The Academy of Performing Arts is a university-level school of music, dance, drama, film, TV and multi-media studies right in the heart of historic Prague.
The facilities and accommodation provided, nearby baroque churches and atmospheric restaurants are ideally suited to a week's enjoyable music-making.
Alfriston lies in the Cuckmere Valley and is the epitome of an English village. Because of its location, St. Andrew's church is often used for concerts and other special events.
Dating back to 1360, the aptly-named 'Cathedral of the South Downs' is unique as a village church. Thousands of visitors come to marvel at its location on the village green, at the architecture, or simply to enjoy the quiet and peaceful atmosphere inside.
The surrounding countryside is very beautiful and one can walk along the banks of the Cuckmere river from Alfriston down to the coast.
The cruciform church is set on a small mound between village green and river, where the central tower and spire dominate the skyline, and with a peal of six bells which are rung from the centre of the church.
Alfriston Clergy House was the first building to be owned by the National Trust.
Fiori Musicali are one of the UK’s principal providers of baroque and classical music outside London.
Once owned by King Henry VIII, Apethorpe Hall is truly one of England's great country houses. It was begun in the late 15th century and has entertained Queen Elizabeth I, King James I and King Charles I. In total 13 royal visits were recorded between 1566 and 1636.
It contains one of the country's most complete Jacobean interiors: the state apartment suite was rebuilt in 1622-24 to receive James I, and still has one of the finest sets of Jacobean interiors of the period, with decorative plaster ceilings, fireplaces and panelling.
The house was abandoned to neglect and decay from 1982, becoming one of the most prominent buildings at risk in the country. Apethorpe Hall was compulsorily purchased by the Government in 2004, in a rare use of its powers. English Heritage then took over and has since been restoring the Hall for sale as a private country house.
Fiori Musicali's concert on 12 June 2011 will take place in the beautifully restored Long Gallery on the first floor which looks out over the main courtyard, a unique and timely opportunity to be entertained in an extraordinary and historic house.
Fiori Musicali are one of the UK’s principal providers of baroque and classical music outside London.
Simon Jenkins in his England's Thousand Best Churches describes St Michael's as a baroque church with Georgian fittings. The architect was a local carpenter-cum-mason, Edward Wing, who worked in the English baroque style of Archer and Hawksmoor.
Archer had himself worked at Aynho House, and Wing's north and south elevations to the church might be practice runs for the façade, with a central pediment and doorway.
The west gallery and handsome box-pews survive, with a fine wooden lectern, candleholders and painted organ pipes. There are also two windows by Kempe in the south aisle.
Fiori Musicali are one of the UK’s principal providers of baroque and classical music outside London.
Dating from the 17th century, Aynhoe Park overlooks the Cherwell valley from Northamptonshire into Oxfordshire and was in the Cartwright family and, more recently, the Country Houses Association. Acquired in 2004 by James Perkins, the house is now home to his eclectic collection of over 4,000 plaster casts from all over the world.
The original house dated from 1615 but after serious Civil War damage was rebuilt to the design of Edward Marshall, master mason in Charles II's Office of Works. In 1707, the Cartwrights employed Thomas Archer to enlarge the Jacobean building. Archer, who had visited Italy on the Grand Tour, added unusual late-Baroque detailing, such as the concave surrounds to the central doorways of the service blocks. At the beginning of the 19th century, the house was embellished by Sir John Soane.
The middle of the garden front remains pretty much as it was when built in the 1660s. Archer's interiors have mainly been reworked, while the rooms designed by Sir John Soane have been kept. Soane's designs for a thorough remodelling of the interior in 1795 can be seen in the Sir John Soane's Museum in London, but unfortunately, these interiors were never built.
Soane did some redesign of the reception rooms along the garden front in 1800-5, and these (aside from the French Drawing Room) have survived, illustrating his exploitation of curved surfaces. Soane also created the top-lit staircase with its iron balustrade in the south wing and the 'triumphal arches' which link the main block to the service wings.
The formal gardens were laid out by Mr Guilliam 1701–14; the landscape park in 1760–63 by Capability Brown.Fiori Musicali are one of the UK’s principal providers of baroque and classical music outside London.
St Botolph's Church (from which Boston, or Botolph's Town, derives its name) is affectionately known as the Stump after its extraordinary, tall tower – this prominence accentuated by the flat countryside of the Fens. It is one of the great triumphs of mediaeval engineering, and the highest church tower (not counting spires) in the whole of England.
