Rack and Ruin

The town of St Albans dates back to Roman times (when it was called Verulamium), so there are some interesting ruins. The ruins above are part of the Roman town wall and are situated in Verulamium Park overlooking the lake. The ruins below are from a 16th century manor house, built on the site of the 12th century Sopwell Nunnery.

No Snoring Aloud

We also liked some of the details inside St Michael’s Church in St Albans. The wooden pulpit above dates from late 16th or early 17th century and has all mod cons, including an hour glass to ensure the sermon doesn’t go on for too long.

There is also a 17th century monument to the statesman/scientist Francis Bacon. He is supposedly relaxing, but looks amusingly like he is sleeping through the sermon.

Shoplifting is a Sin

This is Saint Alban’s shrine in St Albans Cathedral. It reportedly contains a shoulder blade from the saint. Nearby there is this watching loft (below), from which monks and townspeople kept watch over the shrine. Presumably they didn’t want pilgrims to take away a few lucky souvenirs. It dates from about 1400 and is the only medieval wooden watching loft in Britain.