"St Albans - Roman Verulamium" Top 5 Page for this destination St Albans by Willettsworld

St Albans Travel Guide: 184 reviews and 449 photos

St Albans is a small city that is located about 20 miles north of London in the county of Hertfordshire and is easily accessible by train and by car. The city's history stretches back more than 2000 years as it was once inhabited by the Celtic Catuvellauni tribe who had a settlement at Prae Hill, a mile or so to the west, and their capital in the nearby town of Wheathampstead. But the city is most famous for being the third largest city in Roman Britain when it was named Verulamium. The Roman settlement was granted the rank of municipium around AD 50, meaning its citizens had all the rights of a citizen of Rome. It had a forum, basilica and a theatre, most of which were destroyed during two fires, one in AD 155 and the other around AD 250. Remains of the theatre can still be viewed today along with parts of the city walls and a hypocaust (Roman central heating system). The Roman occupation lasted until the 4th century AD but their legacy is still being found to this day as thousands of exhibits have been found and are now displayed in the city’s excellent Verulamium Museum.

The modern city takes its name from Alban, a citizen of Verulamium who was condemned to death in the 3rd century for sheltering a Christian priest who converted him to Christianity, and who became the first British Christian martyr. His remains can be found in the city’s wonderful cathedral that was built between 1077 and 1115.

St Albans also has several other notable buildings such as the Abbey Gateway, next to the cathedral, built in 1365; the only remaining medieval clock tower in the country built between 1403 and 1412; the charming little church of St Michael dating from the 10th century and the Ye Olde Fighting Cocks Inn which claims to be the oldest in England. The city exudes charm and character and so makes for an excellent day out if you’re visiting London.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Wonderful historic buildings, Roman remains, museums, cathedral, churches, great market,
  • Last visit to St Albans: Jun 2006
  • Intro Updated Jun 26, 2006
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Reviews (41)

Comments (3)

  • BertieB's Profile Photo
    Jan 30, 2008 at 1:38 AM

    Well worth seeing. Sadly it is housed in the world's ugliest building.

  • St_Vincent's Profile Photo
    Jun 30, 2007 at 5:25 AM

    Excellent page with good information for visitors. I go to St Albans quite often myself but have learned about some new places from your pages. Cheers, Clive

  • uglyscot's Profile Photo
    Jul 5, 2006 at 8:25 AM

    My last visit to St Albans was in about 1953. All I remember was the theatre, the museum , a section of the Roman Road, and the abbey. Your page has expanded my knowledge, and I feel it's time for a second visit.

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