St Albans Cathedral

St Albans Cathedral
Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban
Sumpter Yard
St Albans
Hertfordshire
AL1 1BY
England

Website

www.stalbanscathedral.org

E-mail

General enquiries

mail@stalbanscathedral.org

Education Centre

education@stalbanscathedral.org

Telephone

General enquiries

01727 860780

Education Centre

01727 890212

Fax

General enquiries

01727 850944

Education Centre

01727 836223

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
St Albans Cathedral at sunset
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

The Cathedral and Abbey Church of Saint Alban is the seat of the Bishop of St Albans and serves the Diocese of St Albans in the counties of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, the Borough of Luton and the London Borough of Barnet. The Cathedral is also a parish church with a large and active congregation.

The cathedral is a centre of worship and mission with a world renowned musical tradition and a highly regarded Education Centre. Ecumenical links are strong with honorary ecumenical chaplains from the Roman Catholic, Free Church, Lutheran and Russian Orthodox traditions. Regular services are conducted in the cathedral by the ecumenical chaplains who take full part in the life of the place.

The cathedral is built on what is believed to be the site of the martyrdom of St Alban. The hill upon which it stands overlooks the valley of the river Ver, beyond which lie the buried ruins of the Roman city of Verulamium.

It is recorded that St Germanus of Auxerre visited the shrine of St Alban in 429. Early in the 8th century, Bede wrote of the 'beautiful Church worthy of all Alban's martyrdom where miracles of healing took place.' The monastic structure of this church was re-ordered by King Offa of Mercia in 793 and a new order and discipline introduced by St Oswald in the 960s. The availability of huge amounts of building material from the ruins of nearby Roman Verulamium was put to good use in the Norman era, from which time many of the features of the building date.

St Alban’s Shrine, demolished at the Dissolution of the Monasteries, was restored in 1993, when it was rededicated in the presence of HM The Queen Mother. The shrine is a site of national pilgrimage and is used as a place of prayer and meditation by visitors every day.

Venue Type:

Heritage site, Sacred space

Opening hours

The Cathedral is open from 0800 to 1745 all year round. (We close at 1300 on Christmas Day)
Please enter by the West Door.

The Information Desk is open from 10:30 - 16:30 Monday to Saturday. Telephone +44(0)1727 860780. Occasionally events taking place in the cathedral might make it necessary restrict access to parts of the building. Before travelling to visit the Cathedral you are advised to telephone to check the current situation.

Guided Tours are offered by the Honorary Guides at 1130 and 1430 on Weekdays, 1130 and 1400 on Saturdays and 1430 on Sundays. Tours for visiting adult parties can be booked through the Cathedral Office +44 (0) 1727 860780.
Leaders of school parties should contact the Cathedral Education Centre +44 (0) 1727 890212.

Admission charges

Free

Additional info

There are facilities for disabled visitors who should enter by the east end Slype door. There is a Touch and Hearing centre and a braille guide plan. The public address system has an inductive loop facility and hearing aids should be tuned to 'T'. There are disabled toilets located within the Cathedral.

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Rock, Paper, Scissors

  • 21 August 2014 10:30am-12:30pm

Come and enjoy one of our specially themed Family Discovery Mornings in the school holidays.

Inspired by the popular children’s game, this trail will take visitors on a tour round the Cathedral looking at the different materials used to build it and the part played by scissors….

The morning combines an exciting, fascinating trail packed with activities, followed by a fun craft session

Suitable for ages 3 – 11. We advise arriving before 11.30 to complete all the activities. Meet in the North Transept. Please note: all children must be accompanied by an adult.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10

Admission

Free. Donations gratefully received.

Website

https://www.stalbanscathedral.org/whatson/family/family-discovery-mornings-may-oct

A Roman Solider and a First World War Soldier stand together

War and Peace

  • 7 August 2014 10am-12:30pm

To mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War this trail will look at how conflict and resolution are depicted in the Cathedral, from the battles fought by the saints through to the Battle of Hastings, the Wars of the Roses and wars fought in the twentieth century.

The morning combines an exciting, fascinating trail packed with activities, followed by a fun craft session

Suitable for ages 3 – 11. We advise arriving before 11.30 to complete all the activities. Meet in the North Transept. Please note: all children must be accompanied by an adult.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10
  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

Free. Donations gratefully received.

