of priests. Beside the door there is the list of priests dating back to the early 13th century.
Today the castle and its church are expecting an important visitor. The post of Constable of Dover, once held by Hubert De Burk still exists. Other notable constables have included the Duke of Wellington and Sir Winston Chuchill. An annual visit to the parish church is one of the duties of the current Constable. Her majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother has been Constable of Dover since 1978. She takes her duties very seriously.
During World War II Dover Castle was once again put to military use. The harbor below was of strategic importance and in the huge network of tunnels buiil in the cliffs beneath the castle a new secret military headquarters was constructed. The evacuation of the British Army from Dunkerk was coordinated from here as well as the monitoring of the enemy ships and allies' shipping movement in the Channel and wireless transmission from occupied Europe which lay a mere 22 miles away across the Straight of Dover.
There was also an anti aircraft operations room where information on the course of enemy aircraft from observers on the new chain of radar masts was charted on screen and plotting tables. Up until the 1970's the tunnels of Dover remained prepared for being original seat of government in case of an emergency such as nuclear attack.
Dover Castle is a unique military monument with 2000 years of military technology inside and beneath its ancient ramparts.
It is the most important coastal defense work in Europe and probably one of Europe's best preserved strategic strongholds.
Jutting into the wild and wind-swept seas of the North-Cornish coast an ancient place of mystery and romance probably without rival on the British Isles - Tintagel Castle. Even today Tintagel remains a complete enigma. Overlooked from the hill-top on the mainland by the village of Tintagel, the island is connected by a thin causeway. The word "tin" means "fortress", "tagel" - probably a narrow strip of land, the neck of the island. The island is known of the medieval castle, the highest points of which, the upper and lower walls, are actually on the mainland. The castle was - almost certainly built by Earl Richard of Cornwall, younger brother of King Henry III, who created his new fortress in 1233 on the site of what have been probably a roman trading post.
A doorway leads into the inner ward on the island proper. Tintagel's fame though is based not on fact but on the legends which have brought it an extraordinary and almost magical atmosphere. According to folklore, this was the mystical home of the ancient magician Merlin and the birthplace of King Arthur of the Round Table. And the evidence is that it could have been the stronghold of some post-roman Cornish ruler, possibly a king. What's so strange is that a castle should be built here on an island of little strategic importance, miles away from the main inland trading routes of Cornwall. Then it fell into disrepair - by the 14th century the great hall lost its roof. The chapel was extended when the castle was built, originally dedicated to an obscure Celtic saint Judith. It was still in use in 1483 and long after the castle was in ruins. At the base of the island the spectacular Merlin's cave, inside which, according u to the legend so loved by the poet Tennyson, the infant Arthur was discovered. But after the tempests when the long waves broke all down the thundering shoals of brine and moss there came a day as still as heaven and then they found a naked child upon the sands of dark Tintagel by the Cornish sea. And that was Arthur. And they fostered him till he by miracle was a proven king.
In 1605 Thomas Howard, first Earl of Suffolk and Lord-treasurer to the King James I started work on what was to become one of the largest and most magnificent country houses in England. It was a huge undertaking. Today, although only a third of its original size, this remains one of the great houses of East Anglia.
In its day Audley End was so magnificent that even the kings of England were worried that the Essex state had grown grander and more impressive than their own royal palaces.
Inside Audley End is a treasure trove of paintings, furniture, and ossign in rooms with striking variety of styles. Dominating the great hall of the house is a massive wooden Jacobine screen superbly covered with distinctive patterns and figures, characteristic of its age, which may originally have been brightly painted. This was a house designed specifically to accommodate royalty as guests, and indeed James I stayed here in 1610 and 1614. Later, Audley End was owned by Charles II.
The family accommodation was usually confined to the ground floor of the house, once the main reception rooms were on the first floor.
This is the dining-room, re-modeled by the third Lord Braberook, who inherited Audley End in 1825. It's presided over by Larkin's magnificent full-length portrait of the forth Lord of Braberook. Lord Braberook also created a colorful sitting-room, in which he housed the cream of Audley End's collection of paintings. Taking pride of place, Venice, by Antonio Canalli Canaletto, depicting a view of the Campanelli and Dodges’ Palace on the bay of St Mark, illustrating Canaletto's brilliant feeling for light. There are outstanding landscapes by the Dutch painter Van Goyen. This is "the Shore", bought for 21 pounds in Christie’s in 1773.
