Victorian London - Publications - History - The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896 - The Clock Tower, St. Albans

The Clock Tower, St. Albans - photograph


The streets of St. Albans, famous for its fine old Abbey, shown on page 152, have an old-world appearance, which gives them interest to all lovers of the antique. The Clock Tower, at the Market Cross, dates from early in the fifteenth century, and is built of flint. One authority asserts that a tower existed here before Verulam was destroyed another, that it marks the site of Canute's Tower, a relic of the royal palace at Kingsbury, destroyed before the Norman conquest and a third, that two ladies were once delivered from the neighbouring woods, where they were lost, by a light shining from this spot, and so they built the original tower to serve as a beacon for others. One of the Eleanor crosses formerly stood in front of the Tower, which still contains an old curfew bell inscribed "Missa de celis habeo nomen Gabraclis."