The early perpendicular St James Church, Chipping Campden, with an entrance path lined with 12 lime trees to represent 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 the church in its current form. One of the Thousand Best Churches in England, the tower at 36.5m (120ft) can be seen from all appraoch roads into Chipping Campden. To the right of the church is the gatehouse to the walled Campden House built in 1613 to 1620. Only the gatehouse, lodges and the restored banqueting hall remain of the original 4.5 hectares (11 acres) of house and gardens which were mostly burned down in 1645 by the Royalists during the English Civil War to prevent them falling into the hands of the Parliamentarians. The old Court Barn is now a Museum to the Arts & Crafts Movement which moved from London to be based in Chipping Campden in the early 1900's. To the left side of the one way road is a short moat or depression in the grass. This was a cart wheel wash, built about 1830 to clean the wheels of the carts coming into the village from the fields. Opposite the cart dip on the right of the road are the Almshouses. Built in 1612 by Sir Baptist Hicks a wealthy silk merchant (once Mayor of London and First Lord Campden, he had also built Campden House) for 6 poor men and 6 poor women of Chipping Campden.
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.