In the north wing now looking almost exactly as it did in photographs taken in 1891, Lady Braberook's sitting room. The commode and cupboards are Louis XVI. There is also fine Louis XIV’ furniture in the library, in the bay window, a superb writing table. Below the south library, Robert Adam's masterpiece of interior design, a wonderful little sitting-room for the ladies to escape to once the gentlemen got started on the port after dinner. Adam also built the bridge on the grounds known as the Tea-house bridge in 1782, the river Cam had already been dammed to make a lake. A boathouse was added in the 19th century to complement the sweeping grounds, laid by Cabability Brown so, too, was an enchanting rose-garden. On the hill to the south a fine temple of Concord was built in 1790 to celebrate George the 3rd recovery from insanity. It has always been hoped that George III would visit Audley End and the apartments were designed and made specifically for the royal guest. The magnificent state bed was completed in 1786. But, alas, the king never used it. Audley End had its own chapel and it is a remarkably complete example of the style known as Carpenter's Gothic. The painted glass over the altar depicts the Last Supper. Except on Sundays when they went to church family and the stuff would pray here every morning, afterwards, breakfast would be served in another of Audley End's huge variety of contrasting rooms. This is the saloon with its extraordinary Jacobine ceiling, decorated with plaster sea monsters and ships. For their breakfast the family would sit here in the saloon's little bay window with its floor specially raised to take advantage of the view. A view over what is still probably, the most memorable estate in, the East of England.
A summer sunrise over Salisbury plain and the historical giant that is without doubt the most important prehistoric monument in the whole Britain is brought alive by the early morning light. 3500 years ago this was a temple made up of an outer circle of huge blocks of sandstone called "sarsen" dragged from a site about 20 miles to the north of Stonehenge. The biggest sarsens weigh over 45 tons. Inside the sandstone circle stand the smaller bluestones, brought here over 240 miles from the Prescilley mountains in South Wales. At the focus of a central blue stone horseshoe is a fallen stone that became known as the "altar" stone, a semi-buried block of bluestone from Pembrokeshire. One of the refinements which makes Stonehenge so unusual is the way the stones have been squared to shape by pounding with stone hammers, with the lintels held in place by the sophisticated mortise and tenon stone joints. The original entrance is marked by a fallen slaughter stone and beyond it, in the distance the famous "heel" stone, over which the midsummer sun passes in the longest day of the year when viewed from the center of the stones.
Exactly why and how Stonehenge was built and in what precise way it was used as a temple will remain a mystery forever. What we do know is that this astonishing construction is probably the most remarkable achievement of prehistoric engineering in Europe.
You know there is something special about this picturesque litle Sussex town the moment you arrive. It's grown-up beside an abbey which is built on the site of probably the most famous battle in English history. On these fields in October 14, 1066 an invading army of about 7000 troops led by William Duke of Normandy fought and eventually defeated the English army, who were defending the crest of the hill. Legend has it that King Harold was killed by an arrow through his eye and today a stone commemorating his death lies almost exactly where he fell.
William ordered the building of an abbey on the site of his famous victory to atone for the death of so many people. The altar of his church should be here, where his great enemy had fallen. Most of the original abbey buildings were completed in 1100. There were alterations and enlargements in the 13th century and later the 14th century, including the tower on the west of the abbot's guest range.
The monks lived in this huge building which unusually was built into the slope of the hill. All parts of Williams determination of the abbey must be built on the exact site of the battle. That's why the novices' room on the south side has a particularly high-vaulted ceiling supported by a central row of huge pillars, it allows the dormitory above to be built on a level floor. At the other end of the buildings cut into the hill, the monks' common room, has a much lower ceiling which would have helped to keep the room warm in winter. Portable braziers sometimes were brought in during the few leisure periods the monks were allowed. The chapter house like Rievaulx was the place where monks would gather on stone benches once a day to discuss the abbey's business affairs.
Much of the abbot's great hall in the west range has survived after being rebuilt in later centuries. It's now part of the school. On east front the remains of superb cloister arcading along the lower part of the wall. In the late 1330th the gatehouse was built and it remains one of the finest medieval monastic gatehouses in England, a fitting tribute to a moment and a battle that changed the course of English history.
Queen Victoria called this her "dear beautiful Osborne", a seaside home where for fifty years she and her family enjoyed some of the happiest days of their lives.
Osborne was built between 1845 and 1851 under the personal direction of Prince Albert. The view across the sea reminded the Prince of the Bay of Naples and it was perhaps this memory that made him put so much emphasis on the Italian style that echoes through the house and the gardens. Albert had hired a London building contractor, Thomas Cubert to develop the estate using the simple classic lines of the newly fashionable Italian style Cubert had used so effectively in Bloomsbury, Belgravia and Pimblico. Every corner of the terraces had to be filled with copies of Italianmoulds. It was all part of the plan to create an idyllic retreat words away from the rigours of British state ceremonial.
