St Albans

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Coordinates: 51°45′18″N 0°20′10″W / 51.755°N 0.336°W / 51.755; -0.336

St Albans (pronounced /sɨnt ˈɔːlbənz/) is a city in southern Hertfordshire, England, around 22 miles (35 km) north of central London, which forms the main urban area of the City and District of St Albans. St Albans has two official demonyms: Verulamian and Old Albanian. St Albans was a settlement of pre-Roman origin named Verlamion by the Ancient British, Catuvellauni tribe. It became the first major town on the old Roman road of Watling Street for travellers heading north and became the Roman city of Verulamium. Saint Alban, the first British Christian martyr, was beheaded sometime before AD 324 and gave it its modern name. It is a historic cathedral and market town, and is now a sought-after dormitory town within the London commuter belt. Property prices are notoriously high within the district, which is one of the most expensive in the UK.

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History

The St Albans area has a long history of settlement. The Celtic Catuvellauni tribe had a settlement at Prae Hill a mile or so to the west. The Roman town of Verulamium, second-largest town in Roman Britain after Londinium, was built alongside this in the valley of the River Ver a little nearer to the present town centre.

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