Tag Archives: architecture

St Albans – stained glass and medieval paint

I have enjoyed this journey through the history and architecture of St. Albans so much! I can’t thank Sue Vincent enough for sharing it with us, through both her camera and her eye for the poetry in things. What I’ve learned from observing her as she experiences this place, is that writers must see the world through the eye of the artist.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

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The very first time Stuart came down to visit, long before we had any idea we were at the beginning of an adventure and even longer before we had even thought about writing together, I had stopped outside the tiny village church of Little Missenden on the way back from the station.

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I would say, ‘don’t ask me why’ as we had never visited a church together before…and I knew so little of him then that he might have been completely uninterested… but the truth is, I do know why. It is a very special place, a good way from my home, and one I used to visit when I was working out that way, just for the peace and beauty… and it has beautiful stained glass like a Tree of Life…and ancient pilgrims crosses graffitied into the walls… and fabulous medieval wall paintings… But that wasn’t it either. I…

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St Albans – “Count the stars…”

Sue Vincent continues St. Albans, this time though the abbey itself. Seen through the eye of the photographer and the soul of the poet, we find ourselves in a holy place, where architecture meets the divine.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

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We had finally made it into the Crossing at the centre of the Abbey… you barely remembered that the tiles beneath your feet had been made by Minton when you looked up. One incredible painted ceiling after another stretched away from the Tower Ceiling. The precise outlines of the stones on the white of the walls are an illusion created by medieval painters and the Norman arches that have stood a thousand years are decorated in ochre.

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Above them float the roses of St Albans. Although the bright painted panels we now see were only installed in the 1950s, they are an exact copy of the 15th C tiles that are still in place above them, now protected by their presence. One of the tiles can be seen against the painted stones of the aisle. The tiles show the red and white roses of the House of Lancaster and York…

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St Albans… ‘render unto Caesar’

Photographer and author, Sue Vincent, takes us on a journey through British history via the architecture of St. Albans. It is in this village where the real influence of the Romans can still be seen. Roman and Victorian building styles collide and create something uniquely British.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

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Tuesday morning looked promising as we headed out early for St Albans. The beautiful sky soon clouded over, though, leaving us with a chill and persistent rain. We’d been meaning to visit the town for a long time, knowing that the history and stories associated with the place tied in heavily with many areas of our adventures…not least because of St Alban himself.

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Recorded as the first British Christian martyr, the saint was beheaded for his faith in Roman Verulamium, now the town of St Albans. There are many versions of his story and we had not really researched them before we left and had only the briefest of outlines. I remembered vaguely that he was a cephalophore, one whose voice had continued after the beheading…and that a spring had welled from the ground where the head had rolled; a common motif in the stories of the saints that seems…

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