10. St Albans Catherdral

Sunday 28 July 2013

I'm going to be posting about my favourite site in Saint Albans. I am of course talking about the Cathedral! 

  • It did not become a Cathedral until 1877, previously it was a Benedictine Abbey. 
  • It is the second longest Cathedral in the United Kingdom, the first being Winchester Cathedral. 
  • The nave is the longest of all the Cathedrals in England. 
  • You can still see some of the original wall paintings on the walls today. 
  • Three nobles who died during the First Battle of Saint Albans are buried within the Cathedral. They are Edmund Beaufort 1st Duke of Somerset,  Thomas Clifford, 8th Baron de Clifford and Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland (Percy was the son of Henry 'Hotspur' Percy, whom Tottenham Hotspur football club was named after). 
  • A fun 'Did You Know' fact for all of you 'Wars of the Roses' fans.. Edmund and the other Lancastrian lords slain at the battle are thought to be buried beneath the floor of the Lady Chapel within the Cathedral. No one knows for certain if this is in fact true,   as no excavations have ever taken place (and seem unlikely to ever happen), but it is thought that the bodies of the Lancastrian leaders were brought to the Abbey and buried hastily. At least they weren't thrown into a mass pit unlike Richard Woodville and his sons John and Anthony most likely were!). 
  • Other notable burials include Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester - fourth son of King Henry IV.
  • There is a lot of graffiti littered around the pillars and walls inside the Cathedral - my fella likes this one (below) specifically as it has the same surname as him. More recent additions we have noticed have been in pen, which horrified me if I'm honest. Writing on the walls in pen just isn't okay! 

  • The above photo is not mine, credit to Dr Barry Rose. The story behind this ceiling is that in 1485 the Abbot commissioned the ceiling for the Abbey, and unsure of which royal house to side with he hedged his bets and created one with an equal number of red and white roses - ensuring whatever the outcome of the Battle of Bosworth was the ceiling would offend neither future monarch. I think it proved to be very apt considering Henry Tudor took Elizabeth of York as his bride. The original ceiling was replace by a replica in the 1950s, due to the original affected by years of decay and rot. However, the original ceiling actually rests just on top of the replacement. How cool is that, that it's still there? Just protected.
Outfit for today's explorations - Top: Topshop, Skirt: Whistles, Clutch: Whistles, Sunglasses: Rayban, Necklace: Alex Monroe Bumblebee Pendant. 

Afterwards we went for a wander to the Verulamium Museum for some Roman History, but that's a post for another time! 

We also found a local church where gravestones make a path, which I loved! A tad morbid me.. Couldn't resist clearing away the debris from the trees and having a good nose around!

All photos taken by Fella, unless otherwise stated. 
Please do not repost our photographs without crediting back to here.

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