Website

http://www.stalbanscathedral.org/whatson/family/family-discovery-mornings-may-oct

A soldier comforts his horse

War Horse Puppets Workshop

  • 12 August 2014 10:30am-12:30pm, 1:30-3:30pm
  • 26 August 2014 10:30am-12:30pm, 1:30-3:30pm

The puppetry used in the stage show ‘War Horse’ is world famous – and in this workshop children will have a chance to create their own version. They will also learn about the roles of animals in the First World War, and see how these inspired the ‘War Horse’ story.

Advanced booking required. Places are limited and early booking is advised. Please visit the link below for more details and to book your place online.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • Especially for children

Admission

£7.00 per child.

Website

http://www.stalbanscathedral.org/whatson/family/summer-workshop-war-horse

photograph of field communications during ww1

Discovering Trench Art

  • 13 August 2014 10:30am-12:30pm, 1:30-3:30pm
  • 20 August 2014 10:30am-12:30pm, 1:30-3:30pm

Despite the misery of fighting in the First World War, many soldiers were inspired to use everyday items found in the trenches to create amazing pieces of art. These items became known as ‘Trench Art’ and, inspired by real examples, children will have the chance to create a piece of artwork for themselves.

Advanced booking required. Places are limited and early booking is advised. Please visit the link below for more details and to book your place online.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • Especially for children

Admission

£7.00 per child.

Website

http://www.stalbanscathedral.org/whatson/family/summer-workshop-trench-art

Cartoon of a telescope

To Infinity and Beyond

  • 14 August 2014 10am-12:30pm

Sun, moon and stars – you will discover them all in the Cathedral at this Free Family Discovery Morning. Find out also how the Cathedral can act as a compass and tell you which direction you are looking at.

The morning combines an exciting, fascinating trail packed with activities, followed by a fun craft session.

Suitable for ages 3 – 11. We advise arriving before 11.30 to complete all the activities. Meet in the North Transept. Please note: all children must be accompanied by an adult.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10

Admission

Free. Donations gratefully received.

Website

http://www.stalbanscathedral.org/whatson/family/family-discovery-mornings-may-oct

Soldiers play football in No Man's Land

War Games and Watercolours

  • 19 August 2014 10:30am-12:30pm, 1:30-3:30pm
  • 27 August 2014 10:30am-12:30pm, 1:30-3:30pm

Using the Michael Foreman storybook ‘War Games’ as inspiration, children will have the chance to learn about friendship/comradeship in the First World War and the infamous Christmas Day football match, before creating their own watercolours based on the illustrations from the story.

Advanced booking required. Places are limited and early booking is advised. Please visit the link below for more details and to book your place online.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • Especially for children

Admission

£7.00 per child.

Website

http://www.stalbanscathedral.org/whatson/family/summer-workshop-watercolours

Girl with flowers

Blooming Marvellous!

  • 28 August 2014 10:30am-12:30pm

Just ahead of the Cathedral’s Flower Festival (25th – 28th September) this trail will explore all the different flowers and plants that are to be found in stone, textiles, paintings, glass and metal around the Cathedral.

The morning combines an exciting, fascinating trail packed with activities, followed by a fun craft session

Suitable for ages 3 to 11. We advise arriving before 11:30 to complete all the activities. Meet in the North Transept. Please note: all children must be accompanied by an adult.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10

Admission

Free. Donations gratefully received.

Website

https://www.stalbanscathedral.org/whatson/family/family-discovery-mornings-may-oct

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

St Albans Abbey Maths Trail

http://www.stalbanscathedral.org.uk/education-centre/index.htm

In a building like St Albans Cathedral there is endless scope for estimating, comparing, measuring. Using everything from trundle wheels to helium balloons, from electronic laser devices to hands and arms of the human body, the children let few bits of the building escape. And then there is the world of shape and pattern to attend to…

How to obtain

Please telephone the Education Centre on 01727 890212 to negotiate a date for your visit. You need to allow a full one and a half hours for each session booked.
Please download our online booking form from www.stalbanscathedral.org.uk/education-centre/booking.php, which you can submit online, fax or post back to us.

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