Sue Vincent treats us to a wonderful tour of St. Albans despite the rain. If you have the chance to visit this historic town take it..
A few years ago, we set out early for a visit to St Albans. The beautiful sky soon clouded over, though, leaving us with a chill and persistent rain. We’d been meaning to visit the town for a long time, knowing that the history and stories associated with the place tied in heavily with many areas of our adventures… not least because of St Alban himself.
Recorded as the first British Christian martyr, the saint was beheaded for his faith in Roman Verulamium, now the town of St Albans. There are many versions of his story and as we had not really researched them before we left, we had only the briefest of outlines. I remembered vaguely that he was a cephalophore, one whose voice had continued after his beheading… and that a spring had welled from the ground where his head had rolled; a common motif in the stories of the saints that seems to tie them to tales older than Christianity.
Our problem with St Albans had been the Romans. There are some wonderful relics of Verulamium preserved there; indeed, Roman stone was used to build much of the later town and the Abbey… but the Romans have not really impinged upon on our adventures. They came, they saw, they conquered… and then they went home.
It is true that their influence on British culture and history, both secular and religious, has been profound, but so far we have not felt the call to look at the interlopers in any great detail, so St Albans had been put on a simmering back burner for quite some time. But the saint’s name had kept on cropping up on our travels and we were having lunch just a few miles away… and, Romans or not, we had pretty much run out of excuses. But we would only have time for the Abbey… Rome would have to wait.
Head over to enjoy the rest of this guided virtual tour and I am sure you will enjoy as much as I did. thanks Sally.