True or false? Myths and realities in St Albans

Fig. 2: The Fighting Cocks showing unusual shape
Frank Iddiols (March 2013)
Public domain
Fig 2: Modern illustration of the telegraph in operation

Every historic place attracts cherished myths and legends, and the ancient city of St Albans is no exception. ……

The Fighting Cocks – England’s oldest pub?

Fig. 2: The Fighting Cocks showing unusual shape

The Fighting Cocks is certainly an old building, and has been a popular pub for some time. But is it really the oldest pub in England? Jon Mein investigates the claims.

The Clock Tower Shutter Telegraph – from coast to coast in five minutes?

Modern illustration of the telegraph in operation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Napoleon threatened the shores of Britain, the Admiralty moved quickly to erect a string of shutter telegraph stations across the country, including one on top of the Clocktower in St Albans on the route from London to Yarmouth – part of a network extending from Plymouth to London, and on to Deal and Yarmouth. Messaging times were dramatically reduced, but was it really possible to send messages from Plymouth to Yarmouth in a few minutes? John Morewood takes up the story.

B&B for the French king?

Legend has it that, after his capture by the Black Prince at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356, King John of France was accommodated in an inn  on the site of the Fleur de Lys pub (now the Snug). A crack team from the Arc & Arc weren’t so sure.  John Mein explains how they went about examining the story.