St. Alban's Cathedral, Hertfordshire

Full dedication: Cathedral and Abbey Church of St. Alban
Became a Cathedral in 1877

St. Alban was the first British martyr.  He was a Roman and was martyred in 209 AD.  A monastery was built on the site of his martyrdom in 793 by the Saxons. St. Albans Abbey produced the only English Pope, Nicholas Breakspear (Adrian IV) in the 12th Century. Being so close to London St. Albans was a powerful Abbey right up until the Reformation when it was decomissioned like all the other Abbeys in England, however, it was badly damaged at the time and was allowed to deteriorate more or less naturally.

This didn't stop it becoming the Cathedral for the Diocese in 1877. It was heavily restored by Lord Grimthorpe who saved it from total ruin.  Many parts of the original Saxon monastery remain and the Norman tower is the oldest still intact on an English Cathedral.  It is also blessed with the longest nave of any British Cathedral.

The Shrine of St. Alban was rehallowed in 1993 and is one of England's major pilgrimage sites.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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