St Albans, a city of Hertfordshire, 20 miles NNW. of London, on the top and northern slope of an eminence washed by the Ver, one of the chief feeders of the Colne, across which stood Verulamium. That important Roman station is perhaps identical with the fortress of Cassivel-launus, destroyed in 54 B.C. by Caesar, and was taken by Boadicea in 61 a.d. In honour of the protomartyr Alban, said to have been beheaded here about 303, Offa, king of Mercia, in 793 founded a great Benedictine abbey, which from Pope Adrian IV. (born, Nicolas Breakspear, at Bedmond, 3 miles SW.) obtained precedence over all other abbeys in England. Rebuilt after 1077 with flat Roman tiles from Verulam, and dedicated in 1115 in the presence of Henry I., the abbey church, in spite of successive alterations (Early English, Decorated, Perpendicular), is still ' the vastest and sternest' of early Norman structures, its exterior length (548 feet) being second only to Winchester's, whilst the transepts measure 189 feet across, and the massive central tower is 144 feet high. It was made the cathedral of a new diocese in 1877, and in 1871-85 was very thoroughly restored. Special features are the substructure of the shrine of St Alban (its 2000 shattered fragments pieced together), the tombs of Duke Humphrey of Gloucester and 'sir John Mandeville,' the superb presbytery reredos, and Abbot Ramryge's chantry. Of the forty abbots down to the Dissolution in 1539 the greatest was Cardinal Wolsey; and among the monks were Matthew Paris, Roger Wendover, Rishanger, and the other compilers of the Chronica Monasterii S. Albani, which, like the Treatise of Dame Juliana Berners, was printed here at Abbot Wallingford's press. The abbey gatehouse was in 1869 converted from a jail to the purposes of King Edward VI.'s grammar-school, which till then had occupied the Lady Chapel. In St Michael's Church is Lord Bacon's monument; the 15th-century clock-tower was restored in 1864; and a drink-ing-fountain marks the site of an Eleanor's cross, demolished in 1702. There are almshouses founded by the famous Duchess of Marlborough, a town-hall (1832), a corn exchange (1857), and a free library (1880). The industries include straw-plaiting, brewing, boot and brush making, and silk-manufacture. St Albans, disfranchised for bribery in 1852, was incorporated by Edward VI. in 1553, and had its municipal boundary extended in 1879. It was the scene of two battles in the Wars of the Roses - the first, on 22d May 1455, a victory for the Yorkists; the second, on 17th February 1461, for the Lancastrians. Pop. (1851) 7000; (1901) 16,019. See works by New-come (1793), Williams (1822), Comyns Carr (1877), James Neale (1878), and Ashdown (1894).