Oxford and Cambridge, north of London and dating back to the eighteenth century, are England’s renowned university towns. Architecturally, Cambridge is the more interesting of the two because of its variety of building styles ranging from Norman to modern. Not far from Oxford is Bleinheim Palace, home of the first Duke of Marlborough and his heirs. Impressive in its own right, the Palace gained further fame as the birthplace of Winston Churchill.
To the southeast of London is the County of Kent, the garden county. Going east from London on the M 2 is Canterbury, famous for its cathedral. This has been a shrine for centuries. Nearly every high school English class includes some reading of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the fictionalized story of a group of pilgrams on their trip to Canterbury from London about 1390.
The south coast of England has several well-known resort towns Bournemouth, Cowes, Portsmouth, and Eastbourne. Largest and best known is Brighton on the M 23 south of London and also served by fast rail from London. Brighton reflects eighteenth century England when the Prince Regent built Brighton Pavilion as a palace and made Brighton the “in” place. The Pavilion is still a major tourist attraction open to the public.
From Manchester history: Statia has only one town, Oranjestad, divided into a residential Upper Town on the cliff top and the commercial Lower Town along the beach. Manchester Subway Map Despite its small size, Oranjestad was one of the foremost trading centers in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world, dealing in tropical produce, European goods, and African slaves. Undiscriminating multinational trade created political tension in a mercantilist age, however, and Statia changed hands twenty-two times between 1636 and 1816, as France and England tried either to control or to shut down this prosperous Dutch trading hub. While there is evidence of prehistoric settlement on Statia 1,200 years ago, the island was uninhabited when it first was sighted by the Spanish in about 1493. Small, dry, and without a native labor source, Statia held little interest for the Spanish. The first European venture occurred in 1629, when a French expedition tried and failed to establish a permanent colony on Statia. Like the French, the Dutch were looking for footholds in the Caribbean, and, in 1636, the Dutch West India Company established a small, fortified settlement intended to provide agricultural products for the European market. Statia was particularly valued for its defensible size and its location close to two Dutch islands, just over 2 miles from England’s St. Kitts and Nevis and close to the French sugar islands with which Statia eventually conducted most of its trade.