"But if the exterior is spectacular, the interior is overwhelming", says Simon Jenkins in his England's Thousand Best Churches, according the Stump a rare five-star entry, and noting that when building began in 1309, Boston was the premier wool port in England after London. "Status required a church and a beacon to match."
St Botolph's treasure trove of delights includes a stunning array of sixty two misericords dating from 1390, grand arcades and colourful roofs. The original south doors to the nave are some of finest mediaeval doors to survive anywhere.,while the famous climb up the tower to the top of the lantern has the same number of steps as there are days in the year.
Some time after leaving Christ Church (then Cardinal College), Oxford – having been the first Organist and Master of the Choristers there – the composer John Taverner settled in Boston, and was appointed an alderman in 1545 shortly before his death: he is buried under the tower. The modern composer Sir John Tavener has claimed to be his direct descendant.
Little has changed in the tiny hamlet of Brockhall since the building of the Hall and manor house for the Eyton family early in the 17th century. Listed as 'Brocole' in the Domesday Book, Brockhall remains a rural idyll.
This unexpectedly grand church is all that is left of the Augustinian priory that once dominated a flourishing medieval village. But all that can be seen today are furrows and bumps in the grass.
The church was built around 1250. Although now reduced to a quarter of its original size it remains impressive. The ground level arcade of the west front comprises columns of the local dark orange ironstone which contrast attractively with the pale cream stone of the arches, and the pinnacled tower can be seen for miles around.
Until the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the priory church of St Mary was occupied by the Black Canons who gave Canons Ashby its name. Later owned by the Cope and then the Dryden families and forming part of the Canons Ashby House estate, it is now in the care of the National Trust.
Tucked away within the grounds of Castle Ashby House (seat of the Marquis of Northampton), the ancient church of St Mary Magdalene is always the idyllic setting for Fiori Musicali's popular high summer concert.
Drinks are served in the delightful Orangery gardens which remain open for you to enjoy during the interval.
The famous Crooked Spire in Chesterfield has as its proper name the Parish Church of St Mary and All Saints, but everyone refers to it as the Crooked Spire! It is perhaps Derbyshire's most well known landmark, and a popular haven for visitors to the Peak District.
The Grade One listed building is the largest parish church in Derbyshire. Building began during the early years of the 14th century, but was halted by the Black Death, and a corresponding dearth of available craftsmen, before being completed around 1350.
Classically cruciform in design, the church has many splendid artefacts, including the late Saxon font dating from around 1000, and the wonderful tomb effigy of Sir Godfrey Foljambe, who fought alongside William the Conqueror in 1066.
Some facts about the spire - the golden cockerel on the weather-vane is 228 feet above the ground - the spire currently leans 9ft 6ins to the south-west and has a spiral twist of 45% - and it is not attached(!), being held in place solely by weight (32 tons), and perfect balance.
The Church of St Simon & St Jude is one of the delights of Prague. Situated in the Old Town, close to the Spanish Synagogue and on the junction of Dušní ulice / U Milosrdných, it is well known for its extraordinary acoustics which make it an ideal place for concerts.
Built between 1615 and 1620 on the site of an old Gothic chapel belonging to the hospital, it was rebuilt around 1632 and dating from this period is a net vault showing Prague's tenacious use of Gothic motifs. The church was subsequently redecorated in late baroque style by the Order of the Czech Brothers of Mercy around 1750 to almost rival the cathedral church of St Vitus.
Another reconstruction was carried out the City of Prague between 1989 and 1993 – when was discovered a treasure of 350 silver coins from the reigns of George from Podebrady and Maxmilian II (1564-76), kings of Bohemia.
The organ dates from 1724, and is reputed to have been played in its heyday by both Mozart and Haydn. It was completely restored in 1993 and it is famous for its exceptional tone quality.
The Church of St Simon and Jude is now maintained and used as a concert hall by the Prague Symphony Orchestra.
James Bowman countertenor performs here for the first time in Prague at the Church of St Simon & St Jude on 17 August 2012 with Rudolf Merinsky lute and the Fiori Musicali Chamber Choir, Penelope Rapson director.
Fiori Musicali first came to Stationers' Hall in 1992, performing Purcell's ode Hail! Bright Cecilia on the exact tercentenary of the ode's first performance there on St Cecilia's Day, 22 November 1692. This event pointed up an important connection between Stationers' Hall and St Cecilia, patron saint of music.
