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Architecture in Birmingham

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Bullring & Grand Central
Bullring & Grand Central is the glamorous heart of Birmingham and home to one of the country’s most popular shopping destinations. Discover over 240 of the most imaginative and desirable shops, catering for all your fashion and lifestyle needs – including Selfridges, John Lewis and Debenhams department stores – all right here, in the centre of town.
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Aston Hall
At Aston Hall follow in the footsteps of royalty and visit one of the last great Jacobean houses to be built. Built between 1618 and 1635 for Sir Thomas Holte and home to James Watt Junior from 1817-1848, Aston Hall is steeped in history. Now a grade I listed building, the hall is restored to its former Jacobean splendor and is hugely popular with visitors of all ages. Walk through the stunning interiors and see the home that received royalty, was besieged during the English Civil War and inspired an author.
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Black Country Living Museum
Award-winning corner of the West Midlands is now one of the finest and largest open-air museums in the United Kingdom. After very humble beginnings, a bright idea and 40 years of inspiration, this is twenty six acres worth exploring. Amazing as it may seem, we have created a ‘place’ – a real and lively place, where once there was nothing and nobody. With a village and charismatic residents to chat with. Hear the stories of the people who lived and worked in the Black Country from our friendly Historic Characters. They'll explain what it was really like to be alive at the height of the Industrial Revolution. Visit a fairground - fancy a bit of old-fashioned fun? Why not visit our fairground with original rides dating back to 1910? Have a go on the Brooklyn Cakewalk, test your skills on the 'hook a duck' or hit the right spot with a throw on the the coconut shy. Have a ride on a vintage bus. Museum maintains a selection of vintage vehicles for you to ride throughout the year. Why not hop on the longest trolleybus route in the country? Play some old school street games. Head on down to the cobbled street and try your hand at some classic street games including the 'hoop and stick' and the 'cup and ball' . And also Explore over 40 period shops, houses and industrial areas. Since 1978 we've been recreating buildings from around the Black Country, sometimes moving them here brick-by-brick. Grab and a map and get exploring!
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Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens
These 10 acre walled gardens (listed Grade II) are a rare example of formal English garden design. They are being restored as near as possible to the period 1680 to 1762 when the Bridgeman family moved to Weston Park. The house was built in 1599 by Sir Edward Devereux and extended by Sir John Bridgeman I about 100 years later. The Gardens were developed by several generations of the Bridgeman Family (later to become the Earls of Bradford) reaching peaks of excellence around 1760 and 1900. The Gardens fell into decline during the middle part of the twentieth century until they were rescued by the Trust in 1985. The Holly Maze is a distorted mirror image of the one at Hampton Court Palace designed by George London and Henry Wise.
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Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
The museum holds centuries of European history and culture and is home to art collections of international importance, there is also a celebration of local and industrial history in the ever-changing exhibitions.
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St.John the Baptist Church
As one of Coventry’s most historic buildings, St John’s holds a special place in the heart of the city. St John’s was built by Medieval Religious Guilds in 1344 on land given by Queen Isabella. Located on the corner of Medieval Spon Street, this Grade I listed masterpiece of architecture is one of the most beautiful churches in England. Carved from rose sandstone, the church is steeped in history. During the Civil War the building was used to house Scottish Royalists, giving rise to the saying ‘Sent to Coventry’.
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St. Mary's Guildhall
Death, intrigue, scandal and spilt custard...are not compulsory when you visit St. Mary's Guildhall, but can be discovered in more than 600 years worth of stories from the finest medieval guildhall in the country. Located in the city's historic Cathedral Quarter, St. Mary's Guildhall miraculously survived the Second World War bombing raids and stands as a monument to the power and wealth of medieval Coventry. With magnificent interiors, collections of armour, historic furniture, artworks and internationally important tapestries, the Guildhall offers a window into Coventry's glorious past. A prison to Mary, Queen of Scots, a theatre for Shakespeare and an inspiration to George Eliot, St. Mary's Guildhall is a fascinating free experience for all ages, at the historic heart of the city of Coventry.
