Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Clock Tower (St. Albans)

The Clock Tower is a picturesque and historic feature of the ancient cathedral city of St. Albans.

It stands on the edge of the Market Place, opposite an alleyway which leads to St. Albans Abbey.

The Clock Tower was completed in 1412, and is 77 feet high. The mediaeval belfry contains the Curfew bell, which dates from 1335, and still strikes on the hour.

Sir George Gilbert Scott restored the tower in 1866.

Close by was an Eleanor Cross, one of the twelve that were erected to mark the resting places of the body of Eleanor of Castile. Only three remain, at Geddington, Hardingstone and Waltham Cross.

The Eleanor Cross at St. Albans was pulled down in the 17th century. In its place was erected a Market Cross, and this in turn was replaced by a Victorian fountain.

The first Battle of St. Albans was fought in this vicinity in 1455, when Henry VI was defeated and captured. It was the first major encounter in the Wars of the Roses.

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