Before the 1670s public concerts in England were a rarity. Amongst the very first were concerts at Stationers' Hall (rebuilt in 1672 after the Great Fire of London); and by the 1680s the custom had grown of celebrating St Cecilia's Day there with publicly attended performances and banqueting.
Fiori's modern-day events (like their 17th-century predecessors) seek to fête music's patron saint in the fullest manner possible - through good food, fine wine, convivial company and, most importantly, first-rate music.
Corby's brand new Theatre is a stunning 445-seat venue with a curved retractable seating system to facilitate a flexible flat floor auditorium space that can hold up to 700.
The space has been designed to have a traditional theatre feel with balcony viewing, while keeping modern theatre systems and flexibility.
Leading regional ensemble Fiori Musicali will be performing Vivaldi's The Four Seasons on 28 October 2011 as the concluding concert of Fiori's project Mad About The Seasons which forms part of Igniting Ambition – the East Midlands’ response to the Cultural Olympiad.
Inspired by Vivaldi's music and the poetry of John Clare, Mad About The Seasons aspires to connect communities in a county-wide participatory and performance project fusing music, visual image and poetry to reflect on the changing seasons, and to capture and celebrate what it means to live in rural Northamptonshire in 2011.Fiori Musicali are one of the UK’s principal providers of baroque and classical music outside London.
There has been a chuch on this ancient site since before 700 AD. By 1077 the Norman church with Nave and Chancel had been built by Geoffrey de la Guerche, who granted the tithes to Monks Kirby for the monastery of Angers, Normandy. The ensuing 300 years saw many additions and modifications, including the broach spire (rare in the early 13th century) and the distinctive pink Hartshill stone facing for the tower in the 14th century.
William Laud, who went on to become Archbishop of Canterbury and architect of the First Book of Common Prayer, was Rector from 1611 to 1621. Towards the end of this period he was also President of St John's College, Oxford who remain today a patron of the living.
The Thomas Elliot organ was originally built in 1819 for the Chapel Royal at St James' Palace, London before finding its way to Crick in 1841. Following extensive work, the organ has recently been restored to its original playing condition. It is a rare example of an instrument following the old English tradition.
The Church of St Mary the Virgin is situated in front of the remains of a Norman motte and bailey castle, strategically placed in the hilltop village of Culworth with its wide views of the surrounding countryside and alongside the ancient trackway known as the Welsh Way. The churchyard is one of the prettiest in Northamptonshire.Fiori Musicali are one of the UK’s principal providers of baroque and classical music outside London.
Welcome to the Daventry iCon – a landmark centre which encourages business innovation in sustainable construction offering first class facilities in the East Midlands.
The Northamptonshire market town of Daventry was chosen to be the home of the new multi-million pound national centre of excellence for businesses working in innovative green technologies. The iCon building includes 55 business units, alongside a conference centre for up to 300 people, exhibition space and a café. Specialist support will be available to all tenants, as well as accommodating the Sustainable Construction Innovation Network (iNet) which offers support to fledgling ventures.
Show units are now available to view at the under construction building in Daventry, Northamptonshire, which will be open for business in April 2011. Specialising in green technologies and sustainable construction, the iCon offers office accommodation and a supportive environment for firms at the forefront of the low carbon economy.
Europe’s top architects were challenged to create an iconic building with impeccable environmental credentials. The iCon has already been the recipient of two design awards, collecting a Green Apple Award for Architecture and the Built Environment in June 2010, as well as a Milton Keynes South Midlands Excellence Award in December 2010.
Leading regional ensemble Fiori Musicali will be performing Vivaldi's The Four Seasons on 21 May 2011 as part of a week of cultural and community events to celebrate the opening of the iCon. This event also marks the opening of Fiori's project Mad About The Seasons which forms part of Igniting Ambition – the East Midlands’ response to the Cultural Olympiad.
Inspired by Vivaldi's music and the poetry of John Clare, Mad About The Seasons aims to connect communities in a county-wide participatory and performance project which fuses music, visual image and poetry to reflect on the changing seasons, and to capture and celebrate what it means to live in rural Northamptonshire in 2011.
Bilton Grange is an outstanding Pugin Mansion set in 100 acres of rolling Warwickshire parkland. Augustus Pugin worked on the house after he left Salisbury in 1841.