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Coventry Cathedral
Coventry Cathedral is a place where splendid medieval history meets modern architecture to stunning and poignant effect. Explore the Ruined Cathedral, destroyed in the Coventry Blitz during WW2, standing proudly alongside the magnificent ‘casket of jewels’, the iconic ‘New’ Cathedral. The New Cathedral features works by some of the greatest artists of the 1950s and 60s. Internationally recognised as a beacon of hope, Coventry Cathedral embodies a spirit of peace and reconciliation in a truly breath-taking setting.
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Herbert Art Gallery & Museum
The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum is the perfect place to delve into Coventry’s history and immerse yourself in world-class art. Investigate the natural world, modern art, and the Old Masters. Wander through dazzling interactive displays and enjoy the latest exhibitions while admiring the building’s unique architecture. As well as the art gallery’s ever-changing displays, often created in partnership with national museums, the Herbert offers a wide range of talks, events and workshops for both adults and children. Permanent galleries range from the Visual Arts, to Social and Industrial History, Archaeology and Natural History, there really is something for every visitor.
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The Guildhall
The Guildhall is a historic building and the oldest building still in use in the city. It was Leicester’s first police station and between 1876 and the 1900’s and saw many unsavoury characters pass through its doors. The Great Hall itself was built in about 1390 as a meeting place for the Guild of Corpus Christi (a small but powerful group of businessmen and gentry) and it’s also believed that Shakespeare performed here during Tudor times. Over the years it has had many uses, including housing one of the oldest public libraries and serving as the Town Hall. After restoration, the Guildhall was opened to the public as a museum in 1926. Today the Guildhall is best known as an excellent performance venue, attracting acts from across the country, and as a museum where visitors can step back in time and come face to face with Crankie Gemmie and Emma Smith, two of Leicester's notorious pickpockets who can be found lurking in the Victorian police cells. The museum is also home to the Medieval Leicester galleries. Through objects and activities, visitors can walk the streets of medieval Leicester and uncover a world both familiar and very different to our own!
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Leicester Cathedral
Leicester Cathedral lies at the heart of Leicester's Old Town. The cathedral is open for visitors and all are welcome within its doors. From the fine stained glass to the story and tomb of King Richard III, explore over 900 years of history in this peaceful and beautiful building. The tranquil Cathedral Gardens surround the cathedral. A quiet space in the heart of the city, the gardens are made up of areas of lawn, flower beds, seating areas and a water feature. The gardens are also home to two pieces of public art: the iconic bronze statue of King Richard III, commissioned by the Richard III Society in 1980, and the sculpture 'Towards Stillness' – an installation representing a timeline of the King's life, especially commissioned for the occasion of his reinterment.
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Curve
Curve is a spectacular, state-of-the-art theatre in the heart of Leicester’s vibrant Cultural Quarter. Opened in 2008 by Her Majesty The Queen, the award-winning building designed by acclaimed architect Rafael Viñoly offers a completely unique visitor experience. Unlike any other theatre in the UK, there is no traditional backstage area. Audiences can enjoy the full theatre-making process, peek behind the scenes and maybe even spot an actor or two dashing from the stage to their dressing room or enjoying a coffee in the café. The building’s stunning curved façade is made from 1,192 tonnes of steel and 46,000 square metres of glass. Managed by Leicester Theatre Trust, Curve is a registered charity providing engaging theatrical experiences for the community. Working with people of all ages and backgrounds, the theatre is committed to nurturing new and emerging talent, as well as creating world-class productions.
