Books on Hertfordshire

St Albans Cathedral

[St Albans Abbey became a cathedral in 1877]

Many books have been published on this subject and a few from the later half of the 20th century are described below.

The Hill of the Martyr

An Architectural History of St Albans Abbey

by Eileen Roberts

The Book Castle, 300 pages, 1993

A detailed account of the history of the building, including information on the individuals involved in the changes.


Historical Monuments

Saint Albans Cathedral

Royal Commission of Historical Monuments

HMSO, 1952 

Booklet, 21 * 17 cm, 28 pages, 12 plates, fold out plan and section

Drawings and Illustrations




Cathedral & City

St Albans ancient and modern

edited by Robert Runcie

Martyn Associates, 150 pages, 1977

This book contains a series of lectures to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the Norman Abbey, and the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese of St Albans.

  1. Verulamium by Sheppard Frere

  2. Alban and the Anglo-Saxon Church by Martin Biddle

  3. St Albans: The Great Abbey, by Christopher Brooke

  4. The Victorian Diocese of St Albans by Owen Chadwick

  5. The Victorian City by Asa Briggs

  6. The Future of the Diocese by Robert Runcie



St Albans Cathedral

1970                    Pitkin Guides                    1992

Pitkin produce a series of excellent pictorial guides that are available in most, if not all, of the cathedrals in England. These are updated as needed and the 1970 edition contains mainly black and white photographs while the 1992 edition makes full use of colour.


The City of St Albans

by William Page

and the

Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban

by C. R. Peers & William Page

A reprint of the sections in The Victoria History of the County of Hertfordshire (1908) by The Fraternity of the Friends of St Albans Abbey, 1984.


St Albans Abbey

Chapter House Excavations 1978

by Martin Biddle

The Fraternity of the Friends of St Albans Abbey, 1979

Booklet, 21 * 15 cm, 24 pages, with some pictures and plans

An interesting insight into the Norman and Early Medieval history of this important Hertfordshire religious site.


The Saint William of York Mural and

The Altar of the Relics

in St Albans Abbey

by Eileen Roberts

Phillimore, 1979

Booklet, 25 * 18 cm, 24 pages, 7 plates, 2 figures

An interesting insight into early medieval religious practice in Hertfordshire

Half hidden in a dark corner of the Saint's Chapel in St Albans Abbey, St Albans, Hertfordshire, is an exquisite Gothic painting in bright hues of pink, gold and blue, quite unlike the other faded murals in the church. An inscription refers to St William of York; who is he and why is he here? What do those strange patches of red paint signify, scattered with roses of gold and green? In a fascinating piece of detective work, the author examines documents, ranging from the sumptuous 'Book of Benefactors' which lay on the High Altar, through the private note-book of an antiquarian monk, and the correspondence of a 19th century Rector. Apparently meaningless holes, iron loops and faults in the walling are pieced together to tell the story of the Altar of the Relics and to give it shape through diagrams, plans and pictures.

St Alban's history as a holy place is unique in Western Europe. The martyrdom of Alban in AD 209 had given rise to a cult of national significance by 429. It has been a place of pilgrimage ever since, and never more than today, when scores of thousands yearly from many countries are drawn to this ancient abbey. Pilgrims then and pilgrims now meet in this reconstruction of one intriguing facet of St Albans Abbey history.



A Celebration in the hundredth year of the Cathedral City and Diocese of St Albans


Glossy Magazine style, 27.5 * 21 cm, 40 pages, many b/w photographs

This is a combined history and events calendar for the FESTALBAN 77 celebrations - celebrating the fact that St Albans became a cathedral city in 1877.

The diocese covers the old counties of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire


See Also: Books relating to Religion in Hertfordshire


See also: St Albans Abbey: Early 20th century Post Cards

Web Site: St Albans Catherdal

There is a web page for St Albans

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Page updated December 2005