Completed in 1846, the mansion (which now houses the main preparatory school and its chapel) is a Grade II* listed building. It is a fine example of the gothic interiors, carved heraldic beasts, stained glass and other design details for which Pugin was famous. The wooden carvings of beasts on the main staircase were the prototypes for the ones executed for the House of Lords. Magnificent stonework and woodcarvings dominate the school library, and Pugin's hand-painted ceiling is exquisite.
Fiori Musicali are one of the UK’s principal providers of baroque and classical music outside London. Their partnership with Bilton aims to increase the range of professionally presented classical music at the school and to engage both pupils and audiences from a wider area.
Deriving from the Saxon, Empingham (home of Epa’s people) lies peacefully against Rutland Water. A charmingly unspoilt Rutland village, it is dominated by the splendid 13th century church of St Peter. Optional dinner afterwards at the traditionally run White Horse, formerly the village courthouse.
Rows of picturesque 17th- and 18th-century cottages line the ancient village street of Eydon – an idyllic rural community dating back to the Domesday Book, with a fine 13th-century church tucked away next to Eydon Hall.
Fawsley was a royal manor as early as the 7th century, it being the headquarters of administrative and ecclesiastical matters for 12 settlements. Surrounded by formal gardens and extensive grounds landscaped by Capability Brown in the 1760s, it is steeped in tradition and rich in history.
The Knightley Court of Fawsley Hall, where our concert is held in the Saunders Room, has been beautifully restored and converted from the Georgian stable block.
Splendid monuments to the Knightley family embellish the tiny lakeside church of St Mary's, standing isolated amid the peaceful Fawsley parkland.
The church at Fotheringhay dominates the landscape, floating 'on its hill above the river Nene, a galleon of Perpendicular on a sea of corn' (Simon Jenkins). Fotheringhay exudes history: Richard III was born here 550 years ago, Mary Queen of Scots lost her head at Fotheringhay just over a century later, and Elizabeth I made an important visitation in 1566.
Within the walls of the small ironstone village church of St Mary the Virgin is buried the story of the rural community. The tranquil ambience belies the drama of the past made resonant by a secret passageway and hidden treasures, like the unique misericords and fine incised Tudor tomb, depicting not only the lord of the manor but his wife and eighteen children.
The Spencers of nearby Althorp have ancestry dating back to 1508 and it was John Spencer who recorded almost rebuilding the parish church of Great Brington and commencing the creation of the Spencer Chapel in 1513. Nineteen generations of the Spencer family rest here, including Princess Diana's father, and the Chapel houses one of the most remarkable sets of monuments in England.
Great Brington is recorded in the Domesday book and it is likely that a wooden church originally stood on this site before it was burned down in the 13th Century. The present 13th-century church is patterned on the Early English Decorated and Perpendicular styles, and appears in Simon Jenkins' England's Thousand Best Churches.
The William Morris east window is from a design by Edward Burne-Jones, while on the south side is a rare 16th-century glass of John the Baptist, with a canopy of cherubs playing bagpipes.
Fiori Musicali are one of the UK’s principal providers of baroque and classical music outside London. Their 2013 concert marks the 500th anniversary of the Spencer Chapel.
Helmdon is noted for its association with the medieval master mason Wills Campiun who is commemorated in a small segment at the top of the window in the north aisle. The actual window is of exceptional interest, being one of the very few English mediaeval windows to depict an artisan with the tools of his trade.
The tiny mediaeval church of Holy Trinity, Hinton-in-the-Hedges, probably dates back to shortly after the Norman Conquest. Tucked in amongst the trees in this picturesque Northamptonshire village, the church boasts effigies of a knight and his lady, believed to be Sir William (b. 1284) and Lady de Hinton, who held manor from the early 13th century until the reign of Henry IV. Amongst many fascinating architectural details are grotesque grinning heads from the early English period, decorating the chancel arch.
An elegant Georgian grade II listed house set in delightful grounds in the small village of Idlicote, near Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire.
From London: M40, exit 11 (to Banbury); A422 towards Stratford; after approx. 10 miles, left to Oxhill and Whatcote; ½ mile from Whatcote, left; first right to Idlicote; left at pond, through stone gateposts, follow drive to large stone house on left.
From Oxford: A34/3400 through Woodstock and Shipston-on-Stour; ¾ mile from Shipston, turn right; 1 ½ miles beyond Honington, two Georgian lodges ahead mark Front Entrance. If closed, continue, take first left and first right to Idlicote; left at pond, through stone gateposts, follow drive to large stone house on left.