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Abbey Park
Hugging the banks of the River Soar in the north of the city is Abbey Park – a beautiful green space to relax and admire Leicester’s riverside scenery. The park has a choice of activities to keep the whole family entertained. The boating lake in the centre of the park offers hire of both rowing and pedalo boats – fun for adults and children alike! On a summer’s day, relax and pedal your way around the beautiful lake in the centre of the park, enjoying the sweeping views of serene parkland all around. Heritage lovers will enjoy a stroll around the remains of the twelfth century Leicester Abbey and the ruins of Cavendish House, a 17th century mansion. The Abbey was founded by the second Earl of Leicester, Robert le Bossu. It became one of the wealthiest Augustinian abbeys in the country, but closed in 1538 when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries. Whilst converting the overgrown abbey grounds into a public excavations revealed the remains of the abbey church and the other main building ranges, which can be seen in the park today. Those looking to get active can take advantage of the parks many sporting facilities, including a bowling green, five hard surface tennis courts, orienteering courses, a lavender maze and Ping! table tennis tables – perfect for those looking to try something new or get in some extra practise. Pets Corner is a favourite with all visitors to the park – an area to interact with a variety of small, domesticated animals. The area includes an aviary with a collection of exotic birds, as well as small enclosures housing hens, guinea pigs, rabbits, goats and pygmy goats.
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Belgrave Hall & Gardens
Belgrave Hall is a historic house, providing an oasis of peace and quiet in a busy city. The hall was built in the early 18th century in what was then a small village three miles from the town of Leicester. Now city traffic passes, almost unnoticed, just beyond the garden walls. Edmund Cradock, a hosiery merchant, built Belgrave Hall but died soon after its completion. The Hall has had several owners over the years, including John Ellis – a wealthy businessman who was responsible for bringing the railways to Leicester. Visitors can explore Belgrave Hall and the beautiful surrounding gardens on special event days. From April to September the gardens are open every Wednesday and the first full weekend of the month, with additional special events open to the public. Visit the website for more details on specific open days.
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St Alkmund's Church
St Alkmund’s is the only remaining open Anglican Church in the historic heart of Shrewsbury. St. Alkmund’s Church was founded in the 10th century, possibly by Aethefleda, daughter of King Alfred. She claimed descent from Alkmund, a Northumbrian prince murdered circ AD 800 near Derby.
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Shrewsbury Castle
The castle stands at the top of a hill and was built as a defensive fortification for Shrewsbury, which was otherwise protected by the River Severn. Founded by Roger de Montgomery in 1074, the castle has undergone many transformations, the last one being by Thomas Telford who 'modernised' the building in the 18th century. Climb the walls of the castle for amazing views and some people watching from high above the town. The grounds are free to visit and perfect for picnics too. The Castle houses the spectacular collections of the Shropshire Regimental Museum Trust including pictures, uniforms, medals, weapons and other equipment from the 18th Century to the present day. One of the prize exhibits is the baton of the German Admiral Doenitz, captured by soldiers of the King's Shropshire Light Infantry at the very end of World War II. Doenitz had been nominated as Hitler's successor. There are also stories about the British burning down the White House in 1814. The displays include a brief history of the castle through the centuries.
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Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery
Re-opened at the old Music Hall in April 2014, Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery tells the stories that make Shropshire unique through its’ amazing galleries: Roman Gallery, Shropshire Gallery, Medieval, Tudor and Stuart Galleries and the Special Exhibition Gallery. Come and explore millions of years of history through over one thousand remarkable objects in the extraordinary set of building that house Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery. From key Shropshire finds like the Roman tombstones and headstones and the Shropshire Mammoth to a fine geology and Tudor collection, Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery intimately depicts local history using all senses. Since opening, Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery has established itself as the perfect family museum and holds events and activities throughout the week that are ideal for children. Children and their families can take part in great activities like Mini-Mammoths to following the trail of Maximo Mouse through the museum – there’s always something in this family Museum for children to have fun and learn.
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St Chad's Church
St Chad's Church, Shrewsbury occupies a prominent position in the county town of Shropshire. The current church building was built in 1792, and with its distinctive round shape and high tower, it is a well-known landmark in the town. It faces The Quarry area of parkland, which slopes down to the River Severn. The church is a Grade I listed building. The motto of the church is "open doors, open hearts, and open minds". This indicates the aspiration of the church to be a welcoming church, involved in the community, and on a collective journey seeking after God.
