MEDIEVAL SCULPTOR, English
(active 13th century)

Shrine of St Alban

13th century
Stone
Cathedral, St Albans

Alban was a pagan living in the Roman city of Verulamium, now Verulamium Park, in St Albans, in Hertfordshire, England. Before Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, local Christians were being persecuted by the Romans. Alban sheltered their priest, Saint Amphibalus, in his home and was converted to the Christian faith by him. When the soldiers came to Alban's house looking for the priest, Alban exchanged cloaks with the priest and let himself be arrested in his place. Alban was taken before the magistrate, where he avowed his new Christian faith and was condemned for it. He was beheaded, according to legend, on the spot where the cathedral named after him now stands. The site is on a steep hill and legend has it that his head rolled down the hill after being cut off and that a well sprang up at the point where it stopped.