From the North: M42/M40, exit 15 (Warwick); A429 past Wellesbourne to Halford; in Halford turn left (signed Idlicote); 2 miles; right at village pond; through stone gateposts and follow drive to large stone house on left.
The owner, Mrs Kari Dill, is the widow of Major Richard Gordon Dill who was Military Assistant to the UK Representative to NATO and a former High Sheriff of Warwickshire.Telephone: 01608 661473
The Hunt House is a magnificently restored historic thatched house, with a date stone of 1656, named after the mythical Hugh Hunt (a man of straw whose existence was invoked in order to break legal entails in the 17th century).
Kimbolton Castle, Katherine of Aragon's last residence, was largely rebuilt as the 18th-century country house of the Earls and Dukes of Manchester, owners for nearly 350 years.
At the beginning of the 18th century, the main architectural work was carried out by Sir John Vanbrugh and his assistant Nicholas Hawksmoor, and outstanding murals were created by the Venetian painter Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini.
The Castle, set in its wooded grounds, also features outbuildings by Robert Adam from the second half of the 18th century and is now the home of Kimbolton School. A new heritage room features displays on the Castle's history.
Ensemble Marquise perform in Vanbrugh's main State Room, the Saloon (see picture), as guests of the Kimbolton Music Society.
"One of the finest, if not the finest, spire in this county of spires" (Pevsner, The Buildings of England – Northamptonshire)
Northamptonshire spires don’t come any more beautiful than this one at King’s Sutton, near the border with Oxfordshire. Its delicate, almost lace-like details suggest that it’s probably late-14th century. The pinnacles, flying buttresses, and openings are also classics of their kind.
All this makes a stunning centrepiece for Kings Sutton, with church, manor house, court house, and ironstone cottages grouped around the village green.
The tradition has been Anglo-Catholic since the late 19th century, and the parish is the only rural one in Northamptonshire in the care of the Bishop of Richborough.
The beautiful Church of the Holy Cross, Milton Malsor, was first established in the 12th century with more additions being made over the next 200 years. Built from the characteristic Northampton sandstone, you can still see the shells embedded in the pillars! A warm and peaceful, yet intimate setting.
Monks Kirby is dominated by the priory church of St Edith, a site of Christian worship since at least the 10th century.
The first church at the site was founded in 917 by Ethelfleda, daughter of Alfred the Great, but rebuilt in 1077 and endowed with a Benedictine prior and seven monks from the abbey of St Nicholas at Angers. A carved stone head still visible at the back of the church is said to be of Geoffrey de la Guerche, a Breton, who had supported William I in the invasion of England.
During the 100 years war its dedication was changed to St Edith of Polesworth, a Warwickshire Saint. The church was substantially rebuilt in around 1380, and in 1415 Henry V transferred the priory to the Carthusians of the Isle of Axholme, Lincolnshire. Then, with the Reformation, both were given to Thomas Mannyng, Bishop of Ipswich while the rectory and the advowson of the vicarage were granted by Henry VIII to his foundation of Trinity College, Cambridge in 1546.
The property changed hands several times over the course of the following 80 years until it arrived with Basil, Lord Feilding the English naval officer and courtier who was created Earl of Denbigh in 1622. The Denbigh family continue to live nearby.
Up to the industrial revolution and the coming of the railways, Monks Kirby was one of the most important villages in this part of Warwickshire, retaining its high constable until 1828.
Music@Felcino Bianco is based in a beautiful and historical part of central Italy on the Tuscan-Umbrian border.
The Caroline Chisholm School integrates with the local community and has been described as "the future of all learning environments". The school, in south Northampton, achieved an 'outstanding' outcome from its Ofsted report in July 2009.
Fiori Musicali are one of the UK’s principal providers of baroque and classical music outside London.
www.fiori-musicali.com. Dr Penelope Rapson's Music Appreciation evenings are normally on Wednesday evenings from 7.30 to 9pm.
In 1844, fifteen years after the passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act, Augustus Pugin (architect of the Palace of Westminster) designed a collegiate chapel for the growing Northampton congregation.
But, with the restoration of the Northampton diocese in 1850, the chapel too was outgrown by the numbers wishing to worship, and Pugin's son Edward extended the building to become a cathedral.
Northampton Cathedral, which opened in 1864, is a splendid example of the gothic revival; it is dedicated to Our Lady Immaculate and St Thomas of Canterbury.
The Diocese of Northampton covers the counties of Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and that part of Berkshire (formerly in Buckinghamshire) lying north of the River Thames.
