St Albans

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St Albans

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Splendid St Albans Medieval and Roman Walk

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Welcome to the enchanting tapestry of St Albans, a city that whispers tales of Roman glory and medieval majesty through its cobblestone streets and ancient structures.

Let’s turn back the clock to around 50 AD, when this vibrant city was known as Verulamium, a Roman settlement boasting grandeur that would make even Julius Caesar raise an eyebrow. Verulamium was the real deal – a bustling hub with theaters echoing laughter, forums buzzing with debate, and Roman bathhouses where citizens soaked away their worries.

Fast forward to the 3rd century, and meet the legendary St. Alban. This chap wasn’t your average Joe; he sheltered a Christian priest, sealing his fate as Britain’s first Christian martyr. The city, grateful for his sacrifice, adopted his name – St Albans. Imagine a Roman superhero origin story, but with togas instead of capes.

Now, let’s step into Verulamium Park, a place where the echoes of Roman footsteps still linger. Ruins of ancient walls and an amphitheater transport you back in time, letting you stroll through the very stones where Roman citizens once walked. It’s like unlocking a secret level in a historical video game.

Fast forward again to the medieval extravaganza. The Normans rode into town in the 11th century, shaking things up like knights in shining armor. St Albans Cathedral took centre stage, a colossal masterpiece soaring into the sky. Pilgrims flocked here for spiritual solace, and the cathedral became a symbol of medieval splendour.

The medieval market town grew organically around the cathedral, turning St Albans into a bustling centre of commerce. Narrow streets wind through the city like a labyrinth, each one telling a story of traders haggling, bards singing, and knights clinking their armour. It’s a living medieval fair every day.

Zoom in on the 19th century, where the industrial revolution meets medieval charm. The arrival of the railway transformed St Albans, connecting it to the hustle and bustle of London. Victorian architecture blended seamlessly with the medieval structures, creating a cityscape that’s both timeless and dynamic.

And oh, the Clock Tower! Standing tall since the 15th century, it’s not just a timepiece; it’s a storyteller. Every chime echoes through the streets, recounting the passage of time and the city’s rich history. It’s like having a conversation with the past every hour.

In the heart of St Albans today, you’ll find echoes of its medieval and Roman past harmoniously coexisting. The Maltings Arts Theatre, once a hub for medieval trade, now hosts performances that bridge the gap between history and modernity. The city has become a living canvas, where the strokes of medieval and Roman influences paint a vibrant picture for all to admire.

So, whether you’re wandering through the ruins of Verulamium Park or exploring the medieval maze of St Albans’ streets, you’re stepping into a living history book where the chapters of Roman and medieval eras unfold with each footfall. It’s a journey through time, and St Albans is your captivating guide.

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Rather Splendid London Walks Book

In this book of 20 walks, I will show you some of the fun, interesting, weird and ridiculous things I’ve noticed on my travels around London