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The early perpendicular St James Church, Chipping Campden, the entrance path lined by 12 lime trees, planted in 1770 and representing the 12 apostles. There was a Norman church on this site prior to 1180. This was developed and added to during the following 300 years to give its current form. The peal of 8 bells are dated 1618 to 1737 and will at once explain the name of the Eight Bells Inn in nearby Church Street. It is One of the Thousand Best Churches in England, the tower at 36.5m (120ft) can be seen from all approach roads into Chipping Campden. The clock mechanism is dated 1695, replaced by a modern movement in 1962. The church also contains altar hangings and vestments circa 1500 and a cope (long mantle or cloak) circa 1400. Within the South Chapel is the tomb of Sir Baptist Hicks a wealthy silk merchant (once Mayor of London and First Lord Campden) born 1551, died in 1629. The falcon (or eagle) lectern is mediaeval, possibly 15 century Flemish.
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights. In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. Text by Steve Smith.