The breathtaking historic Guildhall is one of the architectural treasures of Northampton.
It is also a working building, used by councillors, community groups, for conference hire, wedding and civil partnership receptions, and much more too.
Late in the summer each year the Guildhall throws open its doors as part of the town's Heritage Weekend, giving visitors the chance to see not only the spectacular function rooms, but also to see the cells which still remain from the days that the Court Room really was a court room.
The Holy Sepulchre Church was most likely inspired by Simon de Senlis, Earl of Northampton, to give thanks for his safe return from Jerusalem in the First Crusade to the Holy Land.
Modelled on that in Jerusalem, but around half the size, Northampton's original round church later had chancel, nave and aisles added to the east side. The whole was extended and restored by Sir George Gilbert Scott between 1860 and 1864, and the chancel screen was made by his son Oldrid in 1880.
Most round churches are associated with the Knights Templar or the Knights Hospitaller, however the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Northampton was built as a parish church and has no connection with the Templars nor the Hospitallers. Major restoration undertaken by the parish was completed in 2009.
Number Nine, Guildhall Road, Northampton is Fishmarket's new home.
Formerly Franklin's Hotel, it will hosts Northampton's flagship contemporary art gallery in time for Christmas 2012.
St Matthew's, Northampton has a strong musical tradition and a long history of commissioning new works of art and musical compositions. These include the sculpture Madonna and Child by Henry Moore, which later formed the centrepiece of the Henry Moore exhibition at the Tate Modern, Graham Sutherland's painting The Crucifixion and the choral work Rejoice in the Lamb by Benjamin Britten.
In 1992 The Risen Christ was installed - this was fashioned by local artist Malcolm Pollard from laminated layers of Jelutong wood. And in 2009 Ian Rank-Broadley was commissioned to produce a life size, and controversially traditional, statue of St Matthew in memory of Canon John Morton who left a legacy for this purpose.
The church stands near the centre of the town on the Kettering Road. It was designed by local architect Matthew Holding and built by local brewer Pickering Phipps as a memorial to his father in 1893. The church also has arguably the finest parish church organ in the country - a cathedral-sized Walker organ, restored just a few years ago.
St Peter's Church in Oundle has the tallest spire in the county, standing a magnificent 210 feet high.
St Peter's, which was built on the site of an earlier church and monastery, was founded by St Wilfred of Northumbria in the 7th century. A pre-conquest coffin lid is the only surviving relic of an earlier church.
Originally, St Peter's was a small Norman Church with a central tower, which was enlarged in the 13th century with later additions and alterations in the Decorated Perpendicular styles. The interior was first restored in 1864 and contains a coloured pulpit, beautifully carved screens as well as memorials and stained glass windows. The 15th-century lectern, shaped in the form of an eagle is said to be from Fotheringhay Church. It was lost when roundheads threw it into the River Nene during the Civil War. Fortunately, it was later retrieved and returned to the Church.
Situated by the side of the Oxford canal, St Barnabas Church is styled as a Romanesque basilica. Its distinctive square tower, in the form of an Italianate campanile, is visible from the surrounding area.
The architect was Sir Arthur Blomfield, a son of the Bishop of London, who had previously designed the chapel for the Radcliffe Infirmary. The church was consecrated in 1869 by Bishop Wilberforce and is still famous today for its anglo-catholic ceremonial."When I want a spiritual fling I go to St Barnabas." (Gerard Manley Hopkins, Robert Martin)
The present St Mary’s, the third on this site, was built in 1791 by John Plaw, at the junction of the (english) Harrow Road and the (roman) Edgware Road. It is a very ancient part of London, steeped in history. The existing church of Saint Mary, Paddington Green was built under an Act of 1788, which authorised national collections and appointed 45 trustees, headed by Sir John Morshead and Robert Thistlethwayte.
The church is a delightful, Georgian building within its own extensive graveyard and contains fine monuments (by renowned sculptors such as Physick, Derby and Blore) to local luminaries including Nollekens, Roget and Sarah Siddons. Begun in 1788, it was consecrated in 1791, when it was widely admired.
There are no parking restrictions nearby at weekends!
Fiori Musicali are one of the UK’s principal providers of baroque and classical music outside London, presenting here in partnership with Chamber Music in Little Venice.
The church of St Peter and St Paul has stood in Preston Capes for over 750 years. Parts of the mediaeval structure still remain today, including beautiful corbels representing the eight King Henrys, to be found where the arches join the columns.
