08 August, 2006

St Albans, Hertfordshire

Row of six Alms Houses in St Albans. Built after 1627.
St Albans was founded by the Romans two thousand years ago on the site of an Iron Age settlement. That's quite some continuity. It's Roman name was Verularium and it was the third largest Roman city in England. It is only about 25 miles from the centre of London.
These Alms Houses were built to house the poor by Roger Pemberton, High Sheriff of Hertfordshire. He had accidently killed a poor widow with a bow and arrow and this was his way of atoning. If you have good eyesight you may be able to make out an arrow sticking up above the doorway. (To get a perfect picture I would have had to stand in the middle of the very busy road!). In his will he bequeathed some of his land for these homes to be built upon. The amazing thing is that today, nearly five hundred years later, they are still being used to house the indigent poor. They are the oldest brick built dwellings in St Albans which is an extremely interesting historical town.


Blogger jim said...

Incredible story, things have a way of getting done, what?

Incredible continuity too, Romans roaming everywhere. That continuity was first realized by myself in Europe, in Germany in the old Cloisters, walled cities, really great but ignored Altar Paintings, I saw many out of the way, off the beaten path.

Age is really great, offers many riches.

Friday, August 11, 2006  
Blogger Rob said...

I used to live near St. Albans. I have visited Verulamium. I never knew it was the third largest town though.

Sunday, August 13, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

Hello Don. Thanks for visiting.
London was the largest Roman town followed by Cirencester (about 110 miles west of London) then St Albans

Sunday, August 13, 2006  
Blogger Rob said...

Thanks. So the Romans favoured the South East too!
Incidentally my name is Rob. You are getting me confused with Don.

Sunday, August 13, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

Sorry Rob, just a typo. I had been reading a comment from Don just before!

Sunday, August 13, 2006  
Blogger dumbdodi said...

I have been to St Albans few times, hertfordshire is beautiful

Monday, August 21, 2006  

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