St Albans: VERULAMIUM: Verlamian: Watling Chester: Verulamchester

2nd century AD Roman house (Domus) with hypocaust and underground shrine, Verulamium, St Albans.
By Carole Raddato from FRANKFURT, CC BY-SA 2.0,


  • St Albans, Hertfordshire.
  • OSGB – TL 13171 07246, TL 13304 07629, TL 13598 06984, TL 13631 07392.
  • Grade I Listed Building.


Early Roman fort.

Forum and basilica complex measured 46.6 m by 117.5 m. The basilica measured 117.5 by 36.5 m. The forum piazza was surrounded by a colonnaded ambulatory. Magistrates buildings were separate from the basilica. The theatre buildings had an almost circular orchestra of 24.5 m diameter.


1 C  BC                       Was the settlement of the Catuvellauni tribe and known as Verlamian. Their leader was Caswallan.

49                                Abandoned when Legio XX moved to the Midlands.

50                                The Romans named their town VERULAMIUM.

60                                The town was destroyed by Boudicca.

61                                Earthwork defences constructed enclosing 18 acres. Timber buildings.

61                                Boudicca sacked the area with fire.

79                                At the end of the Flavian period the town had recovered. The forum and basilica were built plus one, possibly two, stone temples were built.

155                              Fire destroyed about 50 acres including part of the forum.

160-170                       Ditching levelled to allow for growth of the town.

2 C                              First half: The town was expanded and altered with domestic building that had plaster on the walls and painted plaster.

2 C                              Mid: Public buildings built.

275                              The town walls were built

3 C                              Expansion of the town continued until. Defences were rebuilt with stone walling following a different course to the original defences and enclosing 200 acres.

345-36-                        The theatre was altered and the orchestra was cut down to a semi-circle and a Coritian prosconium installed.

380’s                           The theatre was no longer in use and used as a rubbish dump.

4 C                              Late: Was the decline of the Roman town.

410                              The Romans left the town.

450-470                       c: The town was well populated.

5 C                              Running water supply.

1086                            Domesday: Inhabited by 500 people.

1217                            The town was held by Louis of France. Faulke de Breaute sacked it and King Louis returned and did the same.

1455                            Wars of the Roses: First Battle of St. Albans.

1461                            Wars of the Roses: Second Battle of St. Albans.

1643                            The town became the headquarters of the Parliamentary army led by the Earl of Essex.

1645                            Lord Fairfax received the New Model Army at the town.

1648                            The fate of Charles I was decided in the Abbey church.

1877                            Queen Victoria granted the status of ‘City’ to the town

20th C                          Traces of the 61 AD fire by Boudicca uncovered.



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