The visitors' entrance to the house is at the west front. Here again classical subjects dominate the eye. The marble winged Victory in the grand corridor was bought by the Queen for Prince Albert at the Great Exhibition of 1851. Osborne was above all a private family house. A picture of the family group including the five eldest royal children was hung here in pride of place in the dining-room on Queen Victoria's birthday in 1849. In those days dinner was served promptly at 8 p.m. But by the end of the century it was 9.15 when the Queen arrived and the company could sit down to eat.
Much of the Queen's day would have been spent upstairs in the sitting-room where she would attend to urgent matters of state. She would work on her dispatch boxes at her desk, while the beloved Prince Consort would sit at his own desk submitting memoranda for the Queen's inspection in his capacity as her personal and private secretary. Later when the Queen grew she had to come down from ner suite on the first floor by a lift hand-operated by an attendant in the basement. The formal drawing-room was downstairs. The Queen described it as an extremely handsome room with its yellow Damask satin curtains and furniture to match. The marble-top table depicting views of Rome was presented to Victoria in 1859 by Pope Pious IX after her visit to Rome with the Prince of Wales. The grand piano was often used by the Queen and other members of the household to entertain guests which often included visiting foreign royalty. The piano and six matching cabinets surmounting the bookcases are decorated with porcelain plagues showing the copies of Italian old master paintings. The Queen withdrew to the drawing-room after dinner whilst the gentlemen retired to the billiards room. The two rooms were cleverly adjoined so that while technically the gentlemen were still in the Queen's presence and required to stand, curtains drawn across the column screen kept them out of sight to do as they chose. The Queen, too, played billiards. She learned the game on this ornate slit table, the frieze panels were designed by Prince Albert. The Prince also conceived the elaborate lightning above the table. Here as elsewhere in the house is the evidence of Albert's great love for Victoria. He also purchased a painting depicting Raphael painting one of his Madonnas. It was not only Albert's taste that strongly influenced the design of Osborne House. Seventeen years after Queen Victoria became Empress of India in 1874, a state banqueting hall, the Hors d'oeuvres room was added to the house. Its deeply carved ceiling was made of fibrous plaster. Every surface is richly embellished. 25 workmen worked over 500 hours to produce the Peacockalone. The walls framed with tick are enriched with plaster and papier-mache. The completion of the room in 1893 coincided with the introduction of electricity in Osborne House. These lampstands were specially designed for the room in recognition of this.
Part of hors d'oeuvres room, was designed by Lochwood Kipling, Rudyard Kipling's father. The principal craftsman was Byram Sing whose portrait by the Austrian court artist Rudolph Svoboda hangs in the corridor outside. Beside it, the Queen's most famous Indian servant Abdul Karim who came to Osborne in 1887 and rose to become her principal Indian secretary. Despite being Empress Queen Victoria never went to India. But in an effort to find out more about the country she commissioned Svoboda to go there and paint portraits of ordinary people from all walks of life. Such was her enthusiasm for all things Indian that the Queen even learnt Hindustani.
The main house is some distance from the sea, and today visitors can enjoy the journey through the estate towards the coast in the same manner the royal family would have done a hundred years ago. Close to the beach is Swiss cottage much favored by the royal children where the family could relax in even greater privacy. Close by - the Queen's bathing-machine with the changing room and it own WC.
In the main house the younger royal children were confined to the nursery suite. The centerpiece here - a superb mahogany-framed swing cradle made for Vicky the Princess Royal in 1840. Nearly are the cots with hinged sides and upholstered pads to protect the children. As was the fashion, marble copies were made of the children's limbs.
There's the hand of Edward, Prince of Wales, aged 14 month and the foot of Princess Victoria who was then 2 years old. The nursery suite was situated so as to provide Victoria and Albert with an easy access from their own private apartments. This is Queen Victoria's bedroom. On the headboard, above the bed, a posthumous picture of Albert who died in 1861 and beside it a holder for his pocketwatch. It was in this room that in January 1901 the Queen herself died. It was, most people agree, the end of an era, as well as the end of a 64-year reign, during which, for one family at least, the most carefree and peaceful days were spent here, in a tranquil corner of the Isle of Wight.
О КОМНАТНЫХ РАСТЕНИЯХ - СКВОЗЬ АНГЛИЙСКИЕ ОЧКИ
Скажите, неужели там правда такая зеленая трава?
Или это только на пленке так?
