Historic St Albans

June 8th 2016
By: Melanie Hollidge

It is hard to miss the rich history of St Albans. It is amazing to think that this city began about 20 BC when a Celtic tribe built - a 'town' of wooden huts with thatched roofs surrounded by a ditch and an earth rampart. The Roman history of St Albans is more evident today and when the Romans invaded Britain 43 AD they quickly subdued Hertfordshire and took over the Celtic settlement renaming it Verulamium.
Roman St Albans was burned by Boudicca when she led a rebellion against the Romans in 61AD but the town was soon rebuilt and slowly the wooden buildings were replaced with stone ones. Temples were built and a theatre for 6,000 people. Early in the 3rd century the earth ramparts were replaced with stone walls and the town prospered. Alban became the first British Christian martyr and was executed here. The Story goes that Alban lived   in Verulamium sometime during the 3rd or 4th century, when Christians were suffering persecution. Alban met a Christian priest fleeing from his persecutors and sheltered him -he was so impressed with the priest's piety that he converted to Christianity. When his house was searched Alban put on the priest’s cloak and presented himself in place of his guest, he was sentenced to death unless he renounced Christianity. Alban refused and was taken for execution.
Join the crowds in St Albans as the city comes together to celebrate Britain's first saint. The Alban Pilgrimage takes place on Saturday 18th June and is a huge spectacle, as giant carnival puppets tell the story of the man who gave the city its name. Roman chariots, centurions, lions and roses all take their place in the procession from St Peters Church to St Albans Cathedral.
Source: All About St Albans