St. Albans


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St. Albans

 

a city in Great Britain, in Hertfordshire. Population, 52,800 (1973). Founded in the eighth century, St. Albans has several old buildings, including a Romanesque church (1077–88, consecrated in 1115) which was partially reconstructed in the 13th and 14th centuries and designated a cathedral in 1877, and St. Michael’s Church (tenth century). Nearby are the ruins of the Roman city of Verulamium, which was the site of an early British town that probably had been founded in the first century B.C., when the Belgae, a Celtic tribe, settled in England. Before it was conquered by the Romans, St. Albans was the chief city of the Catuvellauni, who minted coins there. Seized and burned by the Romans in 60 or 61 A.D., it was later rebuilt and existed until the fifth century. In the late eighth century, monks from a monastery founded in 793 near the destroyed city built structures from stone gathered from the ruins of Verulamium. Partly preserved stone ramparts enclose an area of approximately 800 sq m. Archaeological excavations of the city have uncovered Roman monuments, including a theater and part of a forum built in 79. A museum of Roman antiquities from Verulamium was founded 1929.

REFERENCE

Rivet, A. L. Town and Country in Roman Britain. London, 1958.
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