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Nottingham Cathedral
Nottingham Cathedral (the Cathedral Church of St Barnabas) was designed and built under renowned architect A.W.N. Pugin and the foundation stone was laid by Bishop Nicholas Wiseman in 1842, who had brought with him the relics of Saint Barnbas from Rome. At the time of its opening in 1844, the Cathedral was the largest Catholic church to have been built in England since the Reformation. The Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Catholic Diocese of Nottingham which covers the counties of Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Rutland. The Cathedral has been home to choral music since its consecration and today boasts a flourishing Music Department with the Cathedral Choir and Cathedral Youth Choir.
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Nottingham Council House
It takes a building of some distinction to stand out in a city as rich in beautiful and interesting architecture as Nottingham, and the Council House does not disappoint... Far from being a museum, The Council House is a vital, living part of the city and the centre of local politics as elected councillors who represent the people of the City of Nottingham conduct much of their business here. This magnificent Neo-Baroque building, whose 200ft high dome dominates the city skyline, has been the heart of the city centre for 80 years and a source of pride for the people of Nottingham. On a still day, the chimes from the Council House clock, known as Little John, can be heard for miles around. It has been the setting for many splendid public occasions. Royalty, statesmen and women and people from the world of showbusiness have been received and entertained here. The FA and European cups have been held aloft from its balcony, and a great many worthy organisations and individuals have received the thanks of a grateful city within its walls.
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William Booth Birthplace Museum
Discover the life and work of William Booth – Nottingham’s most famous preacher and social reformer and founder of The Salvation Army – at The William Booth Birthplace Museum. Travel back in time to William’s home as it would have appeared in 1829 and explore how William turned his vision into reality.
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Blenheim Palace
Home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting a long and diverse history. A masterpiece of Baroque architecture landscaped Parkland and stunning Formal Gardens, Blenheim Palace provides an awe-inspiring experience for visitors. Explore over 2000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown Parkland and 90 acres of award-winning Formal Gardens. Ride the miniature train to The Pleasure Gardens, a dedicated family area that offers a giant hedge maze, butterfly house and adventure playground. A year-round calendar of tours, exhibitions, experiences and events reveal the sheer splendour of Britain’s Greatest Palace.
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Cogges Manor Farm
Discover the beautiful Oxfordshire Cotswolds and enjoy a morning or afternoon visiting the historic grounds at Cogges. Cogges is a Scheduled Ancient Monument with over 1000 years of history, with Grade II* Listed 13th-century manor house and 17th-century farm buildings. Discover the fascinating story of past owners ranging from Norman knights, English Kings, Oxford University college founders to tenant farmers and wool merchants, with links to Witney’s historic wool and blanket trade. Today Cogges is a popular visitor attraction for all the family. Explore over 15 acres of the manor house and grounds, walled garden, picnic orchard, moated islands and river Windrush walk. Children love to feed the farm animals and go wild in the adventure play and nature island, or try on hats, vintage clothes or hand made costumes in the dressing up parlour. There is also a sandpit, soft play and games from swing ball to lawn croquet.
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Oxford University Museum of Natural History
A Museum displaying the University's natural history specimens including some remarkable Paleontological Collections. The museum is also the home to the last seen Dodo bird in existence. Today, all that remains from rot are its beak and its feet. The Museum was also the sight of the 1860s evolution debate between Thomas Henry Huxley and Bishop Samuel Wilberforce, which famously critiqued the publication of Charles Darwin's 'On the Origin of Species'.
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Oxford Playhouse
Oxford Playhouse is a theatre for everyone. Oxford Playhouse and its Burton Taylor Studio present and produce a wide range of live performances. The programme includes the best of British and international drama, family shows, contemporary dance and music, student and amateur shows, comedy, lectures and poetry. The Playhouse produces and tours its own shows, hosts Artists in Residence and presents Playhouse Plays Out, an ongoing series of off-site events which happen at locations across the county. The theatre’s Learning team works with over 15,000 people each year through post-show discussions, workshops, work experience, holiday schemes, a youth theatre and a young people’s theatre company.
