St Michael’s is an ancient place of prayer which has drawn pilgrims and visitors for over a millennium.
St Michael’s was built over the site of the basilica, the headquarters of Roman Verulamium. It was probably here that Alban was tried for being a Christian before he was executed outside the town walls, perhaps where the Abbey now stands. It was the connection with Alban which probably drew the first Christians to this site. It may also account for the church’s dedication to Michael, an angelic soldier who stood alongside Alban in his trials.
During the High Middle Ages, St Michaels was controlled by the Abbey in part to support pilgrims who were making their way to Alban’s shrine. Since the Reformation, St Michael’s has fallen under the patronage of the nearby Gorhambury Estate, and its identity today is firmly grounded as a parish church serving the needs of its local community.
The oldest parts of the present church date to before the Norman Conquest. It is the most extant Anglo Saxon building in Hertfordshire.
St Michael’s Church is open most days around services from 9 am to 5 pm. Contact for access on Saturdays. Entry is free however, donations are invited. You can find out dates for their regular services, group activities and schedule on their website.
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