Chelsea 2012
May 22-30th, 2012

Sun 27 May 12

After a hearty breakfast we head off for a day excursion to Stonehenge and Bath


“It continues to remain a mystery”

Stonehenge and Avebury became a World Heritage Site in 1986 for their outstanding prehistoric monuments dating from 3,700 to 1,600 BC. At Stonehenge, the unparalleled stone circle is surrounded by a landscape containing more than 350 burial mounds and major prehistoric monuments such as the Stonehenge Avenue, the Cursus, Woodhenge and Durrington Walls. Stonehenge stands as an enduring testimony to the people who built it, in several phases between 3,000 and 1,600 BC. An amazing feat of engineering and arguably the most sophisticated stone circle in the world, it remains a mystery.

After Stonehenge we go to Bath and meet our guide for a half day guided walking tour to include entrance to the Roman Baths, Bath Abbey and Old Orchard Street Theatre & Masonic Museum where you will enjoy a one hour guided tour.

Around Britain's only hot springs, the Romans built the finest religious spa in northern Europe. This great
temple and bathing complex still flows with natural hot water. The extensive remains and a Roman museum of international significance lie beneath the Pump Room and Abbey Church Yard in the center of Bath.

Make sure you visit their site to get an idea of the size and scope of this complex.

Bath Abbey – Where Earth and Heaven Meet

Bath Abbey is an active Christian church situated at the heart of the city. Founded in 1499, it stands on the site of an earlier Norman Cathedral and the original Abbey Church built in the 8th century.
Bath Abbey stands at the heart of the city of Bath; during the past twelve and a half centuries, three different churches have occupied this site:
• An Anglo-Saxon Abbey Church dating from 757, pulled down by the Norman conquerors of England soon after 1066;
• A massive Norman cathedral begun about 1090. It was larger than the monastery could afford to maintain and by the end of the 15th century was in ruins;
• The present Abbey church founded in 1499, ruined after the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 by order of Henry VIII, was completed in 1611.

Our last visit of the day will take us to the Old Orchard Street Theatre & Masonic Museum where you will enjoy a one hour guided tour.

12 Old Orchard Street may be one of the more anonymous buildings in this city of architectural gems, but behind the door opening onto what is now one of Bath's quietest cobbled backstreets, is a unique history that has, over 260 years, seen it become the first Theatre Royal outside of London, then a Catholic Chapel where bishops were ordained and, since 1865, the home of one of England's oldest provincial Masonic Lodges. During your fascinating one-hour Guided Tour, you will stand on the very stage where Sarah Siddons, the finest Tragic Actress of all time, received the adulation of her audiences, then go backstage to see the original 18th Century Scenery Loft. You will visit the chapel where Bishop Baines would prepare before delivering his fiery sermons, then enter the vaults below where exiled French nobility were once buried.

Finally, you will experience the ambience of one of the grandest Masonic Halls in the country, and view possibly one of the finest collections of rare Masonic Artefacts in the World.



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