St Albans


King Harry Lane

2 King Harry. Mitchells & Butlers pub dating from mid-18th century situated at the southern entrance to the city.


St. Albans is built on several hills and stands above the River Ver, near the site of the ancient city of Verulamiam. At the time of the Roman invasion this was a large city fortified by a mud wall surrounded by ditches. In the reign of Nero it became a Municipium and its inhabitants enjoyed the privileges of Roman citizenship. Excavations began in 1930 by The Verulamium Excavation Committee under Mortimer Wheeler, director of the London Museum, and ncovered many Roman artifacts. The city was destroyed in AD60 under Boadicea but within ten years had been developed with a large
Forum, curia and basilica – twice the length of the Norman cathedral. By the end of the century the city had been encircled by a rampart and ditch – which remained unfinished. A smaller wall was put in place two hundred years later.

The site was effectively destroyed as the centre of the town by the Abbots who built their own new town on the modern town centre.

During the Wars of the Roses two battles took place here, the first in 1455 resulting in a Yorkist, and the second in 1461 in a Lancastrian, victory. 

Innocuous White Lead Manufacturing Co. experimental works was that set up in 1885

theatre, the only Roman one in Britain, has been excavated and restored. Semi-circular in shape, it is 180 ft across and provided for 1,600 spectators.

temple, and a mosaic floor, with the Roman form of central heating still intact.


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