Сергей П., студент гр. 1151 (2001)
Всё в самом деле так. И трава в Англии (правда, дело было весной) зеленая-зеленая, и среди травы растут те самые daffodils, про которые писал Вордсворт, и поскольку растут они, как у нас одуванчики, то их с удовольствием топчут и жуют громадные английские овцы в черных разбойничьих масках. И каждый кусочек земли - пусть даже размером с носовой платок - любовно возделан и ухожен.
Но все это известно - даже если не увиденные воочию, но по книгам и видео. Любопытно другое: оказывается любовь и интерес к растениям отличала англичан всегда. Чтобы понять это, достаточно изучить любое руководство для любителей комнатных растений - ну а затем зайти в цветочный магазин и посмотреть на все сквозь "английские очки".
Итак, полистаем энциклопедию...
Начнем с растения, чьи желто-оранжево-зеленые крупные листья украшают полки любого цветочного магазина. Кодиеум, избалованный южный красавец, привезен из Индии примерно в 1860 г. английским садоводом и собирателем растений Джоном Гоулдом Вейчем. Трудно сказать, чего это растение принесет вам больше - радости или хлопот, но его оригинальный вид несомненно привлечет ваше внимание.
Комнатное растение, похожее на изящную елочку, носит экзотическое имя − араукария. С момента ее волнующей встречи с совершавшим кругосветное путешествие капитаном Куком (да-да, тем самым…) прошло много лет. Теперь лишь специалисты-ботаники (а теперь и читатели Эльфа) знают, что Кук впервые нашел эту красавицу в 1775 г. на островах Норфолк в Тихом океане. В этой экспедиции, кстати, принимал участие и не менее знаменитый ботаник − сэр Джозеф Бэнкс. С именем Бэнкса, президента Королевского Ботанического общества, связано появление в Европе стрелиции − растения, похожего одновременно и на цветущий куст, и на букет из желто-оранжево-синих цветов.
Не отставал от своего коллеги и сэр Вильям Джексон Хукер, бывший в свое время директором ботанического сада Кью. Хукер "подарил" нам витфиелдию (уайтфилдию) - деревце с кожистыми темными листьями и прелестными белыми цветами; а также растение с весьма странным названием "ятрофа подагрическая" и с не менее странными привычками - ярко цветущее и забавное, оно ядовито - и зачем его держать дома? Кто их поймет, этих англичан!
Английские дамы никогда не отставали от своих мужественных соотечественников - это утверждение верно и для ботаники.
Сестры Элизабет и Сара Мэри Фиттон опубликовали в Лондоне книгу "Conversations on Botany" в 1850 г По всей видимости, именно за это в их честь и было названо открытое чуть позднее небольшое травянистое растение с зелено-белыми листьями. В ней есть что-то очень сдержано английское Теперь фиттонию можно найти в любой цветочной лавке - вот она, в специальной, уютной коробке среди других небольших растений.
Еще одну даму, удостоившуюся чести дать название целому роду растений, звали Матильда Смит, и была она в 1840-х годах рисовальщицей растений в ботаническом саду Кью. Смитинианта красива и во время цветения, и просто как декоративно-лиственное растение. Интересно, была ли Матильда Смит так же всегда очаровательна?
Если вы устали от имен и названий, следующий объект внимания позволит вам расслабиться. Ведь это - скромная традесканция, извечное украшение школьных кабинетов и больничных холлов А названо это растение в честь двух настоящих Традескантов: придворного садовника короля Карла I - Джона Традесканта-отца и Джона Традесканта-сына, тоже садовника, а затем ботаника и путешественника Ну что, удивлены?
Еще одно растение - напоминает традесканцию. Но название звучит очень уж по-испански: хойя. Тем не менее, это самое что ни на есть английское имя, потому что садовника герцога Нортумберлендского звали Томас Хой. Он жил во второй половине 18 века и был известным селекционером и садоводом.
А растение на рисунке справа, хоть родом из Латинской Америки, но названо по имени двух Мильтонов: орхидеевода лорда Фицвильяма, виконта Мильтона, и знаменитого поэта Джона Мильтона. Поэтому и называется оно - мильтония. В энциклопедии говорится, что
Мильтония − растение не для начинающих.
Что ж, прямо как стихи Мильтона. Но кто знает, кто знает...
Дома у автора - фиттония и кодиеум. А у вас, читатель?
