The First Battle of St Albans was the first battle in the War of the Roses. It was fought on 22 May 1455. Richard, Duke of York and his ally, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, defeated the Lancastrians under Edmund, Duke of Somerset, who was killed. York also captured King Henry VI.
This battle is widely known for its appearance in Shakespeare's play Henry VI, Part 2. The play ends with the result of the battle.
The Second Battle of St Albans was fought on 17 February, 1461, at St Albans. The army of York was beaten in the battle by the Lancastrians and King Henry was released. However, the York army eventually won the war and the kingdom.
For those that are interested in heraldry, this is the crest of St. Albans. The significance of the crest is explained from the following website : http://www.ngw.nl/int/gbr/s/stalbans.htm
"The blue shield with gold saltire was recorded as St. Albans' arms in 1634 and certified in 1951. These are the attributed arms of the Kingdom of Mercia. King Offa of Mercia founded St. Albans abbey on the site of his martyrdom. Tradition has it that from that date the Mercian arms were granted to the town. In 1974 the larger city had supporters and crest added.
The crest has the figure of a baron holding the Magna Carta, which has associations with St. Albans.
The dexter supporter is a mitred abbot. The abbots once governed the town. The sinister supporter is a printer, as the town was an early centre of the industry."
History, loads of it. Any visitor to the capital with a little time to spare will be rewarded by a trip to St Albans. Trains run regularly from St Pancras (pick a fast one not a stoppng one).
St Albans has got the lot - Roman and pre-Roman times; One of the finest Norman Abbey Churches in the country; Architecture from almost every period; Evidence of the great days of the Mail Coach and much, much more.
Fondest memory: Being a part of the great scheme of things. St Albans has been her for thousands of years and will be here for many more. This place puts life in perspective.
Now that McDonalds in the High Street has closed down and the underground public conveniences are still in need of some serious renovation, where should you GO in St Albans?
Head for Waterstone's Book Shop on the High Street and take advantage of the excellent cafe, the wide range of books and the fine facilities including disabled and baby changing!!!
This should be your first port of call in St Albans. The Tourist and Information Centre is found in the city's Town Hall on Market Place which was built in 1831. Inside they offer lots of useful information and maps on the city, local area and nationally. They offer a walking guide and mini guide which have useful info and maps.
Open: 9.30am-5.30pm Mon-Sat.
At the tourist office you can get the city trail. It will give you the best impression of St. Albans and includes all the highlights of this place like the clock tower, the abbey, the verulamium park, the roman theatre as well as the Marlborough almshouses and the St. Albans Museum.
Have (again) no idea what time the trail usually would cost you. It depends of course on the places you decide to visit, like the abbey and the Verulamium musuem. But since i didn't walk it all, i couldn't even make an educated guess. I got stuck along the way because of a construction of a building and the archeological research because of it...
The tourist information office can also give info on the Historic pubs and Inns trail.
And during the monts april to October there are volunteers that give free tours through the city. Though not every day so better ask beforehand if this interests you
A good map of the centre of St. Albans can be seen at the following URL :