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Ben E King †Stand By Me

A rather important neighbour complained, however. The new houses were built directly behind a large and impressive house overlooking Horse Guards. Its occupier, the Countess of Lichfield, daughter of Charles II, was less than pleased with the emergence of the unwelcome terrace behind. She complained to her father, who wrote back with advice:

Ben E King – Stand By Me

This cabinet took total responsibility for the war, and on 3 occasions it sat as the Imperial War Cabinet when prime ministers from the Dominions attended. It provided a vigour previously lacking from the war effort.

We were dining in the garden-room of Number 10 when the usual night raid began. The steel shutters had been closed. Several loud explosions occurred around us at no great distance, and presently a bomb fell, perhaps a hundred yards away, on the Horse Guards Parade, making a great deal of noise.

A reinforced shelter was constructed under the house for up to 6 people, for use by those working in the house. Even George VI sought shelter there when he dined with Churchill in the Garden Rooms. Although bombs caused further damage to Number 10, there were no direct hits to the house, allowing Churchill to continue to work and eat there right up until the end of the war.

The architect Raymond Erith was selected to supervise the work, which was expected to take 2 years and cost 500,000. It ended up taking a year longer than planned and costing double the original estimate. The foundations proved to be so rotten that concrete underpinning was required on a massive scale.

Structural issues were among the first to be tackled, and a phased exterior repair project was launched to address failing lead guttering, cracking brickwork and other structural issues. The distinctive black colourwash was also renewed, as it had faded away in many areas to reveal the yellow brickwork beneath. During the course of the works it was discovered that the façade of 11 Downing Street was unstable, and had to be secured using 225 stainless steel pins. All work was carried out in consultation with English Heritage.

The longer Chinese name "Ten-Thousand Mile Long Wall" (t 萬里長城, s 万里长城, Wànlǐ Chángchéng) came from Sima Qian's description of it in the Records, though he did not name the walls as such. The AD 493 Book of Song quotes the frontier general Tan Daoji referring to "the long wall of 10,000 miles", closer to the modern name, but the name rarely features in pre-modern times otherwise.[12] The traditional Chinese mile (里, lǐ) was an often irregular distance that was intended to show the length of a standard village and varied with terrain but was usually standardized at distances around a third of an English mile (540 m).[13] However, this use of "ten-thousand" (wàn) is figurative in a similar manner to the Greek and English myriad and simply means "innumerable" or "immeasurable".[14]

The current English name evolved from accounts of "the Chinese wall" from early modern European travelers.[20] By the nineteenth century,[20] "the Great Wall of China" had become standard in English and French, although other European languages such as German continue to refer to it as "the Chinese wall".[14]

The Chinese were already familiar with the techniques of wall-building by the time of the Spring and Autumn period between the 8th and 5th centuries BC.[22] During this time and the subsequent Warring States period, the states of Qin, Wei, Zhao, Qi, Han, Yan, and Zhongshan[23][24] all constructed extensive fortifications to defend their own borders. Built to withstand the attack of small arms such as swords and spears, these walls were made mostly of stone or by stamping earth and gravel between board frames.

The Great Wall concept was revived again under the Ming in the 14th century,[30] and following the Ming army's defeat by the Oirats in the Battle of Tumu. The Ming had failed to gain a clear upper hand over the Mongol tribes after successive battles, and the long-drawn conflict was taking a toll on the empire. The Ming adopted a new strategy to keep the nomadic tribes out by constructing walls along the northern border of China. Acknowledging the Mongol control established in the Ordos Desert, the wall followed the desert's southern edge instead of incorporating the bend of the Yellow River.

Soon after Europeans reached Ming China by ship in the early 16th century, accounts of the Great Wall started to circulate in Europe, even though no European was to see it for another century. Possibly one of the earliest European descriptions of the wall and of its significance for the defense of the country against the "Tartars" (i.e. Mongols) may be the one contained in João de Barros's 1563 Asia.[44] Other early accounts in Western sources include those of Gaspar da Cruz, Bento de Goes, Matteo Ricci, and Bishop Juan González de Mendoza,[45] the latter in 1585 describing it as a "superbious and mightie work" of architecture, though he had not seen it.[46] In 1559, in his work "A Treatise of China and the Adjoyning Regions", Gaspar da Cruz offers an early discussion of the Great Wall.[45] Perhaps the first recorded instance of a European actually entering China via the Great Wall came in 1605, when the Portuguese Jesuit brother Bento de Góis reached the northwestern Jiayu Pass from India.[47] Early European accounts were mostly modest and empirical, closely mirroring contemporary Chinese understanding of the Wall,[48] although later they slid into hyperbole,[49] including the erroneous but ubiquitous claim that the Ming walls were the same ones that were built by the first emperor in the 3rd century BC.[49]

A formal definition of what constitutes a "Great Wall" has not been agreed upon, making the full course of the Great Wall difficult to describe in its entirety.[51] The defensive lines contain multiple stretches of ramparts, trenches and ditches, as well as individual fortresses.