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University of Oxford
Oxford University is the oldest University in the English speaking world and to date one of the best and most prestigious in the world. Countless famous figures and great minds have studied here, and any visitors are – no doubt – walking in the footsteps of many of them, seeing the same views that they had. “Where is the famous Oxford University?” is a question many visitors ask. the answer is: everywhere! The University is made up of 38 independent colleges, and their quads and buildings can be found all over the city. Many colleges open their doors to visitors at least a few hours every day. Many of them are free to visit, some charge a small fee. Opening hours can change without prior notice, and up to date times can be seen on the porter’s lodge of each college. In the colleges, visitors can usually explore the college quad and gardens, as well as the chapel. Some colleges also open their dining hall to visitors, such as Wadham College and Christ Church, whose grand hall was the setting for Hogwarts’ Great Hall in the Harry Potter films.
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The Bridge of Sighs
The bridge is often referred to as the Bridge of Sighs because of its supposed similarity to the famous Bridge of Sighs in Venice. However, Hertford Bridge was never intended to be a replica of the Venetian bridge, and instead it bears a closer resemblance to the Rialto Bridge in the same city.
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Oxford Castle & Prison
Come and explore the 1,000-year history of Oxford Castle and Prison. Step back in time with our costumed guided tours and see fascinating stories come to life. Hear the great tales of Empress Matilda or the fate of Mary Blandy, one of the prisons’ most famous criminals. Step inside our padded jail cell and meet the notorious ‘Black Panther’, a vicious prisoner held here in the 1970s. Find gorgeous views atop of St. George’s Tower and then descend into the atmospheric crypt of St Georges Chapel. Here you can touch the stones were Oxford University was rumoured to begin and stand in the birthplace of King Arthur. Explore the austere confines of the prisons’ D-Wing and debtors tower, here you can wander the cells and learn about our youngest inmates. After your guided tour, you can climb the mound, the remains of a motte and bailey castle. Explore the attraction at your own leisure and dress up like a prisoner in our exhibition space. Sit down with a nice cup of coffee in our café, spread out your map and plan where to go next in Oxford. In the summer, we have Knight School, a medieval-inspired workshop which trains children into becoming little warriors. Our Shakespeare Festival is an Oxford summer staple whilst Ghost Fest is sure to give you a scare over Halloween.
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Christ Church Oxford
Christ Church is located in the heart of the city centre and is one of the colleges belonging to the University of Oxford. It is also home to the legendary Christ Church Cathedral, which was built in the 12th century. Today, Christ Church is a visitor favourite, well-known for its impressive architecture, entertaining evening choirs and the War Memorial Garden. Christ Church is also a popular film location with famous examples such as Harry Potter. Christ Church has been a site of religious worship since the seventh century. The present cathedral was built in the twelfth century and contains the shrine and tomb of St Frideswide, Oxford’s patron saint.
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The Prebendal Manor
Described as a hidden gem and dating from the early 13th century the manor is the oldest property in Northamptonshire. Included in the visit are a large recreated medieval garden, fish ponds and dovecote. The Tithe Barn museum houses artefacts from the archaeological excavations and the history of Nassington. The Manor is an affordable and fun place for families. A children's trail, corn grinding, pottery making in the holidays, quill pen writing, dressing up the farm animals add to the enjoyment. The manor and gardens provide a unique experience for groups, with guided tours of the manor and gardens. Morning coffee or homemade teas are available. Lunch can be provided by prior arrangement.
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Burghley House
Built and mostly designed by William Cecil, Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I, between 1555 and 1587, the main part of the House has 35 major rooms on the ground and first floors.
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Elton Hall and Gardens
The Hall has been home to the Proby family since 1660. It is an enchanting house which has evolved throughout the centuries. Every room contains magnificent treasures, from late 15th century Old Masters to Reynolds, Constable and remarkable Victorian painters such as Millais and Alma Tadema. Each generation has collected books and there are three libraries containing over 10,000 books. One of the most remarkable is Henry VIII’s prayer book with inscriptions by him and his three children. The garden has been lovingly restored over the last 35 years with mature topiary, a Gothic Orangery and billowing flower borders set between immaculately cut hedges.
