Situated 22 miles north of central London in the Metropolitan green belt, St Albans is Hertfordshire's oldest town which has been shaped by 2000 years of human occupation.
After the Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43, it developed as the city of Verulamium, becoming one of the largest towns in Roman Britain. Built mainly of wood, it was destroyed during the revolt of Boudicca in AD 60-61 but was rebuilt to feature many impressive town houses and public buildings. The town was then encircled by gated walls in AD 275.
The Abbey Church became St Albans Cathedral when the City Charter was granted in 1877. There is evidence that the original site was somewhat higher up the hill than the present building and there had certainly been successive abbeys before the current building was started in 1077.
The 1920s and 30s saw the development of the electrical, aircraft and printing industries which were further stimulated during the Second World War. It also became home to Ryder and Son seed merchants, and Samuel Ryder later founded the Ryder cup golfing trophy.
Today, St Albans has continued to develop as a popular commuter town. There are two railway stations; the City Station is about half a mile east of the city centre with trains to Luton Airport, London and Gatwick. The Abbey Station is less than a mile south of the centre with a service between St Albans and Watford Junction on the West Coast mainline. London Heathrow Airport is around a 30 to 45 minute motorway journey.
A street market is held in Market Place and St Peter's Street on Wednesdays and Saturdays, as it has been for many hundreds of years. There is also a farmers' market, on the second Sunday of every month.
St Albans Districts
St Albans city centre is full of historical and attractive architecture. Alongside the usual array of shops, there is a street market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and a farmers' market on the second Sunday of every month. A serviced apartment in central St Albans would be ideal for those who want to be in the heart of the action.
The Cathedral Quarter is home to the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban – the oldest site of Christian worship in Britain. For centuries, pilgrims have visited the Cathedral to honour the burial ground of the first martyr. A Cathedral Quarter serviced apartment would be perfect for anyone who wants to be close to this historically significant building.
Townsend is a leafy residential area situated north of the town centre. Just one mile away, Batchwood Golf and Tennis centre provide locals and visitors with an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, squash courts, a gym and leisure facilities.
Verulamium Park offers over 100 acres of parkland and a beautiful ornamental lake built on the site of the Roman city, Verulamium. In Roman times, the city was surrounded by a large wall with four gated access points and, today, the remains of the London Gate are still visible to the park’s visitors.