St Michael's Church, St Albans
St. Michael's Church was built in 948AD (along with St. Stephen's and St. Peter's churches). It was founded by Ulsinus, who was the abbot of the abbey at the time. All three churches were built to receive pilgrims visiting the shrine of St. Alban. Each church was built on one of the three main routes in to the town at the time.
The church is open to visitors between 2-3.30pm on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons and between 2-4pm at weekends during the months of April to September.
The interior of the church is rather plain but there are a few things of interest. Firstly, there's a monument of Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) who was a famous author, lawyer, statesman, philosopher and scientist who was a parishioner of the church. The monument is possible the work of Nicholas Stone and was erected in 1630. Next is the lovely Jacobean oak pulpit that features a crowned Tudor rose which might associate it with the visit of Queen Elizabeth I's visit to nearby Gorhambury. Then there's the 15th century octangonal font which is symbolically sited near the entrance.
This lovely little church lies close to the Verulamium Museum and parts of it date from the year of its foundation by the Abbot Ulsinus in 948 AD. But the church’s history goes right back to the Roman period as the church is built on the site of their basilica where the first British Christian martyr, Alban, would probably have been trailed around AD 209.
The original Saxon church forms the inside nave and chancel walls of the present building which were built from materials taken from the ruined Roman city. The church was enlarged in the 12th century when the north and south aisles were added. The tower was built in the 13th century and most of the windows date from the 14th and 15th centuries. The church was restored in 1866 by Sir George Gilbert Scott and then enlarged by Lord Grimthorpe who also lavished much money on the cathedral.