Roman Walls, St Albans- Travel Thursday

When I lived in Dublin for my MA, I was able to visit my cousin who lives outside of London. She is not terribly far from St. Albans, and was an absolutely lovely hostess who let me linger and stare at old historical things for more time than is probably appropriate! St. Albans is quite possibly one of the most beautiful towns I have seen yet- it’s a wonderful mix of old and new, and although there is sometimes a difference of several centuries between buildings it all works together. However, today’s post dates back even further than all of that, all the way back to the Roman occupation of Britain!

There are some spectacular Roman ruins/remains in the areas about St. Albans. I will have a post on  Verulamium (the remains of the Roman city, including an amphitheatre) next week, but this week is all about the city walls that defended it. There isn’t a lot of the wall remaining but what is there certainly gives you an idea of what people were dealing with two thousand years ago. Some surviving pieces are close to four metres tall, and given the thickness and density it looks to be a good piece of defence. Of course, I was that weird person who kept touching the wall. (I think I heard someone say “it’s just a wall” behind me…)

The surviving parts are partially out in the open and partially in a forested area and I have to say it is one of the loveliest walks that I’ve been on in all of my travels. It’s something about the worn, millenia-old stones that speaks to me. I know that some people may not care, but I think it’s fascinating that Roman Britons wandered along these very paths and touched the same stones that we are. I’m quite certain that they couldn’t have imagined what and where society is now! (I don’t know, maybe they could have predicted Netflix. They were a fairly proficient society themselves…) Now, onto the walls themselves!

Roman City Walls 1The height is still staggering to me when I look back on these pictures…

Roman City Walls 2I’m fairly certain these gates are to keep history nerds like myself at a safe distance.

Roman City Walls Close UpAs someone who comes from a place where limestone dominates everything, these stones are gorgeous!

Roman City Walls ForestI would kill to take Loki and Thor for a walk here! They would get their walkies and I would get history…

Roman City Walls GatePlease let me innnnnnnnn

Roman City Walls Path ForestAn old path and a new, side by side!

Roman City Walls PathCould you imagine just strolling along beside two thousand year old walls after doing your grocery shopping?

Roman City WallsI’m quite impressed that such a large piece remains- in North America, it would have all been removed. Huzzah for Heritage!

If you are in the area at all, you need to take a wander along the wall and soak up some history for a bit! You can visit at any time during daylight and it’s absolutely unequivocally free. You don’t have a reason not to! And next week I will follow up with the Verulamium ruins which are impressive to everyone, history nerd or no!

Until tomorrow,
The Historian!

2 thoughts on “Roman Walls, St Albans- Travel Thursday

  1. Mel & Suan December 1, 2016 / 2:19 am

    We keep unearthing vestiges of our distant past. And indeed a hurrah for the heritage that we are able to preserve. Too many are destroyed in the name of progress!

    Liked by 1 person

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