'Preston' derives from the Saxon 'preasta-tun' meaning monks' hill, the village being on the top of the Northampton heights and having had at one time a Cluniac abbey on the site of what is now the Old Rectory, adjacent to the Church. 'Capes' is from Hugh de Capes who held the manor in the reign of Henry III.
The pews are notable for their fine poppyhead carvings. The churchyard contains a number of graves dating back as far as the 1600s, as well as the base of a former preaching cross.
The strikingly engraved East window, given by Lord St John of Fawsley and others in memory of his nephew, was designed by Annabel Rathbone.
Lord St John used to live in the Old Rectory, and became the first Patron of Fiori Musicali when they took up period instruments in 1987.
Fiori Musicali, based in Preston Capes, are one of the UK’s principal providers of baroque and classical music outside London.
This church is beautifully positioned in the grounds of Rockingham Castle commanding views of the Welland Valley.
Dating from the 13th and 14th centuries, the church suffered greatly at the time of the Civil War, when Cromwell's soldiers occupied Rockingham Castle. It was rebuilt in 1650, and the Jacobean pulpit survives. A small bell-tower, with octagonal pyramid roof, and the stained glass windows were added in 1845.
Memorials to the Sondes and Watson families, owners of the Castle, occupy the centuries between.Fiori Musicali are one of the UK’s principal providers of baroque and classical music outside London.
Rushton is a magnificent structure, built mainly in local stone. It was commenced by Sir John Tresham and his family around 1438 who through generations, owned the hall for nearly 200 years, and was later enlarged and embellished by the Cockayne family around 1630.
The hall's interior is magnificent. Reformed throughout history, it is of grand style. Huge stone and timber fireplaces adorn virtually every room, whilst ornate plasterwork and wonderful stained glass can be found in the Great Hall, Drawing Room, Dining Room, Library, and numerous other rooms.
The Seminarium Centrale (see picture)is right in the heart of historic Budapest and not normally open to the public.
Its renaissance refectory, baroque church, classical salon,and simple accommodation are ideally suited to a week's music-making.
The largest and grandest house of the first Elizabethan age, Burghley was built between 1555 and 1587 for Sir William Cecil, later 1st Baron Burghley, Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I. It was subsequently the residence of his descendants, the Earls and Marquesses of Exeter, and is now owned by a charitable trust established by the family.
The house is one of the principal examples of 16th century English Elizabethan architecture and also has a suite of rooms remodelled in the baroque style. The main part of the house has 35 major rooms on the ground and first floors. There are more than 80 lesser rooms and numerous halls, corridors, bathrooms and service areas.
"For position, Staunton Harold, the house and the chapel, are unsurpassed in the country - certainly as far as Englishness is concerned." (Pevsner, The Buildings of England)
Now a private house, the Hall has a long and varied history. Most of the current building dates back to the period between 1760 and 1778 and was built by the 5th Earl Ferrers. It was the seat of the Shirley family for over 500 years until 1954 and was used during the Second World War by the army and then to house prisoners of war.
After the sale of the estate, it passed into institutional use first as a Cheshire home then later as a Sue Ryder hospice before being bought and renovated by the current owners, John and Jacqueline Blunt, by whose kind invitation Fiori Musicali appear at Staunton Harold Hall.
The early 18th-century church of St Rumbold, was built as a fashionable replacement for a mediæval church. There are some fine monuments, including a large one by Rysbrack – one of the leading Flenish sculptors of the time. St Rumbold was the grandson of a 7th-century King of Mercia who was born in Northamptonshire. Though living for only three days, in his short life he performed prodigious miraculous feats.
Peacefully situated in the tiny hamlet of Stoke Doyle, the rural charm of St Rumbold is enhanced by a small English organ tuned, unusually, to an historic temperament. The architecture and plaster ceiling produce splendid acoustics, and the small, interesting church is perfect for a summer concert.
The Church of All Saints, Sudborough, dates from the second half of the 13th century.
The Old Rectory was built in 1820 by The Reverend William Duthy, Rector of All Saints Church, Sudborough, at his own expense to replace the original early 18th-century Rectory. This had fallen into disprepair by the 1980s, but since then Ann and Tony Huntington have restored the house and transformed the gardens.
Framing the sweeping lawn you’ll find herbaceous borders, planted to provide colour and variety throughout the year and home to many sun-loving species. The rose garden, planted with a profusion of David Austin English roses in hues of pink and mauve, provides a burst of colour against the main lawn.