At the Western Wall Plaza, the total height of the Wall from its foundation is estimated at 105 feet (32 m), with the above-ground section standing approximately 62 feet (19 m) high. The Wall consists of 45 stone courses, 28 of them above ground and 17 underground.[18] The first seven above-ground layers are from the Herodian period. This section of wall is built from enormous meleke limestone blocks, possibly quarried at either Zedekiah's Cave[19] situated under the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, or at Ramat Shlomo[20] 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) northwest of the Old City. Most of them weigh between 2 and 8 short tons (1.8 and 7.3 tonnes) each, but others weigh even more, with one extraordinary stone located slightly north of Wilson's Arch[21] measuring 13.55 metres (44.5 ft) long, 3.3 metres (11 ft) high,[22] approximately 1.8 to 2.5 metres (5.9 to 8.2 ft) deep,[23][24] and weighing between 250 and 300 tonnes (280 and 330 short tons).[24] Each of these ashlars is framed by fine-chiseled borders. The margins themselves measure between 5 and 20 centimetres (2 and 8 in) wide, with their depth measuring 1.5 centimetres (0.59 in). In the Herodian period, the upper 10 metres (33 ft) of wall were 1 metre (39 in) thick and served as the outer wall of the double colonnade of the Temple platform. This upper section was decorated with pilasters, the remainder of which were destroyed when the Byzantines reconquered Jerusalem from the Persians in 628.[21]

Several Jewish authors of the 10th and 11th centuries write about the Jews resorting to the Western Wall for devotional purposes.[34][5] Ahimaaz relates that Rabbi Samuel ben Paltiel (980-1010) gave money for oil at "the sanctuary at the Western Wall."[35][36][37] Benjamin of Tudela (1170) wrote "In front of this place is the Western Wall, which is one of the walls of the Holy of Holies. This is called the Gate of Mercy, and hither come all the Jews to pray before the Wall in the open court." The account gave rise to confusion about the actual location of Jewish worship, and some suggest that Benjamin in fact referred to the Eastern Wall along with its Gate of Mercy.[38][39] While Nahmanides (d. 1270) did not mention a synagogue near the Western Wall in his detailed account of the temple site,[40] shortly before the Crusader period a synagogue existed at the site.[41] Obadiah of Bertinoro (1488) states "the Westen Wall, part of which is still standing, is made of great, thick stones, larger than any I have seen in buildings of antiquity in Rome or in other lands."[42]

In 1517, the Turkish Ottomans under Selim I conquered Jerusalem from the Mamluks who had held it since 1250. Selim's son, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, ordered the construction of an imposing wall to be built around the entire city, which still stands today. Various folktales relate Suleiman's quest to locate the Temple site and his order to have the area "swept and sprinkled, and the Western Wall washed with rosewater" upon its discovery.[47] At the time, Jews received official permission to worship at the site and Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan built an oratory for them there.[48][49] In 1625 organised prayers at the Wall are mentioned for the first time.[50]

In 1926 an effort was made to lease the Maghrebi waqf, which included the wall, with the plan of eventually buying it.[68] Negotiations were begun in secret by the Jewish judge Gad Frumkin, with financial backing from American millionaire Nathan Straus.[68] The chairman of the Palestine Zionist Executive, Colonel F. H. Kisch, explained that the aim was "quietly to evacuate the Moroccan occupants of those houses which it would later be necessary to demolish" to create an open space with seats for aged worshippers to sit on.[68] However, Straus withdrew when the price became excessive and the plan came to nothing.[69] The Va'ad Leumi, against the advice of the Palestine Zionist Executive, demanded that the British expropriate the wall and give it to the Jews, but the British refused.[68]

In 1922, a Status Quo agreement issued by the mandatory authority forbade the placing of benches or chairs near the Wall. The last occurrence of such a ban was in 1915, but the Ottoman decree was soon retracted after intervention of the Chacham Bashi. In 1928 the District Commissioner of Jerusalem, Edward Keith-Roach, acceded to an Arab request to implement the ban. This led to a British officer being stationed at the Wall making sure that Jews were prevented from sitting. Nor were Jews permitted to separate the sexes with a screen. In practice, a flexible modus vivendi had emerged and such screens had been put up from time to time when large numbers of people gathered to pray. 041b061a72


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