St Albans has been a settlement for a long time. It was settled by the Celtic Catuvellauni tribe roughly a mile to the west at Prae Hill. Close to the current center of town, a Roman town called Verulamium, which was the second largest Roman Britain town, was built along the River Ver valley. After the Romans left the priory began to be called St. Albans and the towns name was changed by the Mercian Angles to Verlamchester.
On a hill to the east of this is were the medieval town grew around the St. Albans Abbey's Benedictine foundation. In the place is where the first British Christian martyr, St. Alban was beheaded some years before 324 AD. The Abby was once England's principle abbey and is were the Magna Carta's first draft was written. The Abbey Church is now officially called St. Albans Cathedral but locals refer to it just as The Abbey. In 1553 it was declared by the people as the parish church.
The priory was then dissolved in 1539. In 1877 it was turned into the cathedral by City Charter. There is some evidence that the original location may have been higher on the hill than where the current cathedral is located, which was built in 1077. The public school. St. Albans School, is located west of the Abbey includes the Abbey Gateway from the 14th Century. The school was started in 948 AD and is the only English speaking school to have had a Pope attend there as a child, Pope Adrian IV.
Abbey Mill Lane is the road that goes between the school and the Abbey. At the end of the park in St. Michael's Village, on the River Ver, is were Kinsgbury watermill is located, it is a museum now and has a waffle house attached to it. Before the 20th Century St. Alban's growth was slow due it being mostly a rural market town, a site of pilgrimage as well as the first coaching stop on the road to and from London for over nights stays. This is the reason there are so many inns that date back to the Tudor times.
Dialling the UK from Abroad
To dial the telephone and fax numbers shown from outside the UK, dial your international access code (check with your telecoms provider if you do not know what to dial), then 44, then the rest of the number except
the zero shown in brackets.Guest House & Hotel Owners
If you run a hotel, guest house or bed & breakfast and would like to be included in 4Hotels.co.uk's Hotel & Guest House Directory, please e-mail email@example.com