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St Albans Cathedral > IMG 9688
This blog briefly describes the origins of the City of St Albans and the beautiful Cathedral on which the City is founded.

Alban was Britainís first Christian Martyr and was originally a Roman soldier based at the nearby encampment of Verulamium. He converted to Christianity after hearing the teachings of a local priest named Amphibalus.
A period of roman persecution led soldiers to search for priests and Alban, after having assisted the priest to escape by exchanging cloaks, was arrested and condemned to death.

Alban was beheaded at the top of a nearby hill and legend has it that the executioners eyes dropped out as the axe fell. Albanís head is reputed to have rolled down the hill and at the spot where it came to rest, a spring of water appeared. The spring became a place of healing and a church and shrine were founded on this spot. The hill was aptly named Holy-well Hill and the road exists today as does the water spring. Alban was probably buried in the Roman cemetery. Around 800AD the original church became a Benedictine monestary. Work commenced in 1077AD to rebuild a much larger Abbey. This was at the location of the present cathedral. It was built to a Norman style and the original square tower can still be seen. Nicholas Breakspear, the only English Pope there has been, was a novice at the Abbey.

After the dissolution of the Monastaries, the Abbey was neglected for 200 years. In 1689, Royal grants and public subscriptions enabled restoration and Lord Grimthorpe (who designed Big Benís clock mechanism) donated much of the £130,000 cost.

This iconic place of worship has the longest nave in Britain and Robert Runcie was Bishop of St Albans from 1970 to 1980 before becoming Archbishop of Canterbury. The shrine to St Alban is open to visitors at St Albans Cathedral and has been voted as one of the UKís top 5 spiritual places in a poll by the BBC. Further reading can be found at www.stalbanscathedral.org

I hope this blog and the photos will inspire you to visit. If you like the blog please click on the Ďlikeí or nominate a +K.

IMG 9688 
 Another view of the Shrine 
 Keywords: Hertfordshire landmarks. St Albans Cathedral.
image reference:
IMG 9688

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Another view of the Shrine
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© Wendy Cunnington LRPS & Ian Griggs ASWPP ABPPA



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