Saturday, October 21, 2006

St. Alban's

I went with a group of folks from Little St. Mary's, the church I have been attending here in Cambridge, to St. Alban's Cathedral in Flamstead. This is the site that holds the shrine of St. Alban, the first English martyr.

The church itself was built shortly after the Romans abandoned the garrison there. I have some pictures of the Roman ruins that I will post later. The church began as a little monastery and grew to one of the largest abbeys in Britain before Henry VIII brought down the hammer.

Interestingly, you get a history lesson in Western church architecture in one camera shot here. Notice the right side...all Roman arches from the pre-Middle ages. Around the 11th century, the abbot decided to expand. Thus the right side of picture shows the expansion, built in the Gothic style.

Here's a view from the outside. No, you are not looking through the wardrobe to Cair Paravel.



Here's the ceiling over the main altar.
And here is one of the paintings done about 1000 by a monk. They were all over the main pillars. They were plastered over during the reformation and partially restored in the 1860s.


And here is St. Leonard's...about five miles away. A perfect little parish church where the rector of Little Saint Mary's was vicar in the 80s. They invited the LSM choir to do evensong and even served us tea. It was delightful.

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