Field trips are the most important part of the ECL Programme. They have been designed to provide a chronological survey of selected aspects of English material culture and architecture, starting with Roman and medieval traditions and ending with the present. They will also provide opportunities to examine various ways in which heritage is defined and displayed, both inside and outside formal museum settings. Generally there will be three full-day field trips each week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Stonehenge, Canterbury Cathedral, the Tower of London, Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey
Bath, Jane Austen's Georgian town
England's largest private home, Blenheim Palace, the ancestral home of Winston Churchill
the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, the world's largest collection of living plants
the World War I European battlefield sites of Beaumont Hamel, Vimy Ridge, Ypres
Hampton Court, its living history program, with its daily drama of Henry VIII and his current wife
England's "finest stone village," Stamford, the film location for Pride and Prejudice and The Da Vinci Code
stately country mansions, fashionable Georgian urban row houses, villages of picturesque half-timbered cottages
archaeological project sites; an afternoon along the Thames searching for a Roman coin, medieval tile, or a fragment of a Tudor pot
a wide range of museums with diverse themes: the life of London; the history of domestic interiors; decorative arts rare and ordinary, from William Morris to tupperware
Field trip descriptions and links
Museum of London. One of the UK's leading museums, tracing the development of the city of London through the ages, many of its galleries recently updated and modernized to much critical acclaim. Geoffyre Museum. Britain's leading museum of the history of domestic interiors, with period rooms from the Tudor era to the present.
LavenhamThe best-preserved medieval timber-framed town in Britain. The 14th century Little Hall, late 15th century parish church of St. Peter and St. Paul and the early 16th century Guildhall are impressive reminders of the fact that the wool trade made this one of the richest medieval towns in England.
Canterbury (UNESCO) The destination for Chaucer's famous Canterbury Tales, the medieval town contains the impressive cathedral that brought the Gothic style to England, and orginally housed Becket's shrine. The Canterbury Heritage Museum contains an important archaeological background to the town's history. Canterbury Cathedral, and several other ecclesiastical sites in the town, were designated a UNESCO site in 1988.
St. Albans Verulamium Museum. A museum of Roman life devoted to an excavated site that includes mosaics, glass, ceramics, and burials. There will also be a visit to the nearby Roman theatre site.The town grew up around the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St. Albans, largely a Romanesque medieval cathedral/abbey, with later renovations, including a Victorian facade. Contains a restored medieval shrine, and important medieval wall paintings. At the top of the Saxon marketplace is St. Michael's Parish Church, with Saxon remains and a medieval doom painting.
Ely Cathedral One of English's most spectacular cathedrals, with a Norman nave, and Decorated choir. The visit will include a tour inside the cathedral's famous Octagon roof, one of the wonders of the medieval building world. The town which developed outside the walls of the monastic precinct contains a Norman motte and many well-preserved monastic buildings. Optional visits include the Stained Glass Museum (within Ely Cathedral); Oliver Cromwell's House, a 17th c historic house; Ely Museum, containing displays of local history.
Wimpole HallA stately country home begun in the 1630s, extensively renovated in the early 18th century, notable for rooms added by Sir John Soane in the late 18th century, and the adjoining model farm that he designed in the same perriod. The park-like grounds were planned, in part, by landscape architects Capability Brown and Humphtry Repton.
Blenheim Palace (UNESCO) A monumental country estate, one of England's largest houses, built between 1705 and ca 1722, in the English Baroque style, under the direction of the architect John Vanbrugh.The birthplace and ancestral home of Winston Churchill, the remarkable interior contains designs by Christopher Wren, James Thornhill, and Grinling Gibbons--among others. Designated a UNESCO site in 1987.
Stonehenge (UNESCO) One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones dating somewhere between 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Perhaps an ancient burial ground, the site has remained for generations a place of mystery, religious significance, and pilgrimage, important today in Neopaganism and Druidry. Declared a UNESCO site in 1986.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (UNESCO) The world's largest collection of living plants, covering 121 hectares. The Kew site includes over 40 heritage structures in an internationally significant landscape. Buildings include the world's most important surviving Victorian glass and iron structure, as well as important 19th century garden structures: an orangery, Chinese pagoda, palm house--among others. Designated a UNESCO site in 2003.
Stamford. The medieval core, with its five parish churches, was the first Conservation Area designated in England and Wales, in 1967. Considered "the finest stone town in England," Stamford contains a remarkable collection of 17th and 18th century townhouses, including many that combine Georgian aesthetics with local vernacular designs. Walks through the town will be guided by the Stamford Civic Trust.
Westminster (UNESCO)Westminster Abbey is one of the most important examples of Gothic architecture in Europe, the present church begun in 1245 by Henry III. The Abbey is the traditional site for the coronation of English monarchs, and is notable for the important English figures--including most kings and queens--who are buried within the church. The Palace of Westminster (commonly known as the Houses of Parliament) is one of the most important Gothic Revival structures in the United Kingdom, built after the Great Fire of 1834, following the designs of architect Charles Barry, much of the interior fininshed by A.W.N. Pugin. The district of Westminster was designated a UNESCO sitein 1987.
Spitalfields, an 18th century London neighbourhood settled largely by Huguenot silk weavers and now the heart of the Bangladeshi community in London. Many fine Georgian houses remain. The visit will include the Severs House, a controversial museum where the past is silently performed, Sandys Row Synangogue, the last remaining active Synagogue in Spitalfields, originally a Huguenot Church, restored recently by English Heritage, Hawkmoor's magnificant Christ Church, and the redeveloped 19th century Spitalfields Market.
Hampton Court Palace. The finest of Henry VIII's palaces, with extensive interpretations of all aspects of courtly life. A focus will be on the living history programme as performed by Past Pleasures, one of England's leading museum interpretation companies, with an informal discussion with participants at the end of the day.
"Mudlarking" along the Thames, an afternoon of gathering artifacts on the banks of the River Thames, where anything from a Roman coin, medieval shard, or 18th century wine bottle might be found for the keeping.
Tower of London (UNESCO) The most famous castle in the United Kingdom, built by William the Conqueror in 1078. The Tower is a complex of several concentric rings of defense, expanded under Kings Richard, Henry III and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Tower served as a site of many famous executions, and as a prison in the 16th and 17th centuries. A collection of the Crown Jewels is housed there, as well as Henry VIII's armour. It was designated a UNESCO site in 1988.
Bath. (UNESCO) The Aquae Sulis are the best-preserved Roman baths in Britain. In the early 18th Century classicism and Palladian architecture were introduced in Bath. Georgian Bath established unique town planning and became a pleasure and health resort and was almost entirely devoted to leisure. The sequence of Queen Square (1728-36), the Circus (1754-64) and the Royal Crescent(1767-75) is one of the most magnificant Georgian/Regency compositions in the country. The town was declared a UNESCO site in 1987.
Greenwich. (UNESCO) The district of Greenwich epitomizes the architectural and scientific achievement of 17th and 18th century England. The Queen's House, designed by Inigo Jones, was the first Palladian building in the country. Nearby, the Royal Naval College was designed by Christopher Wren, with the superb painted ceiling by James Thornhill. The district itself was laid out as a park by Andre de Notre, and contains the Old Royal Observatory. The National Maritime Museum is located there as well. The district was designated a UNESCO site in 1997.
The Battlefields of World War I France. A two-day fieldtrip to the Continent to visit three battlefield sites important to Newfoundland (and Canada's) role in the First World War: Beaumont Hamel, Vimy Ridge, and Ypres.