Although this isn’t a UNESCO site like Canterbury, this cathedral is pretty old. It was built in 1077–1893. It is the OLDEST continuous Christian worship in Britain. Interesting story of selfless sacrifice to save a friend too. Best part yet? Zero crowd!!!

Totally did not expect from a town with under 200,000 population. The cathedral was a lot larger than I anticipated.

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St Albans Cathedral length measures 167.8m, where as Notre Dame Paris measures 128m

The cathedral is the toast of the town of course. There were other features. I am just really behind with my writing 😛 I’d like to emphasise how temperamental the English weather was (is). I arrived sunny and after my little picnic, it started to drizzle. Thanks.st-albans-cathedral-the-abbey-Hertfordshire-england-0067.JPGLet’s go inside!st-albans-cathedral-the-abbey-Hertfordshire-england-9236I loved it that they didn’t over do restoration. The aged painting looked so much more appropriate. I don’t know why, but I really like the “age gracefully” sort of look in a building. It looks more authentic that way.

Anyone else a sucker for calligraphy? I love doing Gothic calligraphy myself.

st-albans-cathedral-the-abbey-Hertfordshire-england-9239The ceiling was another treasure in here. Look at how beautiful that was?st-albans-cathedral-the-abbey-Hertfordshire-england-9242

Okay, enough of me gasping. Let’s talk about the story of St Albans (in a casual way)…

 

It was early days for Christianity. Albans was a priest. He wanted to save Amphibalus’ life, so he pretending to be him when the authorities came. Needless to say, Albans was executed and became the first Bristish matyr. The year of death is under dispute, but it was believed to be around 300 AD. His grave has been a pilgrim hot spot ever since. Sad ending though. His sacrifice was futile. Amphibalus was eventually found and was purged too. Albans demonstrated selflessness and courage. Both are hallmarks of Christian values, thus the sainthood.

 

Something other point of interest?

This church is shared among ALL Chrisitans i.e. they hold services for Catholic, Lutheran, Anglecan, Methodist etc. I love the sharing spirit!

This Cathedral is right next to a girls’ school which used to be a prison LOL

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Prison turned girls’ school

 

Alrighty, for the ultimate nerd way to explore? There’s free guided tours by the Cathedral!

11.30 Monday to Saturday

14.30 Sunday to Friday

14.00 Saturday

**highlight tour is 13.05 Daily

Before your visit, please double check on their official site for the free tour time

https://www.stalbanscathedral.org/whatson/tours/free-daily-tours

 

Where was I?

St Albans Cathedral, sometimes also known as “The Abbey”

St Albans AL1 1BY, UK

https://www.stalbanscathedral.org/

 

How to get here?

This was an easy reach from London. No need to follow any tour. 23-33min train ride from St Pancras train station (next to Kings’ Cross). For cheaper tickets? See my post on Cheap ways to travel around UK

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I swear it was sunny a moment ago…

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Author

Hi, I am Joyce. 30+ living in Paris. Laughs a lot. Rooibos tea. Appreciate little things. Explore places. Fighting beauty OCD.

9 Comments

  1. Nice post. Great photos. I did like this post but…please…we all know about the unpredictability of British weather. Bring a brollie…every where you go. Cheers.

  2. The rest of the town is pretty interesting too. The park contains Roman ruins and there’s museum dedicated to the Roman history of the area. The farmer’s market on Sundays is also worth a look and there’s good shops and restaurants in the newer part of the town. I live nearby and spent a lot of time as a kid climbing on the old Roman ruins. The cathedral is lovely, and the views from the hill are great.

    • You climbed in the ruins?!?! haha fun kids time.

      Yes, absolutely. I agree. I did visit the rest of town. I thought it will be better to do a separate post on that, else there’ll be too many photos. Thank you for dropping by 😀

  3. The manuscripts are always so intricately decorated – I am amazed at the patience and skill in producing them.
    I agree with you when they don’t overdo with restoration – it’s so jarring when you go inside an old structure and all the paintings are super bright and clean – looks out of place.

    • Patience is the key… thoughts on ink smear when you’re about to finish?

      Yes, exactly! Aged look is way more natural looking.

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