It might sound a bit much to have a post about St Albans, when I’ve already blogged about the cathedral, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, an 8th century pub. I also mentioned on my other blog about the crockery I found in a antiques shop. But, all those posts have plenty of pictures, so a new post dedicated specifically to St Albans was needed. I picked only 15 pictures from St Albans, and it was hard, as the day was amazing and I had so many beautiful pictures from the park and the city.
The city is in the commuter belt, north of London. It has an impressive history, started as Verulamium, a Roman city. During the Roman era, Verulamium was a very important city. Within the city it had a forum, a basilica, and a theatre. In the park there is a free museum where the remains of a mosaic can be seen.
I think it’s fantastic that the mosaic is still visible and with all these details. Underneath it there is a hypocaust, or central heating in modern terms.
The mosaic was for one room at a Roman house that was 60m long. It had 30 rooms on two storeys, and it dates back to 180 CE. There were other similar houses in Verulamium, after a fire destroyed the wooden buildings. The mosaic is made with around 220,000 small pieces of natural stone. Because it’s so large it might mean that the owner was an aristocrat or a senior official.
In the park there is also a part of the old Roman wall. It’s quite high, and lovely to see. The park is wonderful, there is a beautiful lake with wildlife. There is a car park near the Verulamium museum that is cheap. I would like to visit that roman museum next time I’m in St. Albans.
From the park to the city centre is a lovely walk that takes around 15 minutes. This is the Fleur de Lys pub. John, King of France, was detained here in 1356, in a previous house. The current building was built in the 1420 – 1440, used by the ones attending the local market.
The clock tower was built in 1403 – 1412. It contains a large curfew bell dating from 1335.
In front of the tower a cross would have been. It was called the Eleanor Cross, because on 28th November 1290, Queen’s Eleanor body was kept here for a night, on the way to Lincoln where she is buried. In 1701 the cross was demolished.
The great gateway of the monastery. It was built in the 1360s. Besieged in 1381 by Insurgents in the Peasans’ Revolt. The third printing press in England was housed there in the 1479. From 1553 to 1869 it was a prison. And, from 1871, it is part of St Albans school.
The cathedral is stunning. And, besides the features one can expect, there are unique things, like a medieval wooden watching loft and paintings on the walls that date back to the 13th century.
This is the pub I blogged about, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks. It is fab, so make sure you read my review and do stop for a meal/drink if you are in St. Albans.
There are many other things to see in the city, it’s a place I’m going to visit again.