You who disbelieve in miracles and magic, you who are glued to their TV and computer screens for hours on end, read this extract from the best book about King Arthur and learn how young Arthur became king of all England
Arthur, the son of Uther Pendragon, high king of Britain, was born during a time of war and great confusion To protect the child, Uther gave him to the magician Merlyn, who secretly brought him to a knight named Ector Sir Ector raised the boy as his own When Uther died — without an heir, his subjects thought — there was much disagreement about who should be king
Then stood the realm in great jeopardy for a long while, for every lord that was mighty of men made himself strong and wanted to be king Then Merlyn went to the Archbishop of Canterbury and told him to send for all the lords and knights of the realm, that they should come to London by Christmas For Jesus, who was born on that night, would of His great mercy show by some miracle who should nghtwise be king of this realm
So at Christmas, in the greatest church of London, all the lords came to pray And there was seen in the churchyard a great square stone with an anvil of steel in the middle And stuck in the anvil was a fair sword and letters written in gold around the sword that said this:
WHOSO PULLETH OUTE THIS SWORD OF THIS STONE AND
ANVIL IS RIGHTWYS KYNGE BORNE OF ALL ENGLAND
And when they saw the writing some who wanted to be king attempted, but none could move the sword "He is not here," said the Archbishop, "who shall win the sword, but fear not that God will soon make him known " So it was ordered that every man who wanted to be king should try the sword And upon New Year's Day, a tournament was held so that all knights could joust there
And so it happened that a knight named Sir Ector rode unto the jousts, and with him rode Sir Kay, his son, and young Arthur who was his foster son And as they rode to the joust, Sir Kay noticed that he had left his sword at his father's lodging, and so he asked young Arthur to ride for it
"I will well," said Arthur, and he rode fast after the sword
And when he came home, the house was closed, for all were out to see the jousting Then was Arthur angry and said to himself, "I will ride to the churchyard and take the sword that sticks in the stone, for my brother, Sir Kay, shall not be without a sword this day"
So when he came to the churchyard, Arthur found no knights there, for they, too, were at the jousting So he took the sword by the handle and lightly and fiercely pulled it out of the stone and rode his way until he came to his brother, Sir Kay, and delivered him the sword And as soon as Sir Kay saw the sword, he knew it was the sword of the stone and so rode to his father, Sir Ector, and said, "Sir, here is the sword of the stone, therefore I must be king of this land "
When Sir Ector beheld the sword he returned to the church and made Sir Kay swear upon a Bible how he came by the sword
"Sir," said Kay, "my brother, Arthur, brought it to me."
"How got you this sword?" said Sir Ector to Arthur
"Sir, I will tell you When I came home for my brother's sword, I found nobody at home And I thought my brother, Sir Kay, should not be swordless, so 1 came here and pulled it out of the stone "
"Now" said Sir Ector to Arthur, "1 understand you must be king of this land, for never should a man have drawn out this sword but he that shall be nghtwise king Now let me see whether you can put this sword where it was and pull it out again "
So Arthur put it in the stone Then Sir Ector tried to pull out the sword and failed
"Now you try," said Sir Ector unto Sir Kay And he pulled at the sword with all his might, but it would not be
"Now shall you try," said Sir Ector to Arthur
"1 will well," said Arthur and pulled it out easily
And then Sir Ector and Sir Kay knelt down to the earth
"Alas1" said Arthur "Mine own dear father and brother, why kneel you to me?"
"No, my Lord Arthur, it is not so I was never your father nor of your blood, but now I know you are of a higher blood than I ever thought you were " And then Sir Ector told him how he had been entrusted to him by Merlyn And Arthur was very sad when he understood that Sir Ector was not his father
Then they went unto the Archbishop and told him about the sword And all the lords came there to try to take the sword, but none could take it out but Arthur Then were many lords angry and said it was a great shame to them all and to the realm to be governed by a boy of no high blood born And so they all argued and it was put off until Candlemas, when all the lords should meet again
So at Candlemas many more great lords came there to win the sword, and as at New Year's Day, Arthur pulled out the sword easily The lords were very angry, and many said to put it off until the high feast of Easter But some of these great lords were so angry that it was put off even until the feast of Pentecost
And at the feast of Pentecost all manner of men tried to pull out the sword, but none could do it but Arthur, and he pulled it out before all the lords and commons that were there Then all the commons cried at once, "We will have Arthur for our king' We will delay him no more, for we see that it is God's will that he shall be our king, and whoever holds against it, we will slay him "
And they knelt at once, both rich and poor, and asked Arthur for mercy because they had delayed him so long And Arthur forgave them and took the sword between both his hands and offered it up upon the altar to the Archbishop, who made him a knight And soon the coronation was celebrated, and Arthur was sworn unto his lords to be a true king, to stand with true justice for all the days of this life.