The Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Albans has been at the heart of our rich and varied history for hundreds of years. Even its fabric is emblematic of the history of the city and the nation. Even its fabric is emblematic of the history of the city and the nation, from the Roman tiles used in its construction, the medieval wall paintings recently brought to life by digital illumination, the statues damaged by iconoclasts, to the destruction of much of the monastery at the Dissolution.
Clergy of the Abbey Church played a significant part in the formation of our Society in 1845, long before the church became a cathedral. The earliest archaeological excavation took place at the church, and one of the Society’s most notable early members – the Rev. Henry Fowler – produced a plan of the monastery which transformed contemporary understanding of the archaeology and history of the medieval monastery. He later kindly bequeathed his papers to the Society.
The Muniment Room in St Albans Cathedral houses an extensive archive of primary and secondary source material concerning the Abbey both as a parish church and (more recently) as the seat of the bishop. There are many gems in the collection, Godman’s Abbey parish map from 1818 and early sketches and photographs being just some of them.
The Society continues to enjoy a close relationship with the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban. In 2018, the Society acquired a part of the Cathedral’s library as it rationalised its holdings and freed space for educational activities.