7 Places to See Historical and Cultural Links Between England and the USA

Thursday 19 September 2019

England and the USA share more than just a common language. Both countries share similarities historically and culturally, linking regions, and even specific addresses between the two countries.

Whether to trace back ancestral roots, pay homage to Americans who served in World War II or to walk on the streets that prominent US historical figures walked on, each region has something to offer.

Here are the destinations to visit to learn more about the English and American bond.

The D-Day Story, Portsmouth

©Visit Hampshire

This museum tells the story of D-Day, the historic day critical to ending World War II, in three parts - Preparation, D- Day and the Battle of Normandy, and Legacy and the Overlord Embroidery. The story is brought to life through hands on exhibitions, film clips, and over 10,000 artifacts.

Start or end the visit at The D-Day Cafe with a cup of coffee, tea or milkshake and a range of homemade sandwiches and pastries. And take home a D-Day Story Guidebook or souvenir at the Gift Shop.

The Mayflower Steps, Plymouth

©Visit Plymouth

While walking along the Plymouth Barbican waterfront, stop by The Mayflower Steps for a photo opp and to commemorate the Pilgrims’ journey aboard The Mayflower across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World, which set sail in 1620. See the memorial plaques beside the steps and the Doric columns built in 1934.

Geevor Tin Mine, Cornwall

In the 19th and 20th centuries, 25,000 residents made the voyage over to America from Cornwall. Many were miners from the mining areas of Cornwall, 20,000 acres of which is preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

One of these Cornish Mining World Heritage Sites is Geevor Tin Mine, the largest preserved mine sites located on the western tip of Cornwall. Visit to experience an 18th century underground tour, learn about Cornish mining at the on-site Hard Rock Museum and walk the Cornish coastline.

Chelmsford Cathedral, Essex

© @FionnDavenport

Thomas Hooker, founder of the state of Connecticut, lived in Essex and preached at Chelmsford Cathedral. The building itself is a mix of 15th, 19th and 20th century design. Inside, admire the stained glass windows marking Anglo-American friendship, with US emblems featuring the Department of the Air Force  and the Washington family coat of arms.

Emmanuel College, Cambridge

© @FionnDavenport

Emmanuel College Cambridge boasts of well-known alumni, one of which was the co-founder of America’s Harvard University, John Harvard. One third of the first 100 settlers in Massachusetts Bay were graduates of Emmanuel College. Most notably is Thomas Sheppard, a Puritan minister who established the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Take a guided tour of the University of Cambridge to gain access to some of the colleges. See Emmanuel College chapel, designed by Sir Christopher Wren and features a plaque to John Harvard, the college gardens and spot a duck found in the college ponds.

Wollaton Hall, Nottinghamshire

©Visit Notinghamshire

Wollaton Hall, a 16th century stately home, houses a Natural History Museum and is surrounded by a park where it’s possible to catch a glimpse of herds of red and fallow deer that roam free. This stately estate has a connection to the US - it was the site where men of the US 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division assembled before Operation Overload and Operation Market Garden.

Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucester

©Marketing Gloucester

Gloucester Cathedral has been an important center of Christian worship since 678-9 AD. The cathedral was home to John Stafford Smith, who composed the music for the US national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.

With over 1,000 years of history to discover, the cathedral is open for visitors to take a variety of guided tours including one for music, the library, the tower for the best view of Gloucestershire and a tour where a knowledgeable guide can answer questions about architecture and even point out the spot where Harry Potter was filmed.

 

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