A Little Further Afield – The Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban

A trip to St Alban’s may well start with a desire to visit the mighty cathedral – the building is the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in Britain and houses the shrine of England’s first martyr.

And there is much to see. There are a number of well preserved medieval wall paintings most notably by the 13th century monk Walter of Colchester. The medieval wooden Watching Loft, that allowed monks and townspeople to keep watch over St Alban’s Shrine, was built around 1400 and survives today (it’s the only surviving example in Britain).

There are modern delights too. The colourful Nave Statues were sculpted by Ron Young and installed in the niches of the medieval nave screen in 2015. They represent the continuing development of the cathedral and a willingness by its caretakers to embrace its role as a modern place of worship.

There are free guided tours available everyday providing an introduction to the history of the building, sight of the main items of interest and an explanation of the Cathedral’s ministry both past and present. They typically take about an hour. All donations for tours are gratefully received.

If you are looking for a talk for your group or organisation a presenter can be booked to deliver ‘St Alban’s Abbey – the First 1000 Years’. This fascinating talk covers the history and architecture of St Alban’s Cathedral, both inside and outside.

A visit is very worthwhile, especially as St Alban’s has much to offer besides the cathedral – whether you prefer a spot of shopping or investigating the Roman remains of Verulanium.

There is a comprehensive website:
Journey Time from Royston By Car: 45mins
Cost: Free