Picnicking there in the sunshire and fragrant blooms, with the view towards church and house, is pure heaven.
The ancestral home of George Washington, Sulgrave Manor is a solid gem of English history, fully intact and with gorgeous Tudor and Georgian furnishings.
The Saxon village of Syresham (or Sigresham) was once a forest clearing of about 400 acres, taken over by the Normans after the Norman conquest. The church of St James the Great was built around 1200 and has several aspects of Norman architecture including a Norman front.
This quiet old church has some lovely medieval wall paintings including a representation of the Last Judgement, on the wall over the chancel arch.
Nicholas Hawksmoor Primary School is one of the Government’s ‘Outstanding Academies’ – a forward-looking school which enjoys a reputation for high academic success, excellence in the arts and a wide variety of sporting achievement.
Traditional methods co-exist with innovative teaching and learning that embrace the latest technologies. The breadth of achievement was reflected in OFSTED's 2007 inspection report, which identified the school as outstanding in every category.
Sponne School is a music and science academy serving the town of Towcester and surrounding villages. First established in the 15th century, it is the oldest secondary school in Northamptonshire, and indeed one of the oldest in the country.
The church of St Lawrence Church stands in the middle of the town, in a fine group of buildings which also includes the Rectory, Chantry House and Town Hall. It has a 12th-century ground plan and foundation, probably overlaid on a Saxon 10th-century stone building.
Its ecclesiastical heritage may well relate back to Roman times as St Lawrence was patron saint of the Roman Legions, and Towcester itself stands astride Watling Street. The building was reconstructed in the Perpendicular style 1480-85 when the church tower was added. Permission to quarry stone from Whittlebury Forest for the restoration work was granted by Edward IV. This was later confirmed by Richard III on his way towards Leicestershire and his death at the Battle of Bosworth Field.
The church contains a 'Treacle' Bible, a table tomb and cadaver of Archdeacon Sponne, Rector 1422–1448. The Archdeacon started what was thought to be the oldest Grammar school in Northamptonshire, which was merged with the old Secondary Modern School in Towcester to form the Sponne School.
It is thought that the tower contains more bells than any other parish church in the land: a fine peal of 12 bells and a chime of 9 bells which ring the hours and chime tunes at frequent intervals.
Wavendon is a village and civil parish in the south east of the Borough of Milton Keynes. The village name is an Old English language word, and means 'Wafa's hill'. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 969 the village was recorded as Wafandun.
The village is best known today for being the location of The Stables, which was the brainchild of the late Johnnie Dankworth and his wife Cleo Laine (who still lives in the village). In the expansion plans for Milton Keynes, it is proposed that Wavendon will become a part of the city and a neighbourhood centre, in a similar way to the other towns and villages that provided the roots of early Milton Keynes districts.
Fiori Musicali first appeared at the Stables in July 2009, with the celebrated guitarist José María Galardo del Rey, in a performance of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez.
Built on the site of the former Cattle Market in Wellingborough, The Castle is a lively theatre and cinema which is home to both professional touring theatre companies and community groups.
The Castle opened in 1995 by its then patron, Jeremy Irons, and houses a versatile 500 seat theatre and cinema space, an intimate studio theatre space seating up to 100, a recently refurbished café-bar with free Wi-Fi access, full catering and licensed bar service, conference and meeting rooms, art gallery and exhibition area and free parking.
Fiori Musicali are one of the UK’s principal providers of baroque and classical music outside London. Their project Handel & the English Baroque is delivered as part of a partnership with The Castle and Orchestras Live to increase the range of classical music at The Castle.
The old village of Wolfhampcote is located west of the A45 road near Braunston (which is in Northamptonshire), and can be reached by a track from the main A45 road, or by a lane from Flecknoe. Today the only remains of the village are a cottage, a farmhouse, and the old vicarage, located some distance away.
The area around the old village is rich in industrial archaeology. The remains of the original route of the Oxford Canal, which was abandoned in the 1830s, can be traced through the area. There are also the remains of two abandoned railway lines, the old Weedon to Leamington Spa railway, which passed quite close to the church but closed in 1963, and the Great Central Railway, which closed in 1966.
The most notable surviving feature of the village is the isolated mediaeval church of St Peter – indeed, virtually all that remains. It waits proudly by the side of a field, providing the atmospheric backdrop for Fiori Musical's evocative music, perfomed by candlelight.
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