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Dunham Massey Hall
A house filled with treasures and stories, an ancient deer park and a garden for all seasons. Dunham's Lost Years: a Victorian Tale of Love and Abandonment. See the House transformed to revisit its Victorian past. Meet the 7th Earl and his new wife, skilled circus performer Catharine Cox. See their story of love, status and scandal played out throughout the House and discover how they altered the course of Dunham's history forever. The plantsman's garden, one of the finest in the North West, is a tranquil oasis with something to delight in all seasons. The herd of fallow deer wander amongst the tree-lined avenues in the ancient Deer Park. The Park is also home to the fully restored 400-year-old working sawmill powered by overshot water.
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Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery
Located in one of the city's most historic buildings, Peterborough Museum has a wealth of stories to fascinate and enthral all the family. There are some amazing objects and interactive displays for all ages. The collections comprise over 200,000 items of great national and international importance. " Explore the historic building and its story: from private house to hospital and museum. Go inside the original Victorian Operating Theatre to learn about the grisly history of surgery. " Visit an underwater world! See the internationally important collection of fossils of Jurassic sea-monsters and find out more about the creatures that swam in our prehistoric seas over 150 million years ago. " Discover the story of the world's first prisoner of war camp, built 200 years ago during the Napoleonic Wars. See inside one of the cells and view the incredibly intricate items made by the French prisoners. " Learn about the story of Peterborough, from prehistory to the present. Come face-to-face with Britain's oldest murder victim, see Roman and Saxon treasures, look inside a Victorian railway cottage and clock in to find out what Peterborough companies have made over the last century.
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Ordsall Hall
Ordsall Hall is Salford's 'hidden gem'! Dating back over 600 years, it is one of the region's finest examples of an Elizabethan black and white half-timbered manor-house. Wander back through time soaking up the atmosphere of our fully-furnished Great Hall and Star Chamber Bedroom. Get the low-down on Tudor lifestyles; maybe reminisce in our Victorian showcase and kitchen; or unearth the wealth of new discoveries to be made in our exciting and informative family events and exhibitions programme. It's all happening at Ordsall Hall!
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Key Theatre
Situated in Peterborough's city centre the Key Theatre brings great entertainment to the area with the theatre programme made up of 'home-grown' productions, national touring shows, local community productions and a full programme of one-off concerts. Also part of the Key Theatre is ‘Riva’ the fabulous restaurant offering excellent food, plus views of the Nene embankment, making this a stunning setting for city-centre dining. The Key’s pantomimes are renowned throughout the region for their quality and traditional sense of good, clean, family fun. And with over 30 years of experience, it’s no wonder that thousands of children have grown up enjoying panto at the Key and many now bring their own families too!
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Peterborough Cathedral
With one of the most dramatic West Fronts in the country, an extraordinary creation of medieval architecture, it would be easy for the interior to be an anticlimax, but it is not. The dramatic Romanesque interior is little altered since its completion 800 years ago and the whole building has recently undergone cleaning and restoration following the dramatic fire of November 2001. The Cathedral is a great place to visit for all ages. You can download an interactive trail with augmented reality animations for mobile phones and tablets (search for Gamar Ltd in your app store, then Peterborough Cathedral Trail), explorer backpacks designed for smaller children and an activity book for older children. With over 1350 years of Christian worship on the site, this is a treasure-house of religious and historic artefacts. Highlights of any visit include Saxon carvings from the earlier buildings on this site, the unique painted nave ceiling, amazing fan vaulting in the 'new' building, elaborately carved Victorian Choir stalls and the burial place of two queens, Katharine of Aragon and Mary Queen of Scots. In the Cathedral Visitor Centre there is a fascinating timeline of objects that tell the story of the site from Roman times to the present day, and a model showing how the abbey was built in medieval times. The abbey was closed in 1539 on the orders of Henry VIII, but instead of being demolished, as so many monasteries were, it was re-launched as the Cathedral of a brand new diocese in 1541 and is still the seat of the Bishop of Peterborough and mother church for the diocese which covers Northamptonshire, Rutland and much of Peterborough.