HISTORIC ST ALBANS - A CITY REVEALED
St Albans, the unheralded jewel of Hertfordshire, a 1000 year old city at the heart of English history. Tour well known and lesser known sites of the City – hear about revolting peasants, martyrs, heretics, monasteries and monks. Find out what is unique to St Albans and see its medieval clock tower and parish memorials.
FISHPOOL STREET – RAGS & RICHES
Journey from St Michaels, the village within the Roman walls, taking in medieval pubs and houses and a 16th century watermill, to Fishpool Street. How did this street, once a major 18th century coaching route, degenerate to a slum and backwater, then become a prime residential area? You will have the opportunity to look at the architecture of some of the 72 listed buildings which range from a manor to workmen’s cottages. Another little gem – find out about puddingstone?!
For over 1000 years, St Albans has been a town of inns, taverns and alehouses. Find out why there were fifteen inns in one street alone. At one time, stabling was required for over 2000 horses – imagine the smell! This fascinating walk also looks at the architecture and the people who were part of this vibrant area of St Albans.
VICTORIAN ST ALBANS – A TIME OF CHANGE
The Victorian times were the age of massive expansion for the town. This walk takes us from the medieval to the age of steam, the railways, factories and even the pioneering days of cinema (hear about the first ever film advertisement)! There were many changes in the town, including a new prison whose entrance will be recognisable to all fans of ‘Porridge’.
ARISTOCRATS, PAUPERS & PHILANTHROPISTS
Based in the St Peter’s area you will hear of London orphans and their wet nurses, the philanthrophy of Winston Churchill’s ancestors and find out about the “heir and spare”. Why is there an arrow above the Pemberton Almshouse on St Peter’s Street and why is there an unusual milestone in Hatfield Road? An interesting stroll around the lesser known historic features of St Albans.
STREET WAR MEMORIALS
The Great War changed lives forever. Men enlisted to fight for King and Country, many never returned. The Abbey Parish remembers its dead, not in a church, but the streets where they grew up. The Parish was not unique in its experience but the memorials are. We explore the history behind their existence and the lives of those whose names appear there.
A MONASTERY REVEALED
Our city owes its existence to the monastery, which was once the most important in England. From Dedication to Dissolution, powerful Abbots controlled the town, the lives of its people and of course the monks. How did the people live under this rule, and what was daily life like for the monks? Find out as we walk from the town and round the abbey precincts where once stood a mighty establishment …..before it was destroyed by Henry VIII.
THERE'S MORE TO THE TUDORS THAN HENRY VIII
From Henry VII to Elizabeth I, an era of unprecedented social, religious and political change. How did the dissolution of our powerful monastery impact on the people of St Albans and its economy? You may be surprised how many of the 16th century buildings have survived – though some may be in disguise! This delightful walk brings Tudor St Albans and its people into vivid focus.
HISTORIC PUBS OF ST ALBANS
For centuries, the innkeepers and publicans of St Albans have provided hospitality for pilgrims, travellers, market traders and locals alike. This walk traces the changing fortunes of many establishments – some long gone, others re-invented and those that remain virtually unchanged by time.
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
Murder, theft, bribery, adultery - just some of the crimes committed here in St Albans down the ages. Hear about some of these dastardly deeds, the people who committed them and the punishments that were metered out. A fascinating walk, which looks at the lives of some notorious characters in our city's history.
A ROUND WITH SAM RYDER
Our longest walk (about 3 miles) honours the founder of the Ryder cup –surely the most famous sporting contest between Europe and America! Sam was much more than a golfer – benevolent businessman, churchman and politician – this walk covers many